The civilian point ol view trom which this article is written is a rather specialised one. From having a general interest, as a member ot the public, in industrial efficiency both in management and in processes to chairing the Defence Project Management Sectional Committee of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts is a fairly large step. The information available and the ability to require information puts a Parliamentary Committee in a different position from that of most private citizens. The committee examining project management in Defence met over a period of nearly three years and in the process became itself a source of knowledge about effective management processes.
Most Navy projects, for example, are large in size and take a number of years from initiation to completion. Management practices evolve over
that period of time, so that improvement in those practices should be able to be seen. When there are failures in management over the period there is very real cause for concern. An example of this was the slowness of a decision about pallet size for HMAS Success and the consequences of that tardiness.
An illustration of the problems which can befall a project when inadequate resources are applied to project management is provided by the design of the cargo handling and storage systems in the same vessel.
Helen Mayer is the Federal Member (or Chisholm She presently serves as the chairperson ol the Defence Project Management Sectional Committee ol the Joint Parliamentary Committee of Public Accounts