It was good to see so many PLP participants at the Alumni event held in the Churchill Room in London on Tuesday night. Tony Meggs gave a great introduction and told us he was heartened by his meeting with ministers and permanent secretaries that he hosted in Oxford, where they discussed the delivery of policy though projects.
The focus was on the early stages of projects, the bit where you are supposed to decide exactly what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to deliver your outcomes. Jonathan Simcock gave his version of Kipling’s “If” poem on things you should do if you want your project to fail, followed by the things you should do to increase your chances of success. This was followed by Joseph Lowe (from the Treasury and the author of the Green Book) talking about the five questions that the Treasury need answering before they will fund the project. The last speaker was Professor Peter Morris, who rewrote the book on what projects are all about by adding the front end to the delivery piece. He talked about the need to measure achievement of outcomes rather than the internal measures of success and he also spoke about the things you need to get right before you can really start.