Oxford Programme Management Conference 2018 _ Lessons Learned & Challenges

Oxford Programme Management Conference 2018 _ Lessons Learned & Challenges

During the weekend, we had the privilege to attend the OPM 2018 Conference, an extraordinary opportunity to meet some of former SBS Executive Programmes Lecturers and Professors and to share ideas with some of the great educators and players of the programme management industry about the topic of „mastering scale”. A lot of powerful ideas, great talks and intriguing challenges were put on the table during the conference panels and on informal talks. In the faith of best practices, we let you know what were, in our opinion, the most important ideas and challenges, which arise from Oxford PM event.

Major Programme Management Context

  1. The need for Human Interaction; Connectivity is the real driver of progress and evolution (Sir David Higgins, Chairman, Gatwick Airport Ltd.; Chairman, High-Speed Two (HS2) Ltd.
  2. The major programmes infrastructure market is about 2,5 Trillion ( and the needed infrastructure is about 94 T)
  3. Construction is probably the only industry which negatively evolved over the last 70 years on productivity – it still relies on the „manual revolution”; therefore, „a huge opportunity exists in moving from 1.0 to 4.0 (digital)” –Dr. Atif Ansar -Programme Director, MSc in Major Programme Management, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

What about Digital Transformation Programme or Projects?

  1. Digital Transformation in construction means going modularized, digital, automated, simple and using platforms
  2. The key risk in Digital Transformation Projects relies on Technology itself
  3. A successful DTP put the customer first (business value), then processes, then DATA and only after software implementation. Technology is useless without valuable outcomes! Applied technology is the key! Maybe a new management function should be introduced – CRO – Chief Realism Officer 🙂
  4. Leaders should empower employees, introduce democratization and full transparency! Leadership ingredient could be the missing link even you have a state-of-the-art technology. One of the biggest challenges is the „WHO”. Therefore,  Prof.Bent Flyvbjerg
     recommendation was „HIRE Talent!” (or train from organization).
  5. Project management is a critical strategic capability! You have to prepare your organization for DTP! Train your people, increase PM Maturity and implement gradually („bite-size”)!
  6. Major Programmes need the full support of stakeholders! It is usual that a major programme implementation to include legislation changes and new regulations!
  7. The Fintech industry is evolving and the banks will be more and more present in our lives! Probably it will be a personal specific approach to every individual.
  8. The 3 most important things in a major programme are: initiating effectively, sponsorship and delivery
  9. Major programme success is about confidence, culture and challenging the assumptions
  10. Leverage trends, Become Data-centric, Focus on the user and Invest in exploration – as key success factors for digitalization in construction
  11. A major Programme means enabling capabilities + domain expertize + catalyst event/ idea/issue
  12. Technology is the starting point of a technological wave, not the end! The closing remarks were linked to „Productive efficiency and Adaptive efficiency should be the drivers of our next challenges!”. These were contextualized by Prof Marc Ventresca.

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