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Project Management

Some things never change – the management of UK government major projects

The Select Committee Interim Report on the management of major projects makes a good point that capital projects are not a goal in themselves; it’s delivering benefits that really matters. It says “too little attention is paid to whether these benefits are actually realised. More systematic scrutiny of the extent to which projects achieve the anticipated benefits is required.

The report makes a few other important points, none of which are new:

  • The issue of Civil Service capability is one that the Committee has addressed in previous reports. Project delivery has been one of the areas prioritised for improvement.
  • Progress can be undermined by excessive churn on project teams. There have been improvements in reducing churn, but it remains a concern.
  • Political pressure can sometimes circumscribe scrutiny and assurance frameworks. That will lead to projects that are poorly conceived and delivered.

Projects classified either Red or Amber/Red have been increasing both in number and as a proportion of the Government’s Major Projects Portfolio. The number of projects classified Green has also fallen from over 40% of the projects when the GMPP was established in 2013 to fewer than 20%.
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201920/cmselect/cmpubadm/303/30302.htm

Read more about my support for building project management capability.

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