No Content Set
Exception:
Website.Models.ViewModels.Components.General.Banners.BannerComponentVm

Services

Technical services and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government sectors.

Advisory and management consulting

Advisory and management consulting services for businesses and projects, including economics, due diligence, transaction advisory, ESG and more.

Communications, creative and digital

Communications, creative and digital solutions for governments and businesses including community engagement, design, research, data and software development.

Laboratories

Scientific analysis services for AgroScience, food safety, workplace exposure, environmental metrics and contaminants of concern in Europe and the UK.

Planning and approvals

Development strategy, planning and approval solutions for buildings, infrastructure, transport and city projects and investments.

Project and program management

Project management solutions for the most complex building, infrastructure, organisational change, and systems projects.

Training

Specialist training services, programs and accreditation for health, safety and risk, project management, and energy sector capability development.

Sectors

World-leading technical and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, resources, water, defence and government sectors.

Property

Design, technical and advisory services for the property sector, including residential, commercial, retail, industrial, health, education and data centre projects.

Energy

Energy exploration, development and optimisation solutions for renewables, power and gas networks, energy storage, oil and gas and nuclear facilties.

Transport

Smart, safe and sustainable transport infrastructure development services and advice for rail, aviation, port and road clients and projects.

Defence and government services

Expertise for defence capability and infrastructure investments, security and safety projects, and information and telecommunications initatives.

Water

Discover our industry-leading strategy, design and management solutions for wastewater, groundwater, flooding, drainage and network infrastructure.

Resources

Commercial data, design advice and technical management solutions for safe and environmentally responsible resource exploration and operations.

About us

Responsibility

Services

Technical services and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government sectors.

explore Services
Advisory and management consulting

Advisory and management consulting services for businesses and projects, including economics, due diligence, transaction advisory, ESG and more.

Due diligence

Economics

Strategy and transformation

Commercial and technical advisory

Transaction advisory

Project investment and finance

ESG consulting

Explore Advisory and management consulting
Communications, creative and digital

Communications, creative and digital solutions for governments and businesses including community engagement, design, research, data and software development.

Communications and engagement

Creative, visualisation and immersive design

Social advisory and research

Data management, analytics and insights

Spatial intelligence and GIS

Software development

Explore Communications, creative and digital
Design and development

Technical and consulting services for buildings, infrastructure and cities including architecture, engineering, surveying, landscape architecture and urban design.

Architecture

Lifts and escalators

Building services engineering

Civil engineering

Fire engineering

Geotechnical engineering

Landscape architecture

Structural engineering

Surveying

Utility options and design

Urban design

Explore Design and development
Laboratories

Scientific analysis services for AgroScience, food safety, workplace exposure, environmental metrics and contaminants of concern in Europe and the UK.

AgroScience analysis

Food safety analysis

PFAS Analysis

Environmental analysis

Analysis of unknowns

Workplace exposure analysis

Explore Laboratories
Planning and approvals

Development strategy, planning and approval solutions for buildings, infrastructure, transport and city projects and investments.

Planning consultancy

Transport planning

Explore Planning and approvals
Project and program management

Project management solutions for the most complex building, infrastructure, organisational change, and systems projects.

Program management

Project management

Cost management / quantity surveying

Building consultancy

Explore Project and program management
Training

Specialist training services, programs and accreditation for health, safety and risk, project management, and energy sector capability development.

Health, safety and risk

Training: project management

Capability development and training for the energy sector

Explore Training

Sectors

World-leading technical and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, resources, water, defence and government sectors.

explore Sectors
Property

Design, technical and advisory services for the property sector, including residential, commercial, retail, industrial, health, education and data centre projects.

Residential

Commercial and retail

Leisure and tourism

Industrial

Health and healthcare

Education

Data centres

Explore Property
Energy

Energy exploration, development and optimisation solutions for renewables, power and gas networks, energy storage, oil and gas and nuclear facilties.

Oil and gas

Renewables

Nuclear facilities

Power and gas networks

Storage

Explore Energy
Transport

Smart, safe and sustainable transport infrastructure development services and advice for rail, aviation, port and road clients and projects.

Rail

Aviation

Ports

Roads

Explore Transport
Defence and government services

Expertise for defence capability and infrastructure investments, security and safety projects, and information and telecommunications initatives.

