The Major Projects Association
contact us | Tel: +44 (0)1865 818030
See our YouTube channel Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Linked In
You are not logged in

The MPA Bulletin

Latest News items | Latest new members | Bulletin |

The purpose of this Bulletin is share the progress of our strategic initatives, highlight key events and reports and pass on any great lessons from our members about how better to deliver major projects.  We will also be letting you know about new members and about important happenings in the world of major projects.

If you have news which you believe would be appropriate for this format please email me on


Major Projects Association website launch – Events

Last week we announced the launch of our new website on May 22nd. In the first of a series of emails, this week we will be telling you how events will work on the new site.

Easier, faster, friendlier!

  • You will be able to filter all events by date, type and location helping you to find what’s most relevant to you.
  • The Major Projects Knowledge Hub virtual events will be integrated and become part of the main website.
  • Every event will have a dedicated page where you can:
    • see when and where the event is taking place
    • register and add to your calendar
    • print, email and share with colleagues and online
    • read a detailed programme
    • access related resources
    • click through to speaker bios
  • Manage bookings and invitations in your personal profile

There's an image of some of the new pages which you can see by following this link (excuse the stock imagery).

Next week: The Major Projects Knowledge Hub is moving

We’re launching the new Major Projects Association website

We are excited to be launching our brand new website on May 22nd. Designs have been completed and building is underway. We couldn’t have got to this stage without listening to the feedback we received from you following our review of member experience last year. There was a disconnect between how we deliver our services online vs offline. The new website addresses these concerns… and more! 

You asked for: 

  • A single, modern and responsive website
  • Better collaboration and community aspects of membership
  • Personalised content
  • Improved event booking and information
  • Easily searchable resources

We will deliver all of these for you along with improved member profiles and self-served metrics for main reps.

In the run up to launch we will communicate weekly to explain the features and the benefits to you.

Until next week,
Mark Ford-Langstaff
Digital Manager, MPA

Collective commitments to Sustainability

At our annual conference last year we identified a number of ways that we could work collaboratively to deliver a step change in the sustainability performance of our organisations and our projects.  The report from the event summarised those ideas.  I am pleased to update you that we are well on the way to delivering these:

  • We have produced a Glossary to help clarify terms and ensure that we are all using the same language.
  • We have established a network of Sustainabilty Ambassadors from our member organisations. 
  • We are developing a tool-finder to help members to indentify the best decision making tools.
  • We are also liaising with our Sustainability Ambassadors to identify the most appropriate personal and corporate pledges that we can support.  

If you would like to become a Sustainability Ambassador for your company please get in touch. 

Watch this space for further updates on this work.

Annual Satisfaction Survey - please take part

Every year we ask you for your thoughts on our events, reports, studies and everything else that we do in order to improve our service to you.  We really do take note of your feedback.  Please take 10 minutes out of your day to complete this satisfaction survey which will be "live" for the next two weeks.  And feel free to share it with colleagues.  

Please follow this link.

Thank you for your input - it makes a difference.

The Challenge of Delivering Major Projects

Whilst it may not be until October I want to let you know about our one week course The Challenge of Major Projects as early as possible to give you plenty of time to review the content, determine whether it is appropriate for you or a colleauge and to find your way through your internal approvals process.  The dates for the course are already set as 7th - 11th October.  Whilst there is a fee attached to this event members receive a generous discount.

Our other events this year are already getting busy so make sure you book as early as possible to avoid disappointment:

25th FebWhat can our members learn from other sectors - a half day seminar in London

1st AprilInclusive design and the impact of creative and critical thinking - an afternoon into evening event in Birmingham

If you want to ensure that you learn about our events in plenty of time why not listen in to our regular podcast.

Season's Greetings from the Association

As the year draws to a close the MPA team are making Christmas Weaths and knitting Secret Santa gifts as we plan the year ahead.  2020 promises to be as busy as 2019 with lots of variety of event types and venues.  We start the year with three fascinating events: 

23rd January 2020, Comparing and contrasting unique major projects with those that are replicable, Evening Debate in London, click here to register your attendance.

13th February 2020, A whole system approach to major projects - end game thinking, Whole day seminar in Manchester, book your place now via this link.

25th February 2020, What can our members learn from other sectors?, Half day seminar in London, for more information click here.

Thinking of the future you are also encouraged to send your ideas for our 2021 programme of events to Events Manager Eleanor Burquest.

We also ask you to take part in member organisation Pinsent Masons Global Infrastructure Survey here.  They are particularly keen to know how the infrastructure sector is engaging with digital disruption and convergence.

Wishing all of our members a restful holiday break and we look forward to seeing record numbers in 2020.

A busy year ahead

The Major Projects Association is not one to shy away from the big issues – as you can see from three of our most recent reports on Sustainability and the Circular Economy, Innovation and Social Inclusion. These should provide sufficient food for thought throughout the Christmas period.

