Christian Carter

Projects support and services group manager, Transpower

Transpower says Christian Carter’s performance has been key to the company’s project management office being rated one of the top performers in New Zealand.

Christian Carter, project support and services group manager, achieved this in the midst of the company’s largest ever capital investment programme, in which more than $5 billion has been invested across 60 capital works programmes. Of those, the $672 million Pole 3 project, and the $894 million North Island Grid Upgrade project were commissioned during the past year.

Transpower says Christian has been critical to ensuring the company had the capability to effectively manage and deliver those projects successfully. It says he transformed the project management office over the past four years, to the point that it is now also supporting Transpower’s maintenance works and information services and technology arms.

Key initiatives included implementing a project management framework, designing and developing a technical development programme for programme and project managers, and creating a programme and project management competency framework.

Performance indicators

Proof of Christian’s performance is that all of his team’s internal KPIs have been consistently met and exceeded.

Transpower made a commitment to the Commerce Commission that it would deliver a number of business improvement initiatives during the regulatory control period between April 2011 and March 2015.

They included having all project managers and project-based resources certified by the Project Management Institute. Programme managers were also to be certified to practitioner level in managing successful programmes, and project management competency and maturity was to be improved throughout the organisation.

The team led by Christian successfully delivered these commitments by April 2013 – two years ahead of target. As at March 31, 105 project managers had gained certification under Christian’s guidance, while the pass rate under Christian is 95 per cent. And the project management office now fulfils an organisation-wide support function.

Getting the best out of people is a key skill of Christian, who has developed a mentoring programme for new programme/project managers. He has shared his knowledge through the Communication Leadership Programme, which is aimed at improving innovation, problem solving and communication skills amongst Transpower’s leaders.

Now, he is closely involved with the reorganisation of Transpower’s Grid Projects division as it moves out of the large capital build programme into a new chapter.

The Young Energy Executive of the Year award is sponsored by ABB.