Major Projects + Major Complexity = Major Loving

Great news last month about the UK Governments MPA (Major Projects Authority) kicking off their new management training scheme for Senior Civil servants.  For those of you that don’t know what the MPA is, it’s a partnership between the Cabinet Office and Treasury which governs the great big chunky projects that the UK Government is delivering.  Kinda like the Billboard top 100 for projects, but english, and with 206 of them and no Lady GaGa.  There’s a good article here interviewing David Pitchford, who seems like a good straight talking Ozzy bloke…I particularly like the fact that he used the word ‘love’ in his interview (Special note to Steve Jenner – see, I’m not the only one who uses ‘Love’ in portfolio management!!)

The article i read last month that says MPA has saved £147 million quid of our hard earned money,  which is a commendable achievement (not many people can claim to have done that in such a short time!). However, I think we are playing this down a bit and in traditional human nature there seems to be a certain negativity about the spending aspect.  By that i mean there is a big focus on the costs of the training course (£6.5M) and the costs of the 208 projects which is £408BN.

There’s no denying that 408 Billion quid is a lot and to the every day punter that probably sounds a bit much.  But is it really?  If we took a bit of time to understand the ‘loving’ that the country is getting back for spending this kind of dosh I’m sure people would appreciate it better.  For example, if MPA could say “we are investing £408BN on the top 208 projects in the country.  Whilst this is a vast amount of money, over the next 10 years this investment will provide the country with an overall payback of £10.5KLN (Kajillion) which is based on a mixture of cashable cost savings, non cashable department efficiencies and a variety economic benefits”.

Delusional and utopian? I don’t think so.  After all, it is a portfolio of projects, just the same as in any organization, the only difference (apart from the amount of zeros) is the organization happens to be UK Plc and we just happen to be shareholders… hmm the thought of a UK Plc return on investment trajectory is getting me little bit excited I have to say.


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