60 seconds with: Niall Murphy

Business, Interviews | Tue 11 Apr | Author – Business & Finance Niall Murphy

Niall Murphy, president of the Ireland chapter of Project Management Institute and Software Development senior manager at Oracle, takes the Business & Finance 60-second challenge.


Q. What was your first job?

I started off delivering newspapers in my neighbourhood. I got up really early to complete my rounds and enjoyed the fact I had earned my money before arriving at school.

Later, I discovered other people got paid more for doing similar work in another areas.

So, I did a few things: I negotiated a better rate, got more streets to deliver to, then engaged my younger brother to do part of the route. That job was a lesson and every bit as useful as what I learned at school.

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

Personally, I think it was to help raise our children as best as I could.

Professionally, I get a great kick out of working on global technology projects.

There is huge sense of satisfaction in completing a project successfully and delivering millions to the bottom line at the same time.

I particularly like working on complex projects involving a lot of stakeholders – tough to deliver, but very satisfying when you do. 

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My wife, who worked as a financial journalist at the time, advised me to sell shares at the height of the dot-com boom.

I sold at the peak and was very glad I took that advice.

Q. What’s your motto?

Actions speak louder than words. 

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one businessperson for the day, who would it be and why?

One of the Collison brothers. It would be great to experience the heady mix of business and technology in one of the most exciting companies in Silicon Valley. Their world encompasses areas that I’m passionately interested in: product design, software development, business management, delivering projects and satisfying customers.

Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?

Veni, vidi, vici.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

I like to foster a sense of curiosity. It’s about constantly educating yourself about things outside your area of work and always looking for something that could be applicable to your own business. I encourage my staff to engage in professional communities such as the Ireland chapter of Project Management Institute.

Q. How do you relax?

Cycling with my friends at the weekend. We cycle for a few hours, with lots of mountains and occasional cups of tea and scones. It’s a wonderful mix of sociability and exercise.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?

To grow the project management community in Ireland. The Ireland chapter of PMI’s annual national conference takes place this year on May 4th at the Aviva Stadium, and is about recognising the benefits that good project management delivers for organisations.

There is huge sense of satisfaction in completing a project successfully and delivering millions to the bottom line at the same time

THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’

Niall Murphy is the president of the Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute, which will hold its largest national conference to date on May 4th at the Aviva Stadium.

With the theme, ‘Challenge in Changing Times’, the conference will see some of the country’s top experts in project leadership discuss the uncertainty of today’s economy, specifically regarding Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Speakers include Cathriona Hallahan, the managing director of Microsoft Ireland, who will speak on ‘Leadership in Changing Times and Féilim Harvey, a partner in PwC heading up their Portfolio and Programme Management Practice in Ireland.

Membership of the Ireland chapter of PMI is almost 1,200 and currently there are over 50,000 employed in project management across Ireland, in sectors such as IT, public sector, construction, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.