Case studies

Major Projects Leadership Academy

Transforming the delivery of major government projects

Project overview

The Government’s Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP) is a complex and diverse portfolio of the largest, most impactful, and highest-risk projects being undertaken by the government. Over the next 40 years, these projects will transform infrastructure and public services to support the UK’s economic growth and international competitiveness, and secure the defence of the nation. Owing to the sheer scale and complexity of these projects the Government’s track-record of delivery has been poor. Typically, just one third of major projects are delivered on time and to budget, resulting in delays to service and infrastructure improvements, Government targets and commitments being missed, and taxpayer money being squandered. Public scrutiny, particularly during a period of austerity, has been intense.

The Cabinet Office’s Major Projects Authority (MPA) turned to Deloitte, with its extensive expertise in delivering major public sector leadership programmes, to partner with Oxford Said Business School (OSBS) in designing and delivering a distinctive programme to transform the implementation of Government policy through world-class delivery of major projects.

The resulting Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA) was piloted in June 2012. The resounding success of the pilot led to a significant acceleration of the programme: 350 of Government’s most senior project leaders have been enrolled on the programme, with over 120 having successfully graduated.

The launch of the MPLA makes the UK Government the first in the world to introduce mandatory leadership development across its entire major project portfolio, supporting and equipping its project leaders at the most senior levels in Government with the right skills and capabilities to deliver major projects effectively.

“A transformational experience for senior programme and project management in Whitehall” (Cohort 4 member), the MPLA has enabled a better understanding of the role of leadership, technical delivery skills, and commercial capability required in successful project leadership and, most importantly, developed the capability to set up projects that are more likely to succeed from the outset and several MPLA graduates have identified significant cost savings.

“Deloitte, as a partner to Said Business School, played a major role in the design, set up and delivery of the hugely successful MPLA .They utilised their practical expertise, in helping to deliver major projects, to translate academic research and create a blended approach to programme design. They ensured that MPLA were able to meet the tight timescales and deliver the programme within just three months of the contract being awarded, and enabled a full scale roll out of the programme to meet the commitments outlined in the Civil Service Reform Plan.

The MPA are continuing to collaborate with the team, both in the ongoing development of MPLA and in the design of a new suite of offers.” 

Tony Meggs, the CEO of the MPA

This project has been shortlisted for the Management Consultancy Association’s 2016 Awards in the People category.

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