Driving net zero and levelling up success through major programme delivery

David Whysall 2024 Composite New

David Whysall

Global Managing Director of Energy and Natural Resources

Our new report in partnership with the CBI, Programmes with purpose: delivering success in government’s major projects, sets out a series of recommendations to improve the delivery of the Government’s Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP) across a range of critical sectors.

Kick starting economic growth following the pandemic, whilst addressing the UK’s regional inequalities and decarbonising our economy to meet our net zero targets, are not aspirations; they are imperatives. The social, environmental and economic overhaul that is already underway across the country is on a scale that has never been attempted or required with such urgency.

Window for success

From the set-up of major departmental technology projects, the transition to a net zero UK, the delivery of the UK’s freeports agenda and the execution of rail and road transformation, these are huge projects that provide once in a generation opportunities but carry huge responsibility. What’s at stake means failure is not an option.

The rich fabric of major investment projects planned by the Government to meet the country’s needs, spanning sectors from transport, defence, social infrastructure through to technology and manufacturing, has a finite window for success.

Delivery needs to be world-class, but as an industry we are not yet performing at this level either frequently or consistently enough. One of the biggest obstacles to this is the spread of capability across various sectors. Connecting skills and sharing learnings is a significant challenge because there is no such thing as a major projects industry.

A programmatic approach

Our business operates across multiple sectors and industries. We are one of the largest advisors on major projects and programmes in the UK and globally. This provides us with a fantastic opportunity to contribute to their success, but it also gives us insight and we are continually learning and identifying pockets of innovation. We can see a lack of consistency across major project formation and delivery and we are determined to help drive change.

In the UK, if we have the mindset and capability to form programmes around societal benefits it will provide a platform for increased innovation, but also more predictable outcomes.

We need to become obsessed with delivering brilliantly every time, learning with every action we take and major project we deliver.

A greener, more inclusive and more productive UK is absolutely achievable if we take a programmatic approach and that is why we have partnered with the CBI on this report.

Programmes with Purpose is about recognising the need to see the bigger picture. The need for our major projects to be formed programmatically around the UK’s major themes, whilst creating a connected world-class delivery capability that can operate across sectors and industries. If the UK can attract and retain leading talent and through this, build capability to accomplish the task ahead, we will develop truly world-leading, exportable expertise. To reach that point we need a framework on which knowledge, learning and data can be openly shared.

Collaborating with industry

Coming together as an industry is the only way to exchange understanding and effect necessary change.

We are proud to have worked collaboratively with the IPA on its Project Routemap, the Construction Innovation Hub on its Value Toolkit, central government on the Construction Playbook, the Infrastructure Client Group on Project 13 and the Construction Leadership Council on CO2nstructZero. These are rich sources of guidance but they require consolidation and industrialisation. They have to be structured and become cornerstones of a new way of operating in the UK.

Ultimately, I hope this report provides an opportunity for everyone with a responsibility for leading major projects and programmes across the UK, to reflect and think about the bigger picture, and how delivery excellence can be realised. I also hope it provides a call to action for Government and its arm’s length bodies, to take a leadership role in coordinating a UK-wide approach to structuring major projects and underpinning them with connected capability.

If we get the next five years right, we will create an industry that will deliver the UK’s sustainable legacy whilst also creating an exportable, world-leading capability.

Read the full report on the CBI website.

For further information contact:

David Whysall 2024 Composite New

David Whysall
Global Managing Director of Energy and Natural Resources

t: +44 (0)20 7544 4000