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IPA Overhauls Project Routemap

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has published a considerable update of its existing guidance and best practice around the delivery planning of major projects.

Developed by the IPA with support of professional services consultant Turner & Townsend and academics at UCL, the Planning Routemap sets out new guidance and best practice to ensure that novel and complex programmes throughout UK infrastructure sectors are set up for success.

This new guidance has been informed by workshops and contributions from expert stakeholders in Government, industry and academic to provide a comprehensive update from the 2014 methodologies.

It responds to an increasingly diverse and complex range of priorities which underpin the delivery of capital programmes, including meeting the UK Government’s ambition to reach net zero by 2050 and to level up social and economic opportunities throughout the UK. In meeting the challenges, the Routemap aligns with the United National Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Patricia Moore, UK Managing Director at Turner & Townsend, commented: “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.”

It places a renewed emphasis on organisational design, digital technology and the transitions in capability required across the project lifestyle, drawing on expertise in change management to make sure beliefs encapsulated in early project business cases are maintained through delivery and realised in operation.

The Routemap takes the form of a handbook and series of eight advice modules targeted at a broad ‘delivery community’ within UK infrastructure – from rail, road and aviation, to defence, health and education. The modules focus on the capabilities required to take programmes successfully from conception and planning through procurement into readiness for delivery.

The ambition is to make sure that all major projects which are complex or novel use the Routemap methodology which was set out in the Government’s National Infrastructure Strategy in November 2020, and also forms part of the drive to fundamentally recalibrate the planning and delivery of major programmes.

Nick Smallwood, Chief Executive Officer of the IPA, commented: “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 fuelling 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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