Cultural Domain, Wildlife Projects and more

Cultural Domain, Wildlife Project Success, Education Projects, Defence Projects, Project People, Other Project News


UK Project Management Round Up

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK


The year is barely a month old yet there are many interesting developments in the project world and beyond. One striking feature of January has nothing to do with project but I draw your attention to the loss of many very famous and not so well known pop stars in January. Unless you live off grid, it is inconceivable that you missed the passing of David Bowie. A great innovator and adept at using psychology to change his delivery style, Bowie transformed the world of pop music – a feat similar to the delivery of a major programme. Less influential but much loved in their day are stars such as Glen Frey of The Eagles, Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane and Dale Griffiths of Mott the Hoople. The modern Project Manager might enjoy the music representative of these stars but should also look at how they led their fans and delivered value to them.

On a more prosaic level, there is news of defence projects, some projects in the cultural domain, academic projects and wildlife programmes.


Stonehenge in WiltshireA project local to my base is the proposed tunnel to bypass Stonehenge (pictured left). The Government has proposed a £15 billion project to remove the traffic that runs past the Stones along the A303 and to help alleviate the congestion on this main road from London to the West Country. The plan involves a 1.8 mile long tunnel past Stonehenge.

The £17.5M contract with Highways England will see the joint venture between Atkins and Arup develop options to take to public consultation and ultimately a preferred route for the tunnel. Highways Agency Project Manager Andrew Alcorn leads the first stage to open up a major pinch point on the long distance route to the South West.

The contract award was welcomed by the local Member of Parliament, John Glenn, but there is extensive opposition to the tunneling plan. Local residents seek a route that leads traffic away from the Stones and does not involve a tunnel, a virtually impossible task despite the desire to avoid damage to the rich archeology of the area. A route that links up with options to by-pass Salisbury and other local high traffic density areas seems more likely.


One of the major problems in conservation is the impact of invasive species on local environments. In UK we have major problems with American Grey Squirrels which carry diseases that our native Red variety have no immunity to and Signal crayfish that are crowding out their smaller British cousins. And it is not just animals that cause problems: Japanese Knotweed causes extensive damage to roads, buildings, river banks and buried infrastructure, and is almost impossible to eradicate. Similarly plants such as Himalayan Balsam, rhododendrons and the like cause ecological damage.

In the face of such seemingly intractable problems, it comes as a pleasant surprise that invasive species that predate birds in the Sothern Atlantic have been eliminated. South Georgia is a British Overseas Territory with a huge population of elephant seals, penguins of various varieties and more than 50 million albatrosses, petrels and prions. The island was once a whaling station and visiting ships brought rats to the island while the company that ran the whale station introduced deer to provide meat. Both these species cause damage to the environment: rats predate the cliff nests while the deer consume the vegetation.


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About the Author


Salisbury, UK




Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World 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 Director of PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and the 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/.