Rob Konings is a NAS member who is based in the Netherlands but often crosses over to the UK for our training courses. This was not necessary for our recent Archaeological Project Management course as Rob just dialled in and enjoyed a day of online learning with more storytelling than he expected. He writes about his experience here - 

Stories have had the most influence on my fascination with underwater archaeology. First are the stories of other volunteer archaeologists. What they have experienced? What drives them? Secondly, what has been discovered? What is on the sonar or multibeam image? What is the wooden construction that you see (or can only feel because visibility is nil!)? And this often concerns apparent ambiguities; you must have a comprehensive plan and be flexible; it is a team effort, and a bundling of individual skills. Ultimately, this all results in stories, including the research results and personal learning experiences.


Image: Rob Konings (centre) planning a dive in the field

Anybody who is familiar with Ian Cundy of the Malvern Archaeological Diving Unit, knows that when you look for stories, you are in good company. This Saturday he managed to tell us stories for a whole day long (from 10 am until 5pm GMT) based on just five words: Design - Plan - Deliver - Analyze - Reflect. All with the aim to give us more knowledge and skills for better maritime archaeological project management.


Image: Screenshot of the five stages of project management.

Ian drew on the many practical examples in which he played a decisive role as project manager. Not so much by leading or to aim high. But by running the (ambitious) show and at the same time be prepared to accept advice and not to be an overachiever. 

By a practical, step-by-step interactive presentation, Ian led us  through the process of maritime archaeological project management. Beginning at the high-level stages of Design, Planning, Delivery, Analyze and Reflect. These five categories were peeled off one at a time.

During his lectures Ian invited and challenged us to apply the shared lessons to our own maritime archaeological projects.


Image: Course attendees and computer and management book

For me it was a great way to sharpen my saw, and reflect critically on my own project management skills and know how to work on my own strengths. 

The main lessons for me:

       Don’t rush headlong into a project, but plan properly to prevent pitifuly poor performance

       Include others, build a strong team, and delegate.

And above always, aim to have your glass half full. Cheers!

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