Professor Paolo Quattrone has been awarded major ESRC Funding as part of Project X, a collaboration between academic researchers and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) – the government department responsible for the oversight and effective delivery of projects.
The project, titled Improving Project Delivery, will explore the delivery of major government schemes and how these schemes can be enhanced to provide more cost-effective, higher-quality outcomes. Often, projects run over-budget and take longer than planned to finish, sometimes without delivering the expected outcomes. In recent years, the UK has developed a world-class ability to deliver complex projects, culminating in major successes like the London Olympics. Project X aims to better understand what drove these successes and transfer that information as a way to progress overall delivery performance in the future, with potential cost-savings for the UK easily running into billions of pounds.
This will be done by generating high quality evidence and insights to inform future policy-making, improve ministerial awareness and drive the development of the project delivery profession. By working closely with the IPA, the research findings should lead directly to changes in mandated Government advice to projects managers.
The project has already been boosted through access to high quality data that will opened up to academics for the first time. Based around six inter-linking themes, it also aims to address fundamental questions about the role of society in the achievement of transformational change, and long-term benefits under conditions of risk, uncertainty and complexity.
Receipt of this funding will also enable Project X to work towards becoming an independent fully funded research centre.
Tom Tolfree, Project X’s director, said:
“Collaborations between senior policy makers, academics and industry to help generate new policy responses to complex social and economic challenges is regularly cited by Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, as an important priority for government…Project X appears to me to be one of the best examples of putting this ambition into practice.”
For more information, see the Project X website.