December 2016 UK Project Management Round Up


Looking back at projects and project management in UK in 2016; News in November: APM Charter approval, Brexit update, Jaguar’s new plant and big cost growth for Sellafield project

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK


As this is my last report for the year, I thought I would look back at 2016 to see how well the Project World has coped with the vicissitudes of the year past.  However, I see that I did something similar in the January edition where I tried to put a brave spin on the events scheduled to occur and to look at the bright side.  I have long been concerned that we take too bleak a look at our work, or rather, we allow the Press to do that on our behalf.  So I wanted to do what I could to look at the more positive side of projects, portfolios and programmes.  If there is any space left we can look at some of the recent news.

January – this was a real cop out report with both a forward and backward look at the UK project scene.  I noted, in particular, the launch of the Infrastructure Project Authority (IPA) which replaced the Major Projects Authority (MPA and not to be confused with the Major Projects Association, also MPA) which had been formed in 2010 and the Infrastructure UK which had started work in 2011.  The thought in everyone’s mind – or at least mine – was that this is good housekeeping, replacing two similar supervising bodies with one.  Their jobs were the same and reports remain in the public domain, oversight is still rigorous and the cost burden should be lower.

The good news of the month was the announcement that the Association for Project Management (APM) Research Programme had got off to a good start and applications for the newly announced funding scheme were coming in well and the range of topics looked to be both challenging and worthwhile.

February – saw a nostalgic look at the many world famous rock and pop personalities who had died.  Apart from the enjoyment they brought, much of their work was conducted by projects, whether they knew that or not.  Cultural projects were very much in evidence as the Stonehenge Tunnel project, rat elimination programme in the South Atlantic and university expansion projects all hit the headlines.  It was difficult to justify a claim that the news was uniformly good but optimists like me saw benefit in the tunnel, improvements to the survival chances of magnificent seabirds, and a welcome boost to students and the firms working on the new university projects.  Other news in February covered Defence projects where the news was distinctly not good!

March – returned to the themes of power supply, infrastructure transport and construction, all of which provide a major part of the UK project portfolio.  The first two topics were a major theme throughout the year as the decision on new nuclear provision dominated the public consciousness.  Transport projects, or rather portfolios, in the form of High Speed 2 and new highways projects also attracted a lot of attention.


To read entire report, click here



About the Author


Salisbury, UK

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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/.