What Would Happen If?

What Would Happen If?


How often after an amazing meal in your favourite restaurant do you baulk from adding a tip electronically? The rationale is often that it gets subsumed into a wider tip pot and you’d prefer to hand some crisp clean banknotes to the chirpy and efficient server who has made your night so special. We habitually see the person or activity in front of us and forget that the delivery of an excellent meal is a long process involving many people, it is a team effort. What would happen if; the buyer failed to buy enough food, finance failed to pay the utility bill, the chef overcooked the veg or the plates weren’t cleaned. The simple answer is disaster would reign. The server on their own cannot deliver the service required. I fell into the trap of tipping the server directly very recently and was annoyed with myself afterwards because at work I take time to recognise the role everyone in the team plays when we deliver our project work. 

The Delt Project Management Office delivers a range of projects that allow our customers to excel. Our incredible project professionals at Delt support thousands of staff working in the NHS and Plymouth City Council, we are a vital enabler in helping staff do their jobs in GP surgeries, providing adult and children’s social care, in vaccination centres, in world class museums and in a wide range of local government activities. Our work is not always visible and after my recent restaurant experience it got me thinking…….what would happen if the Delt PMO didn’t deliver? 

When I think about just a handful of the projects that our teams have delivered, it’s awe inspiring to depict the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes. The ‘stuff’ no one really accounts for or notices when visiting their GP or viewing an exhibition.  

Delt is blessed to be based in Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City a jewel in Devon’s magnificent crown. In our city we have a stunning museum, The Box, which has recently undergone a £40M+ renovation.  

The City hosts a plethora of amazing events, most recently the British Sail Grand Prix. This race saw some of the most capable and technologically advanced sailing yachts in the world racing at speeds in excess of 60 knots, that’s nearly 70 mph!  

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic Devon CCG quickly implemented several vaccination centres in Plymouth and across Devon in pubs, leisure centres and even a car park. We also saw an increased number of GPs working from home and even the use of video consulting.

The Delt PMO contributed to all the above and that represents a very small example of the work we do every year. In FY 21/22 Delt will deliver more than 500 projects. So, returning to my self-imposed question, what would happen if we didn’t deliver, apart from having some very angry customers and me losing my job! Well, looking at the few examples above, The Box would not be able to function. It would have no wi-fi, no website, no means of selling tickets, no CRM, no alarms on the display cases, no storage capability for the film and TV archive and meeting rooms deprived of AV equipment. The monetary value of our work was relatively low, but all our behind-the-scenes work is crucial to enabling day-to-day operations at this world class cultural attraction.  

The British Sail GP was broadcast live to a global TV audience showing the beauty of Plymouth Sound around the world. A broadcast that was enabled by Delt project managers and technical staff managing the installation of additional network capability on Plymouth Hoe and at Millbay Docks. Who’d have thought that without Delt’s project professionals millions of people might have missed seeing this spectacle live on their screens? 

Without the work of the Delt project managers the utility of some vaccination centres would have been limited, potentially without wi-fi and the IT equipment they needed to operate. And without our work doctors’ ability to work from home using any device, in a safe and secure manner, would have been hampered. 

Me losing my job would barely shift the Richter Scale compared to the other impacts that would be seen if the Delt PMO failed to deliver. I am in awe of my team who repeatedly, behind the scenes, deliver high-quality project work. Their first-class work has been acknowledged by the Association of Project Management who selected Delt as a finalist for their 2021 awards in the category contribution to project management small to medium enterprise.  

My message is simple, when you are celebrating your next big success don’t forget the chef in the kitchen, don’t forget the crucial work done by everyone and remember that every partner adds value.  

The lesson, acknowledge and tip the team, not just the individual! 

Gary Pettitt, Chief Project Officer


Photo by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash

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