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Project Manager : Project Manager Feb March 2012
23 www.aipm.com.au Project Manager shelf, teaching the paramedical teams and first-aiders burns management, and ended up getting a lesson themselves in making sure all of the scientifically backed advice they provide is also practical. Dr Wood ran through the usual drill: clean, cool running water, 15–18 degrees for 20 minutes. “Someone piped up and said ‘the water comes out of the tap hot here’.” “ Well, I got stumped, but it was really good learning,” she recalls. “So I said: ‘Right, let’s all think – how are going to make it colder? How are we going to control it? We don't want ice. Ice gives us cold injuries.’” Brainstorming the hurdle, the group found simple, practical solutions that could be implemented on the oil platform. “There are strategies to get around practical problems that come up on the spot, but discovering those comes with giving advice, because you have to make sure that it makes sense and can be implemented.” Project: personality Identifying the right person is a sticking point when gathering and training human resources. Whether certain personalities are better suited to dealing with disaster is debatable. Rhona Flin and Georgina Slaven, in their 1996 study, ‘Personality and emergency command ability’, point to a mistaken general public consensus assuming a correlation between personality and the ability to effectively command in an emergency, which their research does not bear out. Instead, Flin and Slaven find few significant correlations between personality and performance, and Dr Wood tends to agree that there is not any personality type that is better suited to project management or disaster management than any other. “I think what you bring to the table is your personality, and how you respond is clearly influenced by that. But it doesn't mean to say that if you’re personality type A you will always respond better than personality type C. “I don’t think you can identify a personality type that is appropriate for project management and disaster response, but I do think you can look at someone and play to those strengths, that they’re using their innate abilities to actually respond in the best way that they can.” Project: leadership It can be beneficial for a leader to keep personality in mind when it comes to training and to use personality as a guide to shape teaching. “It’s about tailoring the skills you teach, and the way you teach those skills, to their personality,” Dr Wood said. Her two top tips for creating a strong project or disaster manager? “I always try to lead by example and make sure I’m never asking anybody to do something I wouldn’t do myself,” she added. “And I always make sure that what I’m asking makes good sense – good common sense. “ Wherever possible, have good scientific backing. That’s not always possible because sometimes the science is very hard to unravel, but still always make sure that teaching is logical, sensible and practical.” ••• COVER STORY • TRAINING IS EXTRAORDINARILY IMPORTANT IN ALL WALKS OF LIFE ... THAT WAS VERY OBVIOUS ON THE DAY OF THE BALI BOMBINGS HER STORY In October 2002, Dr Fiona Wood was propelled into the media spotlight when the largest proportion of survivors from the 2002 Bali bombings arrived at Royal Perth Hospital. She led a team working to save 28 patients suffering from between two and 92 per cent body burns, deadly infections and delayed shock. She was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2003 and Australian of the Year for 2005 by then Prime Minister John Howard. Dr Wood is perhaps most well known for her patented invention of spray-on skin for burn victims; a treatment being continually developed. Where previous techniques of skin culturing required 21 days to produce enough cells to cover major burns, Dr Wood has reduced the period to five days. Through research, she found that scarring is greatly reduced if replacement skin could be provided within 10 days.
Project Manager Dec Jan 2012
Project Manager April May 2012