S E C T O R  I N S I G H T  
A E R O S P A C E  &  D E F E N C E

Within Rolls-Royce, there are hundreds of projects under way at any one time, varying from small local improvement projects to new product introduction projects costing hundreds of millions of pounds. In terms of effort and time commitment, Alistair estimates this portfolio can be split roughly 50:50 into new product projects and supporting technologies, capital and transformation projects.

PwC estimates that 10 per cent of those employed in aerospace and defence and 3.5 per cent of those employed within manufacturing are engaged in project management activities. Alistair feels that is broadly in line with his experience, with some possible variance due to attribution, with some people designated as ‘operations’ or ‘engineering’ despite the fact that what they do is project or project management related.

Looking to the future, Alistair expects the total spending and volume of projects across industry to increase. More specifically, he expects that when project budgets are drawn up, a greater emphasis will be placed on effective project management in the future for two reasons. First, he has seen a growing level of investment in government infrastructure projects which he expects to continue. Second, he believes that project and programme management has become more distinct as its own discipline in recent years. The result of this has been a growing recognition of the need for an increasing level of professionalism in project and programme management disciplines to lead projects.

“Within Rolls-Royce, we now have a real focus on projects and project management being one of the core competences within the company. Part of my role is to make sure we upskill the whole organisation in project and programme management, as well as those who are specifically badged as project managers.”

Alistair Kirk
Group Director, Programme Management & Operating System, Rolls-Royce

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