Ian McDowall

United Kingdom
Head of Delivery
Ian McDowall
"I have a particular interest in the delivery and management of complex projects and how these can be best structured and managed to deliver value to organisations and users."

I'm Head of Delivery for Foolproof, leading and supporting our team of Delivery professionals across a wide range of projects and programmes. 

I have a particular interest in the delivery and management of complex projects and how these can be best structured and managed to deliver value to organisations and users. I believe strongly that many projects are inadvertently set up for failure on day one through poor planning and an overall lack of understanding of their users, stakeholders and constraints.

To manage this we need to understand and address the things we can change upfront, and acknowledge, monitor and influence those that we can’t. By then providing a robust delivery framework and realistic planning we can set up our teams for success, and through ongoing support, guidance and management we can work with our colleagues and clients to successfully deliver the project benefits.

I’ve been working in digital project and programme delivery since the mid '90s for a number of leading integrated and technical agencies, with significant time spent in the WPP and Interpublic global networks. I’ve held senior management and leadership roles across delivery, operations, technology and business development, as well as gaining hands on experience delivering global digital platforms and transformational programmes.

I’ve worked across a wide range of sectors and clients including Intel, Microsoft, Vodafone, UK Government, Médecins Sans Frontières, Penguin Random House, GSK, Novozymes, Boden, Selfridges, Chelsea FC, and RAC.

I have an interest in ‘agile’ and adaptive delivery methods, yet am keen that the project environment, organisational risk appetite, and client culture ultimately dictates the delivery method. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and no substitute for ongoing pragmatism and adaptation - managing projects is essentially about managing change. 

Professionally, I’m a Chartered Engineer and Chartered IT Professional with an Undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master’s degrees in Software Development and Technology Management. I’m also an invited speaker on Project Management at Birkbeck, University of London, which is a great way to put me on the spot in front of rooms filled with clever people.

Outside of work, I live in London with my wife and three daughters on top of a hill in a draughty Victorian house. I seem to spend most of my time draught-proofing, arguing with the girls about politics, and running ethernet cables behind skirting boards. I also like to bore people in pubs about my steadily expanding collection of unreliable old motorbikes, which is probably why I cycle to work.