Infrastructure Projects Authority overhauls Project Routemap

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The Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA) has overhauled its Project Routemap, updating the guidance in response to the growing complexity of priorities for major programmes.

The overhaul takes into account a move beyond just the time and cost of delivery of projects, to assessing their environmental and social priorities, such as net zero and the government’s policy of ‘levelling up’ towns and cities around the country.

The work on the Routemap has been led by the IPA with support from consultant Turner & Townsend and academics at University College London (UCL).

The new guidance, which updates the 2014 methodology, has been informed by workshops and contributions from stakeholders across government, industry and academia.

The government set out a goal to ensure that all complex or novel projects use the Routemap methodology in its National Infrastructure Strategy, published in November 2020.

The overhauled Routemap places an emphasis on organisational design, digital technology, and the transitions in capability required across the project lifecycle, drawing on expertise in change management to ensure benefits encapsulated in early project business cases are maintained through delivery and realised into 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 from conception and planning through procurement and readiness for delivery.

Patricia Moore, UK managing director at Turner & Townsend, 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, chief executive officer of the IPA, said: “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 the Routemap will give confidence to the people delivering them, those approving them, and those investing in them.”

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