The Association was founded in 1981 with the distinct purpose of improving the initiation, delivery and outcome of major projects. The first meetings of our founders were small groups of senior leaders from across a wide range of different sectors including mining, oil and gas, transport and infrastructure. Their intention was to compare successes and failures, to determine if there were any areas of common interest and to share knowledge and best practice to help improve all future projects.
Our first meetings were hosted by the Oxford Centre for Management Studies (later known as Templeton College, later still as Said Business School) and in good academic style they captured the learnings in detailed reports. You can see our very first seminar report here [link to 1981 report on the Channel Tunnel – we will have to make it available to non- members].
Today we still follow the example of our founders by creating opportunities for cross-sectoral learning and the sharing of knowledge.
We currently have 93 member organisations, representing a wide variety of sectors up and down the supply chain. Members include client bodies such as government departments, utilities, transport bodies, energy companies as well as contractors, consultants, project management professionals, law firms and specialist SMEs. We also have a number of University members which bring academic rigour to our deliberations.
Because our membership covers both the length and breadth of major project organisations it means that our discussions are fully inclusive of all key voices and experiences within the major project community. Such that our debates are full and the take-aways are robust.
We continue to organise cross-sectoral knowledge-sharing events and activities and maintain our commitment to the capturing of knowledge in our wide portfolio of reports.
Who would have predicted that in 2020 we would all have replaced meetings with Zoom and re-calibrated our projects to take socially distanced construction into account? Clearly none of us would. But uncertainty and major projects are common bed-fellows so as a group of industries we are best placed to react positively to the Covid-19 crisis.
The Association has been doing this by working with our members to turn planned seminars into online content, arranging virtual round-table discussions on Covid-19 related issues and hosting podcasts and webinars on topics suggested by our members.
As we move back into the “new normal” the engagement of young professionals will be key to ensuring the future of the Association. We look forward to using new ways of working to engage and excite them in the next phase of our development.