Rocket and WDC 2018

Rocket is very pleased to have been selected by Waikato District Council through a formal tendering process (yes – we beat the big boys) to update their Project Management Framework. Our success is based on the strong relationship we have developed with the council over the last 8 years, plus our professional expertise and pragmatic approach in this area.
Big thanks to all concerned who contributed to our offering to council, particularly Susan Cavanagh who will be leading this assignment.

Brett Dodson


It is with a heavy heart that I report the tragic news of the death of our friend and associate Brett Dodson. Many of you will have heard by now but, just to be sure, we have mailed everyone (our regular catch-up group) and posted this on our blog. Brett died in a motorcycle accident on Wednesday afternoon, 25th October 2017. A Requiem Mass will be celebrated at the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Corner of Picton Street and Parkhill Road, Howick, Auckland, on Wednesday 1st November 2017, at 1.00pm. To be followed by a Private Cremation.


The general reaction has been one of stunned disbelief and it still feels very unreal. Brett was such a “larger-than-life” sort of character that it just doesn’t seem possible he is no longer with us. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to his family. Brett was a valued colleague and good friend of many of us, and he will be deeply missed.
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Up-coming Course

Leading with Impact – workplace coaching skills

Having the ability to take a coaching approach is a vital leadership skill and becoming more and more important in today’s leadership environment. The various coaching competencies are strongly correlated to Leadership Effectiveness and Organisational Performance.
The talented Eric van den Top, whom many of you will know from his inspiring presentation on “Positive Psychology” earlier this year at our own Associates/Friends get-together, is co-facilitating this course on 22nd and 23rd March 2017. Erik is a highly experienced leadership coach, trainer and facilitator. He has worked in the leadership, organisational development and personal development fields for 25 years.
This course is specifically targeted at Leaders, Internal Coaches and HR Professionals to develop workplace coaching skills.
The Leading with Impact course includes 2 days of face to face learning plus three 1 hour virtual meetings over the following 6 weeks. There are three hours of practical assignments outside of the classroom. The investment for the course is $2,300+GST, with an early bird of $2,070+GST (when paid in full by 15 January). Details are available here


Rocket advisory services

When we asked our clients what they thought of Rocket Projects they came up with words like initiative, global experience, knowledge, realistic, successful, total professionalism, and value.


Our clients said this because our associates and contractors deliver more than successful projects, programmes and change. They have real world experience in strategy, enterprise architecture, departmental management, consulting and directorship that adds real world value to difficult problems.


It took us a while to realise how valuable this experience is for our clients. When we did we knew we needed to act on it.


Enter the Rocket Projects advisory and consulting team. We’ve formed this new team from a select handful of our associates who do this work well. They have strategy, digital, leadership and consulting skills that bring out the best in clients by providing the certainty and value you have come to expect from a Rocket Projects engagement.


This year we are seeing the challenge of end-to-end IT and Digital strategy development taking up a lot of business decision makers time. They then need to create roadmaps to deliver this digitally-enabled business change. We are also seeing the upcoming challenges of technology leadership and mentoring. Alongside these challenges we see a need for decent, well thought out enterprise architecture to support technology leadership in adding form to these strategies and roadmaps. Of course, then there is delivery and change – which you know we are good at.


Our advisory and consulting associates have the decades of experience (and grey hairs) necessary to help our clients do this work in a meaningful, realistic and successful way.


With our newly defined capability in this area you can be sure that you will make that essential end-to-end linkage between strategy, project execution and the delivery of business value.


Meet the Team here


Rocket News


We recently emailed our contacts within the business community to let everyone know that we now offer a comprehensive range of ICT and digital advisory services.


We have linked these services to our delivery capability to provide end-to-end solutions, linking strategy to execution and concept to delivery. We apply an enterprise-level view to check you are ‘doing things the right way’ – balancing architecture with agility.


Our strategy roadmaps ensure that your plans are executable and that prioritisation of investment is effective. Our people are expert in their fields with robust overlays across the team.
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Q&A with Susan

Continuing our series on Rocket Projects Associates, next up is Susan Cavanagh. Susan has been part of the Rocket Team for many years, and brings a maturity and wonderful depth of knowledge to the table. She has a strong background in IT and has worked across a wide range of organisations in New Zealand and overseas. She specialises in assisting organisations improve their capability in project, programme and portfolio management.

Susan is a big advocate of standardisation of process, and clarity of scope and responsibilities, and focuses on delivering improvement for the most pressing business needs and risks,  at a rate of change that the business is able to cope with.

Her generous spirit, indefatigable work ethic and a very genuine desire and enjoyment of leading businesses to improvement, have all led to overwhelmingly positive feedback from assignments and much success for her and her clients.


She shares some of where she’s been and what she enjoys below.


How old were you when you had your first paying job and what was it?

I was 14 & worked in a Souvenir/Toy shop in my home town, Tralee

When I was 15 & 16 I spent the summer hols waitressing (silver-service), in a Grade A hotel in Dingle, County Kerry – French style cuisine! This is where my love for food & wine started!

What’s something you’ve always wanted to try? Skydiving! Got close with paraponting over Queenstown – magic!

What three things do you need to be successful in the PM role?

  1. Agreement by all key parties on what the project is to deliver (never start a project without it!)
  2. Realistic & achievable milestones
  3. Regular communication/engagement with the team & stakeholders, formal & informal (can involve lots of coffee!)

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Rocket Fuel for Projects: Stuff that works.


This is the title of our latest Course and it’s all about how to get things done – it will have you performing well the minute you are back on the job. It includes a practical toolkit of stuff that works – to help you get the basics right and set your projects up for success. Learn from two highly regarded and successful professionals, both with many years real-life, practical experience, who know what works, and what doesn’t.


It’s perfect for newbie Project Managers, Programme and Project Coordinators looking to step up or just know more, Project Sponsors and Project Business Owners with very little project experience, or anybody else who wants to know more about project management.


Check out our Courses page for more details. 

Next  session – Friday 29th July, you can book here

Upcoming Courses for July and August


29 July 2016

Rocket Fuel for Projects: Stuff that works

Are your projects proceeding at great speed and producing really powerful solutions? If not, you or your team probably lack the knowledge of what is takes to make projects really take off. Part of what you need is a practical toolkit of stuff that works – to help you get the basics right and set your projects up for success.

Rocket Projects; a leader in project and change management practices has recognised that organisations are struggling to find effective training and development opportunities that equip staff to perform well the minute they are back on the job. This course is all about how to get stuff done.

19 August 2016

Beyond Change Management: The Art of integrating project and change management to deploy project deliverables successfully.

Now back due to popular demand, this is the course that we ran so successfully last year  that specifically focuses on integrating Change Management with existing business Project Management practices.


Please visit our Courses page for more information on these courses and how to book. 


Change Management Institute AUCKLAND March Event

The Auckland chapter of the Change Management Institute have an interesting event lined up for March for local change management professionals.

Transformational Change across Government and Private Sector – Auckland
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 – 5:00pm to 7:00pm

What differentiates transformational change from other forms of change? What are the unique challenges in leading and managing change on a large scale? And what can leaders learn from the collective experience of the public and private sectors?

Dianne Saker, Organisation Change Management and Training Lead for Inland Revenue’s Business Transformation Programme will share her most recent experiences in both the public and private sectors.  She will discuss the big-change challenges inherent in large-scale programmes and present the ‘change architecture’ model that she has developed to make sense of and guide the change leadership and management efforts.

All event details and how to register are available here