Meet Dr Richard Hemsworth MACS Snr, your NSW branch executive leader
26th February 2021
- Dr Richard Hemsworth MACS Snr is a Member of the NSW Branch Executive Committee.
- Richard is a program director specialising in PMO project governance (certified in PRINCE2, Agile, and PMP) and with extensive understanding of regulated governance environments.
- He has high level experience with roles including General Manager of Transformation for Employers Mutual Insurance; Group Commercial Manager for TransGrid, and EPgMO Executive Director for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
1. As an industry technology leader, what has been your greatest achievement to date?
There are so many opportunities to add value in the technology space. I would cite one of my more significant achievements as being able to design and manage a mentoring program for a number of years for project managers. It’s great to see people grow and expand their epistemologies of what they are capable of doing. The team of mentors that I led was extremely successful and we were able to mentor about 70 people a year.
2. What tips would you give to members about business change solutions and transformation?
I often find that leaders don’t distinguish between ‘people change leadership’ and ‘change management’. Transformation needs you to lead people to the new ‘improved’ paradigm (and sometimes they can’t or don’t want to see the value). So, a simple systematic approach, that you can build into your day-to-day behaviours, is often best. There are lots of process-driven models around. Some years ago I pulled together one that I make available free (with a bunch of supporting tools). You can access the tools at http://sandar.com.au/PODS.html.
3. What do you hope to achieve for the ACS NSW Branch whilst elected on the NSW Branch Executive Committee (BEC)?
ACS has had a little bit of turbulence, of late, in its governance. I am a keen advocate of open communication and engagement. As a group, I believe that we are all smart people. So, if the members are properly informed I’m sure that they can make an informed and sensible decision about our way forward. In another area, I would like to ensure that our members have the best possible opportunities to professional development. The industry is changing rapidly and to be employable and have good vocational choices, we all need to keep current. I’m sure we all have stories of changes that seem remarkable; I remember being taught to program in Fortran 4, using punch cards that I had to run as a batch job. How things have changed!
4. Tech changes fast. How do you keep yourself up-to-date with the latest technology and trends?
Keeping up is a constant in our business. Whether it be through: professional membership of organisations like ours, online forums, regular courses, extra certifications, reading industry magazines or just chatting with colleagues who themselves are keeping up to date – it all helps. I am a member of a number of Meetup groups (and these are free and contribute to your CPD points – hint, hint). Twice a month I get to hear from leading experts about a topic of interest to me, but many people are more selective about their attendance. I also lecture, from time to time, as a visiting lecturer at UNSW and Macquarie, so I get to hear from new up-and-coming professionals about their experiences.
5. What do you see are the challenges for the sector? And how do you wish to contribute to resolving them?
I recently recertified in Cybersecurity, an area which has strong employment growth. It is also a risk area for the industry and one that needs significant effort to address. Some of the other challenges for us are: workload and the expectation that we do more and more with less and less. Another challenge is the increasing skills gap in Australia for people working in technology. Last year we could not find enough IT people to fill IT jobs. 772,175 people worked in IT in 2019 and that number is increasing. Reskilling is going to be a key challenge to make sure we have enough people for the digital economy. As I said in previous questions, I am a keen advocate of professional development and I believe the ACS can help us all with this.