Association for Project Management
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In memoriam: project management pioneer Geoff Reiss

Geoff Reiss, trailblazer, thought-leader and giant of the project profession has sadly passed away, aged 75.

Geoff was a long-standing member and Honorary Fellow of Association for Project Management (APM), as well as a highly regarded author, speaker, software designer and mentor. He was among the first to embrace programme management in the early 1990s, established the APM Programme Management Specific Interest Group (APM ProgM SIG) and wrote two definitive books on the subject. In recognition, the ProgM SIG created him its Honorary President.

His knowledge, experience, gentle humour and innovative thinking had an impact on many people in many ways. For Honorary Fellow Adrian Dooley, meeting Geoff in 1979 changed the course of his career and established a lasting friendship.

Geoff's background was construction, but he also learned how to programme his Apple II microcomputer from a self-help book. He wrote a program for rescheduling a project plan and had been invited to demonstrate it to a group that included Adrian, then a young construction project planner.

“The last chapter of the book, The Long Way Home, showed how to create a program to calculate the distance between two points. He realised this was critical path analysis,” Adrian recalled.

“Until then, if you needed to re-schedule a project plan, you had to send a form off to be fed into a mainframe computer and two weeks later the revised schedule would be delivered. Geoff’s program did it in one day. I asked if I could get involved.”

Apple heard about it and the program became one of the first third-party products sold by the computer giant. It was re-branded Pertmaster, with Geoff establishing the company. Adrian ran training courses for the software and still has that old Apple II in his loft.

The pair went on to launch the magazine Project Manager Today with editor Ken Lane in 1989. Geoff was already an established wordsmith and his contributions to the new magazine included Great Projects of the Past and a humorous gossip column about the world of project management.

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