July 2021 UK Project Management Round Up


Professional Society News, National Flagship, Project Progress (Archway Project, NHS Central Database, Mayflower AI Project, Branson Space Flight Project, Bezos cash injection in Fusion Project), Power station shutdown due to jelly fish, Axelos bought by Peoplesoft, and Magawa the Hero Rat retires


By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK


I had hoped there would be a change in the dynamic at Chateau Shepherd this month as the Press were blathering on about Freedom Day.  A day to do anything you like sounded good but the media actually meant freedom from COVID restrictions.  Clearly, they were not looking at the numbers – we Project Managers do look at the data and understand what we see.  I’m sure you agree with this assessment of our core skill set.  Anyhow, time for a change so this month, I’m looking at what the professional societies are up to, the start of a project for a national flagship, news about some UK projects and a few other tidbits.

Professional Society News

The Association for Project Management (APM) has announced that Professor Adam Boddison, has been appointed by APM’s Board of trustees and will officially join APM in September, taking over from departing chief executive Debbie Dore who stepped down at the end of June.

Prof Boddison (pictured) is currently chief executive at charitable membership organisation nasen (the National Association for Special Educational Needs), a position he has held since 2015. He has also served as director of the Centre for Professional Education, University of Warwick, and holds non-executive director roles with various educational organisations.

In his role as chief executive at APM, he will lead the organisation in delivering its strategy and vision.

Debbie Dore joined APM in 2015 and held the roles of chief commercial officer and chief operating officer before becoming CEO in 2018. She led the organisation through periods of significant change, including establishing APM as a chartered body and navigating the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.  Her career journey has seen her work for Thames Television, Oxford University Press and as a member of the board at Swets Information Services, delivering global transformation projects across sales, IT and customer service. Debbie has also served as a non-executive director for UKSG, a membership organisation connecting the knowledge community, and as a volunteer for Inspiring Future Careers.

Another recent arrival at APM is Andrew Baldwin who has stepped into the role of Head of Public Affairs in May.  Andrew joins the CEO’s Office at APM and is busy building a list of specialists to help get APM’s messages to a wide audience.  This is seen as particularly important as the country emerges from the ravages of the COVID 19 pandemic – and we’re not yet out of the woods yet!

This is election time, not nationally but at APM – Specific Interest Group Committee and Branch Management committee elections opened and closed this month with some results announced as we were closing for press.  Members can see results at the APM website (www.APM.org.uk).

National Flagship

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Our Illustrious Leader (OIL to avoid confusing him with a real PM) told an overjoyed nation that a new national flagship is to be commissioned in a bid to boost British trade and industry globally.  The vessel will be the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was retired in 1997.  The ship is to be built in UK, at a reported cost of £200m.  Given the successes of previous Government estimates (think Test and trace @ £32 bn) this can be considered a first stab and one that will be wildly under the real cost.

Those who recollect the last Royal Yacht will know that HM The Queen used it very effectively in her exercise of soft power but those times are now far behind us.  Few potential trading partners are likely to be impressed by a floating gin palace, especially one not used by our Monarch.

Mock-up of national flagship (image Downing Street)

The project has drawn immediate criticism for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition who want the Government to “demonstrate clearly how the ship is expected to boost trade, jobs and growth”.  Sounds like they want a business case, a not unreasonable request.  The Ministry of Defence are also said to be less than enthusiastic and they are the ones who have been lined up to pay for what they fear may be either a white elephant or an albatross about their necks.


To read entire report, click here

How to cite this report: Shepherd, M. (2021).  UK Project Management Round Up, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue VII, July.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/pmwj107-Jul2021-Shepherd-UK-Regional-project-management-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/.