Project Routemap tackles increasingly complex major programmes

Project Routemap, the IPA’s support tool for novel or complex major projects, has been updated.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has published an update of its guidance and best practice around how major projects should be planned and delivered.

The revised guide was developed in partnership with consultancy Turner & Townsend and UCL. It was informed by workshops and input from stakeholders including government, industry, and academic experts.

The changes respond to a growing diversity and complex range of priorities underpinning the delivery of capital programmes – including the UK Government’s ambition to reach net zero by 2050 and improve social and economic opportunities. Whilst aligning with these challenges, the Routemap also does so with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

There is also renewed emphasis on organisational design, digital technology and the transitions in capability required across a project’s lifecycle – drawing on expertise in change management to make sure benefits encapsulated in early project business cases are maintained through delivery and realised into operation.

The Routemap, a handbook, has eight advice modules targeting different parts of UK infrastructure including rail, road, aviation, and defence. Its advice has already been used in the UK Government’s Hydrogen Heating programme, led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The ambition to ensure that all major projects that are complex or novel use the Routemap methodology was set out with the UK Government’s National Infrastructure Strategy in November 2020. It forms part of a drive to recalibrate the planning and delivery of major programmes.

Patricia Moore, Turner & Townsend.

UK managing director at Turner & Townsend, Patricia Moore, said: “Across the UK we are seeing greater ambition when it comes to major programmes, both in terms of technical sophistication but also the social and environmental outcomes that they deliver. It is vital that we continue to balance traditional drivers such as capital cost with cutting carbon and creating long-term societal value, but this requires careful planning from the outset.”

“The Routemap tackles these complexities head-on, providing a clear blueprint based on best practice and learning from over £300bn of capital programmes. This will be an invaluable resource for our industry as we deliver projects in a greener, more inclusive and ultimately more productive way.”

Nick Smallwood, IPA.

Chief executive officer of the IPA, Nick Smallwood, added: “Over the coming years, there will be more investment in infrastructure and major projects than ever before, backed by both public and private sectors. This investment will be a catalyst to building back better and stronger. Infrastructure and major projects will play a critical role in fueling economic growth and improving the lives of people right across the country.

“With greater investment comes greater responsibility and we must ensure we have a strong delivery record that demonstrates real value. This means setting projects up for success from the very start, so that they come in on time and budget, and deliver on their promises – to the benefit of the citizens of the UK.

“Whatever the project, applying Routemap will give confidence to the people delivering them, those approving them, and those investing in them.”

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