Many project managers are good organisers, leaders, delegators and team members. Arrangements for visiting London or hosting visitors can be aligned with such roles and so can benefit from some project management. A visit to London could be treated as a project, or even a programme, or even a portfolio of activity fitting in with business-as-usual – so some governance, planning and organisation could pay off – to ensure success.
The following guidance and top tips are offered when making trips to London with projects and project management in mind.
- Visitors and trippers are advised to plan well and well ahead for their visits.
- If the trip is budget sensitive – check the costs of every aspect.
- For accommodation ideas and advice – contact London Tourist Board.
- For public transport – try Travel Cards.
- What will be the targets for the trip? What will be success? What are the deliverables or desired benefits? Be specific, clear and realistic. Is this one of a series of trips or in isolation?
- Please check the opening days and opening hours for all of your target locations to which access might be sought.
- Please note that openings may vary across the seasons of the year and the days of the week including bank holidays.
- The weather can be variable in London, across the seasons and even in a single day. But the weather forecasts are generally reliable and accurate. So take clothing to suit the seasons; with layers for inside and outside, and waterproof in case of rain. Historical concerns about fog and smog from coal fires disappeared in the 1950s; pollution from vehicles is the latest concern. The total rainfall in London is not high compared with other European cities although the number of days on which some rain may fall may be higher. It certainly doesn’t rain all day, every day.
- Bottles of water for hydration are recommended when travelling.
- Please take medicines, sun cream, antihistamine, cash and/or credit card; with proof of identity and age – if that may be an issue.
- Also, tell people of your proposed itineraries and likely times of return – overall and daily.
- Like all large cities some parts of London may feel safe; but actually are no safer than others. If uncertain or unfamiliar ask advice and directions or travel in groups.
- When in groups be clear on destinations and timings; and have contingency contact, meeting or rendezvous arrangements for when or if becoming separated in a big city.
- Please respect security arrangements such as body searches, bag searches, signing in, etc. and allow appropriate time.
- Please be aware and cooperative with health and safety requirements and for evacuations when travelling, in hotels, in restaurants, within locations or on sites, in manufacturing or scientific facilities and the like – for your own health, safety and welfare and those of your colleagues, occupiers and the public.
- There may also be opportunities during trips to arrive earlier or depart later so as to meet family and friends, do business, make further visits in London and to other parts of UK.
- And if all else fails – try to apply sound project management in organising and undertaking your trips – to hit the targets, secure success and reap the benefits.