January 2018 UK Project Management Round Up

Looking Back and Looking Forward at Projects and Project Management in UK


By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK



Picture courtesy of Creative

Because it is January, and January is named after Janus, the Roman god of doors and gates, I thought we would look forward to what is coming in 2018 and back at 2017.   As you know, Janus looks forward and back but what you might not know is that in ancient Roman times, the year began in March.

I’ve missed a couple of reports recently, not because nothing has happened in the project world in UK, but because I have been wrapped up in two personal projects, the first is in its closing phase as I have just handed in my M Res dissertation and the second, for which I am only the sponsor is at a critical stage.  Both have taught me a great deal, the first about Bodies of Knowledge and the second about what a difficult job the sponsor faces.  In my case, the PM requires support but not direct interference.  It’s a good thing we don’t have any other house remodeling tasks lined up – it is very wearing when your wife is the PM!

And so on with the report.  The one constant theme from last year and the next is BREXIT.  We have been through all the hoo-ha of allowing ourselves to trigger the exit notification and much of the negotiations but there is still a lot of work to do and not much time to do it in.  We still have some people demanding another referendum on the exit notion and other wanting to vote on the exit terms.  There are times when it seems that people do not stop and think.  And that is all I will say about BREXIT for this report.


Normally I’d start my review in January but as I did not report this time last year, I will skip a month except to say that January saw the only Leap Second (we added a second to our year by retiming Big Ben) I have ever known.  Details were in the February PMWJ report.

February was notable for reports on corruption involving UK firms and government departments.  Reports came thick and fast despite the Anti-Corruption Summit in London in Dev 2016.  This was a topic that did not go away – see April’s report.

One of the other major topics to emerge was problems with contract management for major projects.  There have been several embarrassing incidents, typically involving the nuclear clean-up work.  The example examined this month was the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency’s handling of the Cavandish Flour Partnership contracts.  This problem reemerged later in the year – see October’s report.

March saw good news about Stonehenge, the tunnel routes were announced.  Our leaders had a taste of project management as Members of Parliament started to think about a new home while Palace of Westminster undergoes a £multi-billion renovation.

On the less good news front, doubts about the proposed Garden Bridge across the Thames were emerging – the project was eventually canceled in August.

April brings my only mention of BREXIT in this report but I could not omit the announcement that Article 50 of the Treaty of Rome was approved by Parliament and the Prime Minister formally notified the European Union that we would be leaving.  The clock began ticking – is this a programme?

Mixed reports emerged about corruption in UK – one paper claiming UK to be the most corrupt country in world but another – back in January we were reported to be the least corrupt country in the world.

But the big news was that APM became the Chartered Body for PM in UK.  I was privileged to attend the unveiling of the Royal Charter and to hear about the exciting work ahead.  This was particularly gratifying as I had started work on the feasibility of the project back in 2003 while was Chairman.


To read entire report, click here


About the Author

Miles Shepherd

Salisbury, UK




Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World Journal in the United Kingdom. He is also managing director for MS Projects Ltd, a consulting company supporting various UK and overseas Government agencies, nuclear industry organisations and other businesses.  Miles has over 30 years’ experience on a variety of projects in UK, Eastern Europe and Russia.  His PM experience includes defence, major IT projects, decommissioning of nuclear reactors, nuclear security, rail and business projects for the UK Government and EU.   Past Chair and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM), Miles is also past president and chair of the International Project Management Association (IPMA).  He is currently a Director for PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and is immediate past Chair of the ISO committee developing new international standards for Project Management and for Program/Portfolio Management.  He was involved in setting up APM’s team developing guidelines for project management oversight and governance.  Miles is based in Salisbury, England and can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/.