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Stakeholder engagement in decommissioning mega-projects

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In a first-of kind joint event with the Nuclear Institute the APM Thames Valley Branch hosted an evening lecture event at the former Harwell laboratory, the Atomic Energy Research Establishment. The guest speaker, Dr Giorgio Locatelli of Leeds University, delivered a highly engaging and thought-provoking presentation that captured the audience and delivered a master class on the principles of stakeholder engagement in the complex context of nuclear site decommissioning.

The event was also supported by the Stakeholder Engagement Focus Group (SEFG), part of the APM People SIG. The audience of 50 delegates were taken through many facets of stakeholder engagement, from positive bias, optimistic estimating, through corruption and ethics, to the specifics of the market for nuclear site remediation and decommissioning.

Giorgio made a number of telling points

  1. As a general project management principle, a project that progresses well and smoothly is like a growing forest – things move steadily and unremarkably. It is the falling tree (the occasional thing that does not go to plan) that crashes and attracts attention.
  2. A factor that project managers often ignore is the stakeholders who are “invisible” to the project.
  3. A factor that never gets discussed is corruption in project management. A google search reveals very few papers on this topic. Giorgio’s paper is very highly regarded as one of the best review summaries.

The lecture included a wealth of factual data which has been published in technical journal papers, these papers may be requested directly via or are available to download at .

Further to the lecture itself, a number of delegates made use of the opportunity to set in place collaborations on stakeholder engagement matters, cementing a highly engaging evening with valuable follow-on opportunities.

Further information regarding stakeholder engagement resources can be found in the APM website pages prepared by the Stakeholder Engagement Focus Group.


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