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Delivering the greatest show on earth [Video and podcast]

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Consistency, rigour and a methodical approach were key to the successful management and delivery of Olympic Park contracts, according to senior figures speaking at the third Learning Legacy event.

The presentation held on Wednesday 28th March at the Charing Cross Hotel on Londons Strand was the third of five events to share best practice from the big build London 2012 construction project.

Hosted by official legacy partner the Association for Project Management (APM), in partnership with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), two speakers from delivery partner CLM revealed how they contracted for and managed a programme of such size and complexity.

APM president Martin Barnes quipped that building the Olympic Park was the greatest project management show this country has known for a long time.

Ken Owen, commercial director at CLM, spoke about contract management and programme controls. In particular he explained how the ODA applied the amended version of NEC3. He said after his presentation: The key point is that NEC is not just a contract, its a way of working collaboratively with your partners to deliver something.

To make NEC work, Kens advice is to focus on three points in the contract: early warning, change management and accepted programme; but also recognise that there are key enablers needed such as people, training, clear and simple processes and an organisational model.

Its like baking a cake, he added. Those three ingredients are very clear but NEC is all about actually making them work.

David Birch, head of programme controls at CLM, highlighted five key lessons learned, including an integrated approach and the need to agree on a single source of truth for all programme information. In other words, build trust and credibility in your data sources.

Also, he emphasised the importance of setting the baseline. He said after his presentation: Articulate what your targets are and what you are trying to achieve writing down what, how and when youre going to do it is really important.

David added: What impressed me most of all is that the organisation eventually worked in one direction.

The theme of the next Learning Legacy event is titled The world in our hands providing assurance to the London 2012 ODA construction programme. It will be held on Wednesday 25th April at the same venue, the Charing Cross Hotel in London book your place today.

Watch videos of both speakers

Listen to the event podcast

Previous events:
23rd Jan: Learning legacy launch debate: Lessons learned on the construction of the Olympic Park

29th Feb: Bringing an Olympic nation together context, governance and setting up the programme


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