And there is much to look forward to in the New Year starting with these two events:

23rd January - Evening Debate on Comparing and contrasting unique major projects with those that are replicable

13th February – Full day seminar on A whole system approach to major projects - end game thinking

Forthcoming Events

Social inclusion in major projects, 14th November, Manchester

Where is your organisation on the social inclusion learning curve? We travel to Manchester for a seminar aiming to bring together companies to learn from each other through knowledge sharing and networking, to drive a more proactive and informed approach to social inclusion in the major projects sector. Click here to register.

Comparing and contrasting unique major projects with those that are replicable, 23rd January, London

Across the Association, what constitutes a major project varies widely, from IT projects through containment buildings for highly experimental nuclear facilities to rail systems. Join us for an evening discussion where we will examine the common features across this portfolio and consider whether some are so unique that the “rules” of major project management don’t apply. Click here to register.

A whole system approach to major projects – end game thinking, 13th February, Manchester

A seminar examining whether the major projects community ought to work harder to understand the system that the asset they are delivering is part of, not just so that the ‘moment of truth’ feels like a success but so that it is ore likely that the outcomes and wider benefits will be delivered. Click here to register.

Major Projects Making a Difference

Major Projects are undertakings of such significance, touching thousands of lives and investing in communities such that they have the power to make a huge difference to the lives of those they touch.  Our hope is that that difference is a power for good.  Two of our academic members are exploring how major projects can make a positive difference:

Building Equality – are mega projects creating a better world? 30th October 2019 - this UCL event, to which our members are invited, brings together a panel of experts across project delivery to discuss how megaprojects could better enable conditions of equality and inclusivity in society.  Click here to register.

Eliminating Modern Slavery in Projects – a research project is being undertaken by the University of Leeds and UCL to identify how changing practices can eliminate modern slavery in projects. They are seeking participants for a "Delphi Exercise" to take place on Friday 15th November at UCL in London. If you would like to participate, please email Gloria Oliomogbe on by Monday 30th September.

At the Association we aim, in our small way to show the importance of diversity through our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.  We strive for diversity and balance on our speaking platforms and to ensure that our events attract a diverse range of professionals.  We are proud that over the last year the gender balance of our speakers and delegates has improved by 19% and 25% respectively.  

Talking Heads

The Prestige Event last month delivered thought-provoking discourse from Emma Howard-Boyd and Matt Ridley.  Those who were able to join no doubt will agree.  For those who couldn't come along - the video is now available for viewing on our website.  You must be logged on to view it.

Speaking about "talking heads" our mentoring scheme is proving very popular.  You can read about it here.  You can watch videos of some of our mentors sharing their thoughts of what makes a successful project career in our Knowledge Hub via this link.

Our Knowledge Hub Manager recently attended the COMIT conference.  They are looking to set up a digital contracts sub-group and asked us to share:

“We are seeking to establish a sub-group within COMIT to explore how one of the last pieces of the digital construction jigsaw, i.e. contracts, can work better for the supply network. The group is being run by contract lawyer Sarah Fox. Currently the industry is awash with complex adversarial paper-based contracts which drive neither innovation nor collaboration. We are looking for COMIT members and others who have evidence, ideas, tools or other skills, knowledge and experience that might help us meet our objectives.”  To know more follow this link.

Learning from each other

On 4th July we are hosting our very first "Charette" a collaborative workshop aimed at cross-disciplinary participation to help consider the issue of how to make cities better places for us to live and work.  Spaces are limited but you can register via this link.

We are also hoping to learn from you about how best we can collectively learn from one another in a key study on knowledge sharing and creating learning organisations.  If you would be willing to take part in this study please contact Andrew Crudgington via for more information.

You might instead want to learn from others at the Global Alliance for Project Professionals at their Thought Leadership Forum which this year is in Lancaster on 21st – 22nd June.  Click here to find out more.

Our 2020 programme is now available on the website via this link. This is still subject to changes as speakers are confirmed but it will give you a good indication of the topics we aim to discuss next year.  Please get in touch with if you are able to contribute to any of the events.

Useful studies and reports

The last few months have seen a flurry of publications from the Major Projects Association and I am sure that at least one of them will be helpful in your day job.  

Client Model Drivers - Over the past few years we have been looking at differences in client model types to try to broaden our understanding.  Our latest report summarises the key drivers behind model type choice.  It is a "member only" report so you must be logged on to acces it here.

After our very successful seminar on the topic of Urgent and Emergency projects we decided to produce more than just a summary of the event.  We undertook additional research, found helpful case studies and have created a "How to" of Urgent and Unforeseen projects. You can find it via this link - you must be logged on.

Towards the end of last year we commissioned The Judgment Index to profile a number of project professionals to see if there are any dominant personal characteristics demonstrated at different career stages.  The report (available here) makes for fascinating reading, particularly about the importance of resilience.  You can also watch a video about the study on our Knowledge Hub here.

Many more seminar reports and studies can be found via the link below.

Further links:

Diverse offerings

On 15th May we are holding a full day seminar entitled Embracing Diversity (for details click here).  The purpose of the day is to have a frank and open discussion about the temptation to recruit and promote people who remind us of ourselves and what we can do to avoid falling into this trap so that we are open to a full range of diverse talents.  The free to members event is aimed at anyone who faces the day to day challenge of managing others.

