January 2023 UK Project Management Round Up


What does 2023 hold for the PM World?

Governance, Pharma and Medical Projects,

Aerospace, Terraforming and Wormonauts



By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK


Welcome to another year!  We have managed to stagger around our Sun and surprisingly, we are back where we started from, more or less.  OK, I know that astronomically we’re slightly off last year’s precise start point (and now we can measure the difference with much more precision, thanks to a spectacular project) but close enough for Government work.

My reports are usually retrospective and occasionally reflective.  I bring together stories about projects and try to link themes and see if we Project Managers (the real PMs) can either learn something or improve our understanding.  Just for a change, I’m going to look forward, rather like Back to the Future, to see what we might have in store for some of the major project domains such as Pharma and themes such as future technology.  You might notice some cinematic themes, too.

So – what does the New Year hold for the Project World in 2023?


Image:  Danny Lawson Pool Photo via AP

 Top Level Governance; Let’s start with probably the most fundamental aspect of good PM – governance.  Clearly this topic Is not unique to project management and perhaps we forget that there is a well-established national governance framework.  It’s called the legal system.  In UK this starts with the establishment of the State itself and its personification in the Crown.  Many readers in the wider world will have noticed the transfer of power from Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to her son, King Charles III.  This was not a project as such, more a programme that began with Her Majesty’s funeral that started with the royal funeral and will end in May when the Coronation takes place.  The ceremonial aspects were clearly planned as a collection of related projects with a flexible date range but a set sequence.  Detailed plans were made for each project, taking account of locations, time of the year and other specific factors.  These plans were updated regularly – classic examples of contingency planning.  The next project in the programme is the Coronation, planned for early May.

St Edward’s Crown     Image: Getty Images

This will be a high-profile event with many visiting Heads of State, complex ceremonials and extensive media coverage.  One of the early tasks has been the re-sizing of the crowns.  I understand that dress hire is not possible so physical modification of St Edward’s Crown began at the start of December last year.  A version of this crown has been part of the coronations of English and British monarchs since the 13th Century.  This version was made in 1661 for King Charles II, replacing the medieval crown that was melted down after the execution of his father, Charles 1 in 1649.

Domain Governance: or the rules established to manage particular aspects of commercial life are set up by the UK Government and we have had some interesting developments as 2022 closed.  First, all laws established in compliance with European Union legislation will automatically be rescinded.  Many laws will be retained, particularly those relating to specific products such as motor cars.  Others, such as those relating to pension funds and some financial products remain challenging, particularly as compliance may be linked to unresolved political problems such as the Irish Border, the Good Friday Agreement and commercial interests.  Some of these may be managed in the so-called BREXIT bill which has been rescheduled several times, the most recent last month, to allow for negotiations to complete.  The bill is due to be presented in the House of Lords but no date has been set.  The bill is thought to enable unilateral abrogation of some aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol such as border check, long regarded as excessive.  The Bill is controversial both within UK and Europe.


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How to cite this report: Shepherd, M. (2023). Project Management Roundup from the UK, report, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/pmwj125-Jan2023-Shepherd-UK-Regional-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.  His consulting work has taken him to Japan, Taiwan, USA and Russia.  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 was, for seven years, 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 is currently Chairman of the British Standards Institute project management committee.  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/.