Emma Norris from the Institute for Government on What can we learn from London 2012. Author of this report.
Scale and complexity was huge.
Serious challenges along the way including security, financial etc
But was perceived to be very successful
So, how did we deliver such a complex, risky project so well?
Two main ways of doing it, new ways of working and new ways of engagement
New way of working
Politics was dealt with head on, using its advantages and minimising risks. Real openness between different parties. Turned it into an advantage
People and skills.
World class recruitment and leadership in Finance, HT, IT, project management etc
Also hired the best people to the teams, mixed teams, multi skilled
Stability , personnel stayed the course
Design and governance
Delivery bodies were built from scratch, responsibility spread across different government departments. Everyone had clear roles and responsibilities in different organisations. Lots placed at arms length form government
Programme management and delivery
Failing to deliver on time was not an option!
Focused on getting the scope right, and didn't change it
Large investment in project management £725m spent on it!
Delegate authority to bodies such as TfL, Olympic delivery authority
Some failures. Eg G4S security, they tried to treat it as business as usual. Didn't step up and adopt new ways of working.
New ways of engagement
Budget. Often public sector projects go over budget. This process was transparent. Quarterly reporting that drove efficicnet behaviour.
LCOG created a vision that tied everyone together whilst allowing flexibility to meet all agendas including benefits to London, the country and sports participation
New skill sets.
Civil servants developed new expertise in major project management and delivery
Commercial skills and intelligent client role developed in partnership with private sector.
Are these skills being redeployed?
Some overarching lessons:
Project trumps silo
Bring together right people in effective teams
Personnel stability and personal relationships matter
Political cooperation creates space for project success
Change and time discipline are crucial
Arms length bodies and the public sector can deliver
Budget transparency matters
Design in safety and sustainability from the start
Beware false economies
Plan, assure, test
Be bold and ambitious
Lots of lessons from this that can be applied to all major projects. Especially with £727m is available ;-)
Excellent talk, and I suspect the report I linked to at the beginning would be an interesting read.
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