On the topic of challenges, the early bird discount on our five day residential course The Challenge of Major Projects comes to an end at the of March so if you are keen to save £100 get in touch with Ruth Francis, course co-ordinator via

Two years ago the Association diversified it's offering with the development of the Major Projects Knowledge Hub.  Two years in and the KHub events are becoming a feature on our programme.  Our next KHub Live at Bentley Systems is on the topic of Decommissioning major projects, taking place on 30th April.  To learn more and to book your place for free click here.

Working Across Boundaries

Everything that we do at the Major Projects Association is about trying to break down barriers, remove silo'd thinking and enable people from different major project sectors to share and learn from one another.  Over the next few months we have a number of events with this thinking in mind - follow the links for more detail:

Our reports also cut across boundaries.  You can find some easy-to-read Highlights reports on Wellbeing and Managing Urgent & Emergency projects via these links.  You might also want to take a look at Phase 2 of our Global Client Model study.

Finally, member organisation DWP are looking for a speaker who can talk on the topic of "Working across Boundaries" at their Project Delivery Conference on 2nd May.  If you think you have a good story to share please get in touch directly with Joe Dowse:

Taking part in 2019

There are plenty of opportunities for you to take part with our events in the next few months: 

  • 13th February, London – a full-day event exploring what Big Data is, the benefits and associated risks and how we can mitigate them. Register to attend here.
  • 28th February, London – a half-day session looking at the differences between benefits and value and whether it’s possible to achieve balance between costs and optimising benefits. Register to attend here.
  • 4th April, Manchester – in this afternoon seminar we will be examining the proposition that contract choice is a major factor in the success or failure of major project delivery. More information here.
  • 4th April, Manchester – following the afternoon event we are holding an evening discussion on why disputes happen in major projects and what can be done to avoid them. Register to attend here.

You can also take part in the LogiKal annual project controls survey by following this link.

Or if you have a little more time perhaps you can contribute to an investigation to understand organisational decisions regarding project manager replacement.  Anecdotal evidence and case research suggest that project manager replacement is a fairly common action in organisational settings across widely diverse industries, yet surprisingly little is known about the decision itself Francesco Di Maddaloni at Kingston Business School is keen for input.  Please email him directly if you can help:

Merry Christmas!

As our 2018 programme of events comes to an end, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your colleagues a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Here is a quick look at what’s to come in 2019… view the full programme at a glance here.

24th January, London – an Evening Debate chaired by Sir David Higgins on the importance of critical thinking over tools vs. techniques. Register to attend here.

13th February, London – a Full Day Seminar bringing together leading experts from diverse backgrounds to explore the area of big data from several perspectives. We will explore what big data is and what it’s benefits are as well as the associated risks and how we can mitigate them. Register to attend here.

28th February, London – a Half Day Seminar examining the many important issues around major project benefits realisation, considering the differences between benefits and value and whether it’s possible to achieve balance between costs and optimising benefits. Register to attend here.

Professional Development:

Now is the time to make sure you have included our professional development offerings into your training budgets next year.

6th March, Oxfordshire - Major Projects Simulator, £350 + VAT – we run the Simulator 3 times a year, our next offering is 6th March.

7th-11th October, Oxfordshire, The Challenge of Major Projects, £4,700 (early bird rate)

Last chance saloon!

Today is the last day of our annual satisfaction survey so it is your last chance to let us know what matters to you.  Please follow the link and take part before it's too late.

Click here to take part in the survey.

Taking part in surveys is beneficial to our industries.  The LogiKal 2018 Project Controls Survey has recently been published.  It covers the perception of project controls, which systems are being used, gives an up to date snapshot of the performance of projects and outlines future innovations.  You can see the report here.

How are we doing?

Every October for the past 5 we have asked what matters to you and how well you think we are delivering those things.  As a membership organisation this information if vital for us.  It is only by hearing from you about what matters that we can improve our service.  So please put aside 20 minutes of your day to complete this survey.  This year it has been enhanced for mobile technology so that you can do it on the train going home.

Click here to take part.

With thanks from all of us in the Major Projects Association team.

Wellbeing and Balance

The topic of our seminar in October is Wellbeing. So, as many of you are preparing for your summer break, we thought it appropriate to share some links on this topic.

Southampton Business School are undertaking a study on the work-life balance of project managers. They are looking to conduct interviews with people with 10 years or more experience. If you or someone you know would be interested in sharing your/their experiences via an interview (skype or face-to-face) please contact The research is ethically approved, and responses will remain confidential and anonymous.

You may choose to improve your wellbeing by planning in more time to reflect and consider big-picture issues away from your day job. In which case you might want to consider attendance at the Global Engineering Congress, hosted by the Institution of Civil Engineers in October. 

Finally, in an effort to help improve the wellbeing of our Government member organisations we are also sharing their appeal for more project planners.  

Wishing you all a restful and well-balanced summer. 

