15th May 2019

Knowledge Type

Data & Statistics Research paper


, Association for Project Management

Major Project



Dicle Kortantamer

Of Interest To

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

Leadership: Responding to Complexity


Major government projects represent some of the most complex and diverse projects delivered by organisations in the UK and internationally. Transformation and service delivery projects represent almost a third of the government’s major projects portfolio in terms of the number of projects.

These projects provide the opportunity to deliver significant benefits to the public as they are concerned with improving public services and making the government more efficient. Yet, as the National Audit Office has highlighted, delivering these projects can be very challenging2. The efforts undertaken so far to develop leaders of major projects through initiatives such as the Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA) have provided a solid foundation for developing individual competencies. However, insights generated by the academic leadership literature suggest that leading organisations through change requires systemic leadership capabilities.

This research seeks to generate insights from project delivery professionals with significant experience in the delivery of the government’s transformation and service delivery portfolios, programmes and projects. The research aims to provide a systemic leadership framework for responding to complexity that can be practical and useful for practitioners, organisations and policy makers. This research is part of a broader research agenda within Project X that aims to generate insight into leadership in the government’s major projects portfolio.