February 2021 UK Project Management Round Up


Good news (New research institute at Oxford, HS2, COLKa, Greengauge 21 proposal, an Environmental snippet), Bad News (HS2, Defence projects, PM education), BREXIT, International view, Wildlife projects and Goats for Zoom calls


By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK



Well here we are, a month into the New Year, and I’m already reviewing my resolutions for the year.  Many years ago, I made a resolution not to make any more New Year’s Resolutions – and I have resolutely stuck to that ever since, so I can report that I have been successful for another year!

Less easy to address has been the Project World and what is going on in this newly independent post BREXIT state.  The major topics from last year have not gone away so I’ll mention them plus I have decided to include a new section to join the Good News, Bad News and Closing Remarks so you can expect something that reflects our new found freedom – International View.


The first bit of good news comes from the BREXIT camp – the sky has not fallen in on the country as soon as we left the European Union.  True, there have been a few problems and I’ll come back to those shortly but by and large, life has carried on much as normal.

New Research Institute. The second bit of good news is a £100 million to Oxford University by INEOS, the chemicals giant who also do a good line in sporting sponsorship.  They fund a professional cycling team (think Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas) and their Americas Cup project under Sir Ben Ainslie.  This donation is to establish a new research institute to deal with the most pressing of medical issues – resistance to antibiotics.  It’s been more than 25 years since the last “new” class of antibiotics has been introduced and many infections such as MRSA are resistant to the current crop.  So this is a world class problem with as many as 1.5 people annually are affected – and they usually die. annually from strains of resistant bacteria.  This will be a major programme and is scheduled to run for 5 years on this donation.

High Speed 2 (HS2) figures twice in the good news section.  First, its archeologists have discovered one of the best preserved ornamental gardens at Coleshill Manor in Warwickshire.  According to archaeologists, it dates from the 16th Century and has been compared to similar gardens at Hampton Court and Kenilworth Castle.  Thought to have been commissioned by Sir Robert Digby, excavations by Wessex Archaeology discovered the manor house and large gardens, measuring 300m (984ft) from end to end, which date from the decades either side of 1600.  Project Officer Stuart Pierson said it was a “once in a career opportunity” to work on it.  “Evidence of expansive formal gardens of national significance and hints of connections to Elizabeth I and the [English] Civil War provide us with a fascinating insight into the importance of Coleshill and its surrounding landscape,” he said.

COLKa is the Columbus KA-band Terminal, a British development to improve communications between the International space Station (ISS) and scientists on Earth.  Almost one year ago, the system was launched aboard the NG-13 Commercial Resupply Mission.  Two NASA astronauts took part in a spacewalk in January in order to mount this British piece of technology on the International Space Station (ISS), marking the first significant technological contribution made by the United Kingdom to the spacecraft, it is also a marker for the UKSA long term strategy of collaboration and international contribution.  Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “This mission to install pioneering UK-built technology in space exemplifies how government backing is helping our most innovative companies push the boundaries of what we can achieve in space as well as back home on Earth.”

COLKa installed after long in space work programme.  Image: NASA

Designed, developed and integrated by MDA’s UK division (MDA Space and Robotics Limited, Maxar Technologies) and funded by the UK Space Agency, European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. Additional contributions in the development of critical subsystems have also been made by Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace and Antwerp Space.


To read entire report, click here

How to cite this report: Shepherd, M. (2021).  UK Project Management Roundup, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/pmwj102-Feb2021-Shepherd-UK-project-management-roundup-report.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, Vice President 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 was 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.  Miles is Chair of the British Standards Institute’s Committee on Project, Programme and Portfolio Management and has been involved in the development of Uk’s BSI 6079 for more than 25 years.  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/