Leading complex major projects

We are pleased to share two opportunties for members to learn more about the key issues involved in leading complex major projects:

Challenge of Major Projects - our one week residential course which takes place in October.  There are only 4 spaces left on this course which will take you through all aspects of major project leadership from initiation, governance and funding issues through to supply chain management, project closure and handover.  For more information follow this link or contact Ruth Francis on

ICCPM International Round Table Series - this initiative is an open discussion workshop which seeks to bring together senior leaders to share perspectives, identify solutions and develop a shared work plan for improvement on the theme of Project Leadership: the game changer in large scale complex projects.  To register your place please follow this link.

Summer is here!

To celebrate the sunshine here is a mash- up of offers, information and surveys

Offer - Simulator - last minute availability

Due to a last minute cancellation we have two places available at a discounted rate of £250 instead of £340 on our May Simulator workshop: click here for information on the workshop To take advantage of this discount please contact Ruth on

Survey - large-scale complex IT projects

Meshach Bolutiwi of UCL is undertaking research into why large-scale complex information technology projects nearly always run into difficulties. He is keen for people with experience of these type of projects to take part in a survey. The link to the survey is: here and if you wish to know more please contact:

Offer - Great minds don’t think alike – WISE conference 2018

The WISE annual conference in Salford next month offers a range of inspirational speakers on the theme of the Power of Innovation and Women. Details can be found via this link. 

Info - Gender Gap data

Those following our Gender Balance Initiative will know that we are keen to support members to improve their gender balance. In this capacity we will be collating our members’ gender pay gap data as well as female representation on boards and senior leadership teams as key indicators of progress on the “gender balance journey”. 

Next Events and Latest Reports

Our next events offer a mixture of topics and venues:

2nd May, Major Projects Simulator Workshop - this Oxford based workshop is a must for anyone who is relatively new to major projects or for those wanting a reminder of the basics.  It is not possible to book online but click here for more information.

13th June, Project Closure Operational Readiness - this is a full day event being held in Manchester.  Click here for full details.

There are many more events available free of charge to our members - just follow this link to find out more.

1st - 5th October, The Challenge of Major Projects - Early Bird discount is coming to an end on 31st March.  Follow this link to find out more.

Latest Reports:

We have recently published reports on the topics of Project Initiation; the changing digital world and Global Client models.  Click on the topics to access these reports.

Learning from one another

A great strength of the Major Projects Association is the way in which we learn from each other - via our seminars and reports as well as by talking with one another about what works.  This month there are a variety of ways in which you can do that:

Take part in a Project Controls Survey: 

Year on year, failing projects cost organisations billions of pounds and in today’s everchanging, competitive market, it has never been more important to get projects right, investing early in the project lifecycle to increase the likelihood of successful delivery.  Member organisation, LogiKal, are hoping that for the third successive year, their industry survey can uncover key trends between project success and robust project management & project controls practices. It will take just 10 minutes of your time to complete and we welcome the participation of any project professionals around the globe. Results are due to be compiled in March and will be shared with all Major Project Association members.  Direct link to survey:

Register for the Client Models Webinar:

On 28th February, we are making our seminar on Global Client models available as a webinar to encourage greater engagement and interaction.  Just go to the event and follow the link.

Attend our Simulator workshop:

The major projects simulation was developed through many, many conversations with project professionals to ensure it truly reflects the experience of managing a project from start to finish.  Our next workshop takes place on 8th March.  To book your place just follow this link.

Forthcoming Seminars

19th April - Unlocking high performing potential in major projects If you would like to attend, please click here to register.

19th April - Workforce transformation – how should the industry respond to changing attitudes and expectation of the workforce? Follow this link to register.

16th May – How do SME’s get involved in major projects? For more information and to book your place follow this link to our website.

13th June – Project Closure and operational readiness – MANCHESTER Register to attend this event via our website.

You can also find out more via the Events page of our website.

Further links:

New Year, New You!

At this time of year people tend to plan changes - they take up new hobbies, head off to the gym in large numbers, and sign up for professional development courses to widen their horizons.  

The Major Projects Association Challenge of Major Projects Course is an excellent opportunity for you to do the latter.  The one week residential course considers all key aspects of major projects from governance and initiation, through procurement and supply chain management to delivery and handover.  You will hear from experts across many different sectors and will leave the course with a thorough understanding of the challenge ahead as well as your own style as a leader.  The course runs in October and places are limited to just 20 so now is the time to start petitioning your line manager for funding.  For more information follow this link to our website.

You can also expand your horizons by reading one of our recent publications which cover topics as diverse as Project Initiation and Gender Balance Interventions.  These reports can be found in the resources area on our website.

Merry Christmas from MPA!

Major Projects Knowledge Hub, Meet Up for Knowledge Managers, Monday 8th January 2018 The first of what we hope will be a series of Meet Ups designed to create a network for project knowledge managers to meet each other, seek advice and share techniques. The first event will include a series of activities: Introductions: everyone can share who they are and what they do and those that wish may exchange their business cards or contact details; Knowledge seeking: individuals may note down the themes or topics on which they would like to consult the group as a whole or individual members; Knowledge directory: individuals may note down areas of knowledge management in which they have experience and where they might provide advice to others; Peer assist: if we are able to identify two immediate ‘help’ topics from amongst those who are attending, we will invite the group into a peer assist session to help frame the issue and identify immediate next steps or directions; Future sessions: themes and activities for future Meet Ups. To reserve a place please click here to register.

