Any increase in new government projects must be matched by the capability to deliver them with the public good in mind, according to Association for Project Management (APM), the chartered body for the project profession.
Responding to the announcement of a ‘New Deal’ that will put infrastructure at the centre of the Government’s strategy for economic growth, Debbie Dore, chief executive at APM, said: “Whilst the Prime Minister’s proposals and emphasis on ‘build, build, build’ is welcome, this needs to be delivered with both a sustainable and sustained approach in mind, and have a strong focus on the needs of successful project delivery, both in capacity and capability.
“‘Sustainable’ means it needs to have a green thread running through it – focusing on measures that will embed ‘Net Zero’, whether that is investment in things like wind power or infrastructure for electric vehicles.
“It should also be ‘sustained’ in the sense of having both small as well as major projects; regional not just national; a planned pipeline that is ‘shovel relevant’ as well as’ shovel ready’; and finally not just physical infrastructure but broader transformation measures, including digital investment to underpin recovery. Sustained delivery is as important as speedy delivery.
“This commitment is welcome but must be backed by investment in the skillsets and training essential to underpin it. People deliver projects. Greater investment as well as a focus on project professionalism will be required to support the proper inception, delivery and completion of projects both now and in the future and this should be central to the National Infrastructure Strategy.
“As we have said before, good project outcomes require the right conditions for success. Any 'surge' in new projects must be matched by the capability to deliver them with the public good in mind. We have to ensure the delivery of these projects factor in rapid changes in technological innovation and Government targets to deliver net zero carbon emissions.
“As the chartered body for the project profession, APM is committed to ensuring that project professionals have the essential skills to address emerging challenges and deliver sustainable solutions. Whether projects form part of plans for tackling disease, building modern high-speed railways, tackling the effects of climate change or planning the construction of new homes, it is important that people have the right attributes and skillsets to adapt and thrive.”