August 2018 UK Project Management Round Up

Old Projects, Ethical Issues, New Projects, Professional Societies & What can we do about Global Warming?



By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK



It’s not only the height of the Silly Season but also high summer so this is a pretty lightweight edition of what is happening in the Project World in UK.  The usual suspects, BREXIT, new nuclear and the like are still with us, but I see no reason to spoil what has turned out to be a splendid summer with gloomy tales so instead we will look at what the professional societies are up to.  Before that, we can take a quick view of some new projects in the pipeline and reflect on some older ones


First up is Stonehenge – as the earliest British project is just a few miles up the road from me, I always take a close interest in developments.  The current post project report indicates that we should be looking at a post program review (note spelling, we always used to use this form in the old days) as the Henge was apparently developed in a series of projects over a very long period.  Enough of the hair splitting, the big news is that shortly after completion of the final phase (well, a few hundred years or so) there was a major population change.  Despite the evidence in this picture (right) the Henge was not built in the 1920’s, this particular project conserved the Henge in the mid-1950s and resolved some the unanswered questions arising from Colonel Hawley’s excavations some 30 years earlier.  (Photo courtesy of English Heritage)

Latest reports on the ‘original’ project team inform us that they were Celts, or at least some were, as DNA analysis of cremated burials on the site indicate that some were from the region where the stones were quarried – some 200 miles away on the Pembroke, South Wales.  The first major population shift in Britain happened very quickly, for reasons unconnected with BREXIT but no doubt was one of the factors that caused the resentment behind the vote to leave.  The in-comers were lighter skinned and blue of eye, clearly identifiable as foreign!

Another ‘old’ project but not quite so ancient is the TSB IT failure that continues to attract adverse comment.  Perhaps this is just a last grab before the summer break, but Members of Parliament have had a pop at TSB over the length of time its report into the cut over breakdown will take.  TSB hired a law firm, one of the so—called “magic circle” to investigate.  Not unnaturally, this firm will take some time, probably another year, to complete its investigation and compile a report, by which time many MPs will have forgotten the whole affair.  Some might dismiss MP’s criticism as a case of the pot calling the kettle black given the poor progress and lack of decision making over the revamp of the Houses of Parliament but others may think that despite the need for an independent inquiry, it might have been sensible to call in professional project managers – and the Association for Project Management and British Computer Society could certainly help here.  Losses attributed to the fiasco run to £176 million – so far, and that does not take account of reputation damage.

New Nuclear is never far from the headlines and the latest press reports centre on financial issues.  The latest points to abandoning the project unless a buyer can be found.  All this is a result of the bankruptcy of Westinghouse and the reluctance of South Korean firm Kepco to buy into the project.  Like the Chinese, Kepco see the UK nuclear build as a way of validating their reactor design and thus improving the sales opportunities.  Toshiba, the current project owners, have reputedly spent several hundred million £ on preliminary work.


To read entire report, click here


How to cite this report: Shepherd, M. (2018).  August 2018 UK Project Management Roundup, PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue VIII – August.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Shepherd-UK-Project-Management-Roundup.pdf


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 and a Fellow 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/.