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UK Project Management Round Up

REPORT

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK
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INTRODUCTION

For many UK residents, we are in the middle of what is known as the ‘Silly Season’ – where little happens, secondary schools are on vacation and the newspapers can find little to talk about.  For those of us concerned with the project world, such frivolities rarely occur and there is still much going on.  July has seen extensive coverage of the PM profession in the quality press, further criticism of government and public sector projects by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, particularly the High Speed 2 programme.

On a more positive note, it is now exactly a year since one of the major project related successes took place – the London Olympic Games.  The debate about its legacy rumbles one but there are many useful lessons learned in addition to the financial and social aspects.  Further good news comes from the research world and we also have a reminder of the interconnectedness of major projects. And as always, there are further developments in energy projects.

Press Coverage

We have seen major coverage of project management in two major national newspapers.  First, the Daily Telegraph produced a supplement, sponsored by several big players in the project related commercial sector, with case studies on recent major projects such as the Shard, change management in government,  communications at Heathrow, risk management and the BBC restructuring.  Also commenting was Terry Cooke Davies, well known as a world class researcher as well as an expert in portfolio management and corporate PM.  The supplement was sponsored by PMI in a major investment in raising its fairly low UK profile.  The Association for Project Management was also well represented with comments from APM CEO Andrew Bragg.

Less than a month later, the Times included an independent supplement by Raconteur, a special interest media company with a reputation for addressing a wide range of business issues and trends.  The lead article hit hard on the shortage of project managers and specialist functional specialists such as risk analysts, schedulers and planners.  Special mention was made of APM’s efforts to have project management formally recognized as a profession and the progress to date with an informative interview with APM Chair Mike Nichols explaining the strap line ‘All projects Succeed’. .

Also featured was an interesting interview on women project management with Carol Bell, who played an important role in the Eden Project and is currently the senior principal project manager at the City of London.  There was also discussion of sustainable project management, risk management, recruitment issues and leadership.  Overall, a very good presentation of PM to the business world!

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About the Author

flag-ukMILES-SHEPHERDMILES SHEPHERD

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 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].