Tom Docker, our story





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Tom Docker, our story

Thomas DockerTom Docker - co-founder of CITI in 1992 - died recently and suddenly in New Zealand while hiking. He had retired, with his wife Val, to Richmond in Nelson, New Zealand a few years ago, where he read, relaxed and painted.

I am not an historian, and this is not a history; just my memories of working with Tom as we built CITI, engineered ideas about how to make project management a valued discipline in UK plc, and fought for technological supremacy: PC versus MAC.

It might have been 1988 when we first met. Cranfield Information Technology Institute was struggling for its identity - caught between being a private university and an entrepreneurial education and consultancy business. Within 3 years, during which we worked through a rapid series of changes in ownership, first ButlerCox with its innovative Foundation club, then CSC Index with its drive into business process re-engineering, we implemented a management buy-out.

So there we were, a private university (recognised as such via the Education Act 1984), with an active MSc programme, a passion to develop project management capability, five members in the company, and two clients. It was 1992, we had become CITI, and we set to!

Many CITI alumni and past delegates will have encountered Tom as he led workshops and courses on every aspect of IT-driven project management. And if they did, they remembered him. He was funny - with an ultra-dry sense of humour. He was concerned and took great pains to make sure what was done was done right - and was done well.

For those of us who worked with him and had him review our work, will also know that he single-handedly restored the comma to its previous pre-eminence, as he fairly peppered the text with them - pointing out the important difference they made to intelligibility!

When the credit crunch hit the UK and CITI he was unflinching in his support to Jane and I as we worked to maintain CITI as a going concern and all that that entailed and that commitment paid off, with CITI emerging financially secure and successful. Of course that experience changed things, and Tom supported the moves the company had to make. First to encourage and achieve significance in the accredited training organisation market place for project management training, and then CITI's move into its current position of provider of capability development for organisations involved in change.

Tom will be missed. If you knew him, then perhaps over your next cup of coffee (he hated tea!) or perhaps a beer or a wine, you might like to say, "Hi and goodbye to Tom".

Patrick BoulterChristopher Worsley, CEO
Jane Marshall-Nichols, COO

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