18th February 2020

Knowledge Type

Good Practice Document Major Projects Association Report


, Major Projects Association

Of Interest To

Academia Consultants Contractors Leadership teams Operators Private sector clients Public sector clients

A whole system approach to major projects – end game thinking


Major projects are normally interventions in existing systems – systems which are already providing vital services to users. Sometimes the greatest user benefits arise at a system of system level. A classic example is economic infrastructure, where power, transport, water, communications and waste networks all interact to support civilised life.

Professionals immersed in the process and discipline of a project can too easily lose sight of these truths. Even the language of benefits realisation may be part of the problem, narrowing attention down to a tick-box list of deliverables when what matters to people is an outcome. Losing sight of the end game can also lead to a poor transition into operations.

This Major Projects Association seminar examined the challenge of embracing a whole systems approach through all stages of the life cycle, from conceptualising the challenge, through project initiation, delivery, commissioning and into operations.