Infrastructure and Projects Authority Cross Government Project Manager Campaign The IPA have recently launched their third external coordinated cross Government Project Delivery recruitment campaign for Project Managers at grades HEO - G7 across five Departments. The majority of these roles are EU Exit related and come with a high level of senior interest, from the likes of Jeremy Heywood, John Manzoni and Rupert McNeil. They would be grateful for any support you and your teams can offer in this space to promote these opportunities to ensure we reach as many Project Delivery professionals as possible.The Infrastructure and Projects Authority need your support to make this a success! To find out more or if you can help, ontact

Finally, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of the team at the Major Projects Association! See you in 2018. 


LAST CHANCE to have your say

Today is the last day to add your thoughts to our Member Satisfaction Survey.

 This is very important for two reasons:

 We want to hear what you think.

  1. If we don’t receive sufficient number of responses this year it is likely to be the last time that we have a survey – so this might truly be your last chance to tell us what works.

 Please take the survey and please share the survey with others in your team.

 Go to the survey via this link.

Major Projects Association Annual Satisfaction Survey

DON'T FORGET to complete this years Annual Satisfaction Survey. Many of you will have heard Sir Tim Lawrence talking about the Major Projects Association's new strategy at our AGM and Annual Dinner last night. It is important that we hear as much from our members as possible in order to create the best strategy going forward so please also encourage your colleagues to complete the survey.

Whether you've been with the Association for 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years, your opinion really matters to us! Please follow this link to complete the survey - it shouldn't take you longer than 15 minutes to complete and you are able to pause and return to the survey. 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your views. 

Studies, Surveys and Plans

Global Client Models Study

We are proud to publish the results of a study into Global Client Models.  The purpose of the study was to capture the experiences of clients of major projects from a range of sectors and countries. By explaining their models, examining the delivery function responsibilities and considering the drivers, we aimed to draw out important trends and lessons emerging from client models in international markets.  You can find the Full Report and its Executive Summary via our Resource page here.

Annual Member Satisfaction Survey

This is the time of year when we ask how you think we are performing.  We take your responses very seriously and the feedback from this questionnaire will feed into our strategy for the coming years.  Your opinion matters to us – whether you are new to the Association or have been a member for 20 years.  Please take part in the survey via this link.

Planning the year ahead 

We are well ahead with our plans for events in 2018.  You can find the full programme here.  I hope this helps you to plan your year to ensure that you don't miss that vital seminar or key breakfast meeting.  

Sharing Best Practice

17th November 2017: WEBINAR: How to Get the Best Out of Virtual Teams  Whether you are working across an organization on multiple sites, multiple time-zones and across cultures, virtual working can be productive and creative.  It can also lead to isolated and disengaged workers, ineffective communication, and uncoordinated and even counter-productive activity.  Our Major Projects Knowledge Hub is hosting a webinar on this topic on Friday 17th November (12.30-13.30 GMT).  The webinar has a maximum of 50 “seats” to help ensure and encourage interaction between our facilitator, Penny Pullen, and the participants.  Click here to reserve your space.

24th January 2018: Are we getting better at Project Initiation?  This evening event is an opportunity to debate whether we are getting better at Project initiation or whether there are still key lessons to learn?  To book your place click here.  You can also arm yourself in advance with the Major Projects Association Project Initiation Handbook.  (You must be logged on to access this report)

However, you can access all of our Highlights reports without logging on via this link.  The most recent is from the Women in Major Projects Leadership seminar and contains some very powerful messages.

Autumn Events

There are several events coming up on the Autumn calendar:

  • Women in Major Project Leadership, afternoon seminar on 17th October at CH2M, Hammersmith -click here to register. (Limited places)
  • Next Generation of major project leaders - in collaboration with APM - 8th November, full day seminar at Institution of Civil Engineers. For info click here.
  • Major Projects Simulator, 16th November, full day workshop at Kassam Football Stadium, Oxford. Information can be found here.
  • We are also delighted to share information about the forthcoming ECITB 2017 Oil & Gas Project Management Conference, 31st October, Aberdeen.  Please follow this link to find out more.

Sharing, Support, Summer

Carbon footprint - one of our member companies is keen to learn how others have driven down their organisational carbon footprint – or how they plan to achieve a reduction.  Please share your experiences by return email.  We will feedback any significant findings in a later bulletin. 

Project Management apprentices - the Government is keen that more high quality apprenticeships are created to meet the needs of employers and apprentices, and help drive up growth and productivity across the economy.  Project management is one of the areas where new apprenticeships are being developed. 

A development group led by member company Sellafield Ltd and including a number of other member companies has recently submitted a Standard to the Government for approval.   The Government will evaluate this submission based, in part, on the responses to a survey.  Sellafield is asking colleagues within the PM community to offer support by completing the survey.  You can find it via via this link.  If you require any further information about the apprenticeships please contact

Summer is a quiet time for the Association - so many members take their holidays that there is no demand for events.  But your organisations will, this week, have received their membership subscription renewals.  If you benefit from your involvement in the Association do please encourage those "powers that be" to maintain their membership of the Association.

