Going beyond conventional stakeholder management - exploring the Crossrail archaeology programme
On Thursday 8 November, APM Thames Valley Branch hosted a joint event with the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). Claire Smith presented her research on the stakeholder aspects of the Crossrail archaeology project, the subject of her Master's thesis at Oxford University. The result was a story so fascinating that it required over an hour of questions & answers with the audience, and this after Claire had spoken for a full hour!
The presentation considered details such as the legacy of the archaeology project, indeed the definition of legacy, and how stakeholders perceive the benefits that flow down from a community-oriented set of objectives. The means of quantifying soft benefits, such as stakeholder involvement, is open to debate. The constraints on the archaeology work were discussed, it was not a “blank cheque” to spend, nor to extend deadlines, and the excavations tied in with construction shift work. There were numerous outcomes including an exhibition of the finds, however, no permanent asset has been created, apart from the finds themselves which are now no longer on display. How the stakeholders perceive these outcomes aroused much discussion.
The APM Stakeholder Engagement Focus Group were well represented at this event and from it have arisen a number of possible ways to take forward the ideas voiced by Claire.