May 2021 UK Project Management Round Up


Bad News, BREXIT, Good News, Covid-19, Professional News and the new Government Projects Academy



By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK



As I managed to miss the Editor’s deadline last month, I’ll report some of the major events I had planned to include as well as this month’s major events in the UK project world.  As usual, there is news, both good and bad and some that is difficult to classify.  I had hoped we could avoid yet more on BREXIT but as COVID seems to occupying less of the public imagination, relations with near neighbours receive greater scrutiny.

So this month, the conference season is taking shape, professional societies are more active and the Project Manager’s fancy, like the young man’s, lightly turns, not to love but new projects.  Let’s get the bad news, including BREXIT, out of the way so we can take an optimistic look at the world of projects.


This type of news is all too prevalent and you do not need to look far for it.  Infrastructure projects seem to be coming in for a lot of flak this past few months with bridges bearing the brunt of it so far.  A report at the end of 2020 claimed half of UK’s road bridges were in poor or very poor condition. Although this is not a project issue, some emergency repair work on key bridges, especially in London where the Hammersmith Bridge closure remains a major problem that has lasted for more than 2 years.  Recent reports claim half of UK road bridges need emergency work.

Image: Shutterstock via The Architect’s Journal

Other issues that have a major impart on infrastructure projects involve the planning process.  On our small and overcrowded island, you cannot build anything without planning permission.  Regular readers may recall the furore over the Stonehenge tunnel planning approval last year and the vows of the uninvolved to “wage war on shameful tunnel”.  Planning began in 2015 with the announcement of the Government’s Road Investment Strategy, route option assessment in 2016 and statutory consultation in 2018. Since then, supplementary consultations took place in 2018 and a full public examination in 2019.  Recommendations were published in 2020 and the fun began.  First UNESCO challenged the decision, then the Druids offered their support to the tunnel and now we have challenges from the greens.  To be fair, the greens are mounting legal challenges to all new road building schemes on the basis that Ministers are ignoring commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions…


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How to cite this work: Shepherd, M. (2021). UK Project Management Round Up, regional report, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue V, May. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pmwj105-May2021-Shepherd-UK-project-management-roundup.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/