We look forward to seeing you in September.

100 member celebrations

We are delighted to announce our 100th member - Parliamentary Strategic Estates - who have recently confirmed their membership.  We look forward to welcoming them to our forthcoming events which include a half day seminar on the topic of Planning and Consents on 18th July.  There are only a few spaces left for this half day seminar.  Information can be found here.

We also have only two spaces left on our excellent Challenge of Major Projects Course held in Oxford in October.  Members hoping to attend should get in touch soon to secure their place. For more information follow this link.

Research study - impacts of infrastructure

Bridget Jackson of HS2 and UCL, as part of her MSc, is seeking professionals who can participate in her dissertation research in which she is examining how economic, environmental and social impacts are considered in UK legislation and guidance for the planning, appraisal and delivery of infrastructure projects; and how guidance drives practices. If you can help please follow this link.

Thinking caps on please!

We are keen to find an interesting, engaging (and not too expensive) speaker for this year's Annual Dinner in November. If you have a great idea please get in touch.

Collaborating with others

ECI Annual Conference - 22nd June - Birmingham

The Major Projects Association works closely with other organisations in the same space as us in order to share best practice and avoid duplication.  We regularly meet with and work together with the Association for Project Management and the Institution of Civil Engineers and we have recently added the European Construction Institute to that list.  In the spirit of collaboration I am delighted to share the details of the forthcoming ECI Annual conference which provides a platform for industry leaders to address the key challenges affecting performance of capital projects.  To find out more and to book your place please follow this link.

Request for help with PhD study

We also work closely with our University members to help bridge the gap between academia and the world of delivery.  In this vein I share with you a request for help with a PhD research study which aims to improve the optimism bias of megaprojects by managing and mitigating risks that are common to megaprojects.  Mustafa Al-Shammaa of the University of Leeds is looking to interview senior experts who have extensive experience and expertise in managing and delivering megaprojects (irrespective their types or locations) and have significant risk responsibilities.   If you fit this description and are willing to help please contact Mustafa directly via

Sharing knowledge


We are delighted to announce that after many years in the planning our Major Projects Knowledge Hub will be launched on 24th May.  The hub is a place where you can find the knowledge, data and insights about "all things major project" as well as a community of key people in this space.  If you would like to join us please follow this link and register to attend.


We are sharing knowledge with another membership body (NIPA) at our event on 18th July: Projects and consents - flexibility vs. planning.  We will hear about the challenges created by the lack of flexibility within DCOs as well as hear from UCL regarding their research into this area.

We are pleased to highlight further knowledge sharing with another membership organisation. ECITB run a very helpful webinar series focusing on critical areas of ‘Values & Behaviours’ through the full project lifecycle.  They have kindly offered access to MPA members.  To know more about the series of webinars follow this link.


You can also expand your knowledge by reading and sharing our most recent Highlights reports on the following topics: innovation, the scoping of transformational projects, project controls or a myriad of other topics via this link.



Forthcoming Events

Extra space is now available on our Site Visit to the Tideway project on 9th May.  This visit will be on a Thames Clipper boat.  For information go to our website.

We also have a few spare spaces on our next Simulator Workshop (11th May) where you will explore the ups and downs of being a project manager building a football stadium – all in one day!  To book your place visit the Simulator page of our website here.

Our next seminar on 18th May is on the topic of Global trends in the private finance of major projects where we will discuss global pressures which are influencing the financial markets.  For more information and to book your place click here.

Member organisation, WMG, University of Warwick are holding a Supply Chain Integration in Construction Discovery Day on Tuesday 23rd May. Further details can be found via the following link: here.

Since the National Strategic Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) regime was introduced in 2008 professionals have debated the need to balance the level of detail with flexibility.  Our event "Projects and Consents, flexibility vs. planning" on 18th July will discuss these issues.  For more information visit our events page.

Next Events and Latest Reports

Forthcoming Events:

4th May - Discussion Dinner on the topic of Global Client models - Manchester - details coming soon.

11th May - Major Projects Simulation - an opportunity to see a project from start to finish in one day.

18th May - Global trends in the private finance of major projects - an afternoon seminar and discussion.

18th May - Does collaboration really drive value and efficiency in major projects? - an evening debate.

Latest Reports:

The latest Highlights reports can be found via this link.  You do not need to log on to see these reports on the topics of: Lessons from Failure and Success; Project Controls; and Transformational Projects.

Additionally, when logged on, you will see a more detailed report from the seminar on Project Controls - Available via this link.


Learning and Development opportunities

Challenge of Major Projects - Early Bird discounts available

We are now taking bookings for our hugely popular, residential “Challenge of Major Projects” course which will be running from the 2nd- 6th October 2017. We are offering an early bird rate of £4,700 for reservations made before 31st March 2017. 

