April 2019 UK Project Management Round Up

Big Ben, Autonomous Ships, the UK Space Race, Lessons Learned (really), BREXIT, Cricket, a Stiff Upper Lip and more



By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK




I had hoped to be writing about new projects, successful projects and lessons learned from both project success and failure.  However, as those of you who follow the news from UK will already know, we are in a state of crisis as politicians fail to come to grips with reality.  Much as I dislike the situation, it does require comment, particularly as there are lessons to be learned for project professionals.  That said, there is still proper news of projects.


That symbol of Britain, Big Ben, has partly emerged from it’s wrapping after a year long restoration project.  The North Face is resplendent in gold but the hands and numerals are now in their original shade of blue, after many years in black.  Further goods news comes as the St George’s Shields at the top of the clock are reputed to be returning to their original white and red.  The £61 million project is scheduled for completion in 2021.

Big Ben repinted – Splash News

The Department of Transport has unveiled plans to deal with the plague of potholes on British roads – hoorah!  Some £23 million is being set aside for research that will ‘future-proof’ our roads.  According to press reports, about £1.6 million will go to extend a trial that uses recycled plastic to form a robust surface that is resistant to break up.  Other bright ideas are to use kinetic energy generated by cars driving over plates that drive flywheels to generate power and using thermal energy to prevent roads freezing.

Drone technology is being applied to shipping.  Plans have been released following legislation for ‘enhanced testing’.  Autonomous vessels have been launched previously but the Ministry is trying to increase the take up of this technology as part of the strategic intent of running significantly more freight using autonomous freight technology by 2030.

Autonomous Ship – Rolls Royce concept

The UK space race is hotting up.  This might surprise some readers but we have a National Space Agency which has just released its report on the wider benefits of space investments for the UK economy (see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-wider-benefits-of-space-investments-for-the-uk-economy for details.  However, as previously reported, we also have plans for a space port.  Provisionally based at A’Moine in the extreme north west of Scotland, the Government awarded £30 million in 2018 to develop Space Hub Sunderland.  However, a rival has entered the race as Shetland Space Centre (SSC) emerged as a contender as it announced a joint deal with ArianeGroup, the French aerospace group.  Based at Unst, at former RAF Saxa Vord on Unst, UK’smost northerly island


To read entire report, click here


How to cite this report: Shepherd, M. (2019).  April 2019 UK Project Management Roundup, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue III (April).  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/pmwj80-Apr2019-Shepherd-UK-Project-Management-Round-Up2.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 miles.shepherd@msp-ltd.co.uk.

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/.