January 2024 UK Project Management Round Up


Looking Back, BREXIT, Looking Ahead,

Other Causes for Optimism, AI, Leftovers,

British Baked Beans and a God for Project Managers



By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent
Salisbury, England, UK



Here we are at the start of January, a new year ahead and a hard working year behind us.  As most readers will know, January is named after the ancient Roman god, Janus.  He has the distinction of being variously, and presumably not all at the same time, the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, frames, and endings.  Right now, I’ll just take it that he is looking forward and back but will return to his other attributes later as I feel he represents the PM profession rather neatly.  Looking back will briefly recall the successes of 2023 and looking forward covers what we think 2024 brings us.


My report this time last year tried to look forward and back so perhaps I should start by looking at how successful my efforts turned out.  In a word, my forecasts were few and not very accurate.

The main event of the year was the formal transfer of governance to HM King Charles III.  This was accomplished with much fanfare through the Coronation.  This portfolio of projects was successfully conducted as many readers will have seen on TV.  The management of the procession alone was a complex project (see image left, Royal Airforce Contingent negotiating Admiralty Arch).  The military aspect is highly symbolic as the UK Armed Forces owe their allegiance to the Crown, not the Government. (Image courtesy RAF Website)

We also covered a range of pharma and medical project successfully concluded in the year and this successful trend continued in 2023, particularly in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of cancers.  I am also glad to recall that there were also many international successes such as progress to eliminate malaria and polio continue to make progress.

My optimistic reporting of progress by Virgin Orbit and their proposed launch of a satellite proved just that.  The launch from fledgling Spaceport in Cornwall was successful but an unexpected failure at an altitude of about 180km, the upper stage experienced an anomaly which “prematurely ended” the first burn.  All 6 satellites aboard were lost, and the failure ultimately led to the closure of the form with a personal loss to owner Sir Richard Branson of some £1.5 bn.

Image: The Times

The other feature from that report was about terraforming and the role of worms in mankind’s occupation of distant planets.  Sadly, this innovative approach received little further attention in space industry.  No redundancies among the worm workforce have been reported.


To read entire report, click here

How to cite this report: Shepherd, M. (2024). Project Management Roundup from the UK, report, PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/pmwj137-Jan2024-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.  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/.