The course includes presentations from Senior Project Leaders working on current major projects.  Key topics include Lessons from project failures; People and culture; Building a successful major project organisation; Major project Governance; and Scenario planning.  The programme is highly interactive and delegates learn as much from each other as from the contributors.  This course is aimed at Senior Project Managers and key decision makers with experience of complex projects.

Whilst October is a long way off we know that unless you include it in your staff development plans, and, more importantly your budget, then you won’t be able to take advantage of this very successful course.   There are only 20 places available and the course fills up very quickly.  If you would like to know more or to reserve a space please get in touch via  To learn more click here.

Major Projects Simulator Workshops

This year these workshops will be run on: 9th March, 11th May and 16th November.  The events provide delegates to see a project from start to finish in one day.  There is a fee to attend however member organisations receive a discount.  For more information visit our website via this link.  To book a place contact Ruth via

Further links:

“Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?”

Voltaire's wisdom is fitting for this bulletin about our 2017 programme.  We start the year, on 25th January, with a lively evening discussion about whether We learn more from our own failures than from the success of others.  To find out more and to book your place click here.

This event is followed on 9th February by a full day seminar on the Role of Project Controls in assuring delivery.  We are delighted to have Ian Galloway in the Chair for this event.  His passion for and knowledge of this topic is considerable - both of which he will share during the day.  Follow this link to find out more.

We do rely upon "the experience of others" in the form of our Programme Committee - a group of members who meet quarterly to review past events and help to plan future seminars.   Members of the Committee are as varied as our membership, representing a wide range of sectors, you can see the list of members here.  If you are interested in joining the Committee please contact Maggie Latham on

We do also sometimes promote the wisdom of others - particularly if we can negotiate a discount for members.  One such example is:

Conference on The infrastructure challenge post Brexit – 24 January, 2017 – County Hall, Westminster

Post Brexit, the new Government is putting infrastructure investment at the heart of their emerging industrial strategy.  This is seen as all part of creating an economy for all.  These policy aspirations come on top of the recognised appraisal challenges given the often long term nature, transformative potential and systemic impacts of infrastructure. This conference will help you make sense of this ever more challenging policy and analytical landscape so you can design the infrastructure the UK needs.  For more details and booking go to MPA members get a 20% discount (add discount code MPA) on top of an early bird discount which ends 15th December. 

Looking forward

Does Portfolio Management really make a difference?  Come to our event in Birmingham on 8th December to take part in this interesting evening discussion.  For more information and to register click here.

Member company Sellafield Ltd are seeking experience Programme and Portfolio Managers to help shape a Masters level apprenticeship.  If you are interested click here for more information.

In other news - if you haven't yet taken part in our annual member survey please do so.  You will have received an email with the link to the survey.

And don't forget that we've moved office.  If you want to send Christmas presents and cards (!) our new address is:

1 Abbey Park Lodge

Abbey Street



OX29 4FN

Our email remains the same but our phone number is now:  01865 818030.

Changes afoot

Annual Survey

In the next month or so you will receive an email asking you to take part in our annual survey. Last year you told us that we needed to improve our communications - hence the birth of this bulletin.  You also said that we needed to vary the format and location of our events and so in response we have introduced more breakfasts, half days and evening sessions and have begun to offer more events outside of London.  As you can see we do respond to the survey feedback so when you receive your email do please take the time to complete it.  

New and improved Major Project Simulator

Three times a year we run our Major Projects Simulator workshop. This is an opportunity to play the role of the Project Manager on a football stadium new build.  Participants are required to talk to stakeholders, determine scope, select the appropriate contract and contractors, keep an eye on risks and deliver the new stadium on time and to budget.  We are delighted that the company behind the simulator - Prendo - have just completed a full refresh of the software so it is now even better than before.

ICG and ECITB collaborate over Collaboration!

The Infrastructure Client Group of the Institution of Civil Engineers (click here to find out more) have recently recognised the ECITB Project Collaboration Toolkit as a key element in improving collaboration in infrastructure projects.  The Toolkit sets out the principles of project collaboration, based on best practice in the oil and gas sector, focussed on improving performance.  To learn more about the Toolkit follow this link.

New Head Office

The Major Projects Association is moving to a new Head Office.  From 11th October our new address will be: 1 Abbey Park Lodge, Abbey Street, Eynsham, Witney, OX29 4PN.  Our new telephone number will be: 01865 818030.  Emails addresses will not change.

Availability and Vacancies


There are still some spaces, albeit limited, on our forthcoming courses and seminars in the next few months:

The Challenge of Major Projects, 3rd - 7th October: click here for further information.

Life Cycle Risk Management, 18th October: click here to register.

UK Energy approach to 2025, 10th November: click here to reserve a space.

Major Projects Simulator workshop, 17th November: click here to learn more.



The Department for Transport have asked for our help to fill a vacancy for a Principal Sponsor for their Euston HS2 Station project.  This is an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the HS2 project and to contribute to the regeneration of the wider Euston area.  For all the details follow this link.  Please share this opportunity with colleagues whom you think might be interested.


National Infrastructure Assessment Consultation - The National Infrastructure Commission are keen to capture the expertise and opinions of people from across industry, business, central and local government and academia on how they plan to take forward the National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA). The Assessment Process and Methodology Consultation can be found here.  Responses to this consultation should be sent by 5th August 2016 to

Consultation on Stakeholder involvement - A PhD researcher is looking to consult with managers in the major projects industry about the involvement of the local community in mega projects. Your answers will help to develop a tailored stakeholder analysis model which will incorporate both the social impact of major construction projects on secondary stakeholders and the views of the primary stakeholder essential to organisation survival.  If you would like to take part in this research please contact him via:

Job advertisements on the MPA website? - Twice last week we were asked to advertise relevant job vacancies on our website.  We can see that this might be helpful to some but could also be seen as an irritant to others.  Please let us know your views by completing the following survey via: this link.

"A Golden Age of Infrastructure"

So said Tony Meggs, CEO of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, at the launch of the Project Initiation Routemap modules on Risk Management and Asset Management.  He urged projects both public and private to use the Routemap a strategic tool that allows sponsors and clients to address the problems that commonly emerge at the beginning of major projects, setting themselves up to succeed. It forms part of the government’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, which sets out how the government will deliver key projects and programmes over the next 5 years. To learn more and to access all the Routemap modules follow this link.

The "Golden Age of Infrastructure" is a sentiment also echoed by those discussing the challenge to increase diversity into our project teams.  The enormous pipeline of major projects that need to be delivered in the next ten years estimates a shortfall across the whole range of project posts, which means that diversity, far from being a tick in the box exercise and a nod to corporate social responsibility aims, is now a necessity.  

Client organisations such as HS2 are beginning to see Equality Diversity and Inclusion as critical in their evaluation of tenders. And Gender Balance is a critical part of this. The need to recruit, retain and promote women is no longer a “nice to have”. Unless you are giving proper consideration to this issue you risk missing out on some of the UKs largest projects.

“Equality, Diversity & Inclusion is a vital part of the solution to the talent and skills gap we currently face as a sector. Simply – EDI is crucial to organisations wanting to work with HS2.” Mark Lomas, Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, HS2

You can hear more about what Mark and others have to say on this issue by attending our full day semianr: Gender Balance - the retention and promotion challenge on 13th July.  Full details are available via this link.

Knowledge and Learning

"Knowledge without transformation is not wisdom" Paulo Coelho

The purpose of the Major Projects Association is to help improve the initiation and delivery of major projects through the sharing of knowledge and expertise.  But how do we know if this knowledge sharing leads to true wisdom?  We would like to hear from you if you have ever learnt something at an MPA event which has subsequently helped improve your projects.  Please email with your stories.

Boaty McBoatface!

We are also keen to hear your suggestions for our new development - a Major Projects Knowledge Hub.  This will be a virtual place where you will be able to access a huge amount of information, template documents and discourse on all aspects of major project initiation and delivery.  In addition to our own 35 year library you will have access to the Learning Legacies from major projects, publically available information on the Government's biggest projects and have the opportunity to post comments.  Our favourite name so far is 2share - can you do any better?  Email your ideas to

Learning Legacies survey

London 2012 and more recently Crossrail are two major projects that have delivered learning legacies to share knowledge with future major projects aimed at raising the bar in industry. But how effective has learning legacy been? Please help to answer this question by taking this short survey: Click here.

Don't forget our future events

Most of our events are free to employees of our member organisations - and if you have received this email then that includes you.  For more information on all of the seminars, discussions and evening debates that are available follow the link below.

Further links:

Events Bulletin

We are delighted to inform you that the Programme of Events for 2017 is now available online Click Here

Please feel free to circulate this information amongst your colleagues. As soon as a Chair is appointed for each seminar and we have a flyer, information will be uploaded to the MPA website. If you would like to register and attend a seminar, go online by logging on to the website using your email address and your organisational password.



Looking forward

Topics for 2017:

Next month our Programme Committee will be deciding which topics will appear on the 2017 programme of events.  If there are any topics which are important to you and which you wish to see discussed in our usual MPA way then please send your thoughts, before 25th February, to

New Members:

We are delighted to welcome Scottish Power, Affinity Water and NuGen as recent new members of the Association and we look forward to seeing many of their colleagues at events this year.

National Needs Assessment:

John Armitt, President of ICE, has put out a call for evidence to provide a cross-sector assessment of the UK’s national economic infrastructure.  To take part follow this link:

Major Project Simulation:

There are still spaces available on our Simulator workshop on 17th March - a great way to see a whole project in one day: 

2016 - A new year, a new initative from MPA

Throughout 2015 we made great strides to improve our communication with members.  We produced new style reports, tightened up our event notificaiton emails and established a presence on social media in order to broaden our communication channels.

We also launched a number of new strategic initiatives.  In order to streamline our communications about these initatives we have decided to create this new comms format - the MPA Bulletin.  Through the Bulletin we aim to share the progress of our initatives, highlight key events and reports and pass on any great lessons from our members about how better to deliver major projects.  We will also be letting you know about new members and about important happenings in the world of major projects.

If you have news which you believe would be appropriate for this format please email us on