Defence

Security and safety

Information and telecommunications

Explore Defence and government services
Water

Discover our industry-leading strategy, design and management solutions for wastewater, groundwater, flooding, drainage and network infrastructure.

Water management

Wastewater

Flooding and drainage

Groundwater

UK and Ireland regulated water asset management

Explore Water
Resources

Commercial data, design advice and technical management solutions for safe and environmentally responsible resource exploration and operations.

Mining

Waste

Explore Resources

Projects

We define, design and manage projects that create shared value to a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world.

explore Projects

Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

explore Insights

New book by Dr Greg Usher asks: what is project management really?

27 September 2021 | 5 min read

RPS Executive General Manager - Buildings and Property, Dr Greg Usher has authored a new book set to redefine project management. 

The culmination of years of academic research and decades of experience as a project manager, Project management in the 21st Century: what you need to know about the elephant, eco-system and experience challenges the industry’s own preconceptions about what project managers do, and why.

Greg says the idea stemmed from the challenges he would face in describing his job to friends or acquaintances.

“Most people find talking about their job easy— ‘I’m a doctor, I assess sick people when they are ill, diagnose what’s wrong, and prescribe medication to help them get better’. When I tried to explain what I do, none of the definitions seemed right—they always lacked something. So, I asked one simple question: ‘why is project management so difficult to explain?'

“The question led me on a journey of discovery regarding the profession. Along the way, I found out that I’m not the only one who has trouble explaining what project managers do. In the book, I talk about our propensity to argue about what I’ve dubbed the ‘elephant’, disregard the ‘eco-system’, and ignore the experiential aspects of project management.”

Theoretical underpinnings unpacked and challenged

In the book, Greg goes right back to the beginning of his profession. While ‘small p’ project management has existed for millennia, Project Management as a professional discipline is much newer. Spawned by the arrival of mechanised manufacturing in the industrial age, perceptions about the discipline are borrowed from, and shaped by, theories of standardised, unitised manufacturing.

“While some aspects of these theories are helpful, for example in controlling cost, time and quality, many of the assumptions that support them simply do not fit into the practice of project management. In fact, some are diametrically opposed to the nature of projects. And yet, they have become the foundations of the entire profession.”

Greg proposes a new way to see, define, and ultimately manage projects. At the core of this is understanding the nature of value, and how it is created.

“People don’t build hospitals for the love of large institutional buildings. They create them for the health of communities, the advancement of medical science, the capacity they provide us to quickly and safely respond when communicable diseases like COVID-19 threaten public health.

“Whether it’s a building, a system, or any other type of initiative, a project is a means to an end. Or perhaps more accurately, a means to many ends. And yet, project managers continue to measure success on how strictly we can adhere to rigid, unitised production metrics like cost and time.

“These are objective measures of how to successfully ‘make things’ quickly and cost-effectively. What they can’t measure is where the project management magic really happens—creating value by taking a group of people who have never worked together before, on a journey that no one has taken before, to achieve an outcome that has never been created before."

Prioritising people, pursuing value

Greg argues that the competencies we use to assess whether a project manager is good at their job neglects the core capabilities that project managers really need–the ability to manage relationships and align stakeholders around the pursuit of value.

“No project is an island. They occur in a complex world of human interaction. What’s missing from the underpinning theories is the humanity. The ‘why’ behind the project. Our theoretical foundations drive us to focus on the ‘product’, but true value is created through the project management experience.”

Greg says some of the most successful projects he’s worked on could be considered objective failures if assessed purely on their performance against the original budget or program developed on day one.

As projects evolve, so too do stakeholders’ understanding, and expectations. This creates opportunities and challenges that simply did not exist at the start of the project – and every one of these presents an opportunity for value creation.

“Projects are more valuable than the individual components that make them up—a university is worth infinitely more than the bricks and mortar from which it is built. Just how valuable is determined by people. The students, teaching staff and community that the project will serve.

“As project managers, it’s our job to facilitate a continuing, ongoing conversation about value creation. We’re here to ensure that every action, at every phase of the project—be that design, construction, commissioning, or anything in between—adds value. And ultimately, our goal should be the creation of something that is invaluable to stakeholders."

Dr Greg Usher with his new book 'Project management in the 21st century: what you need to know about the elephant, eco-system and experience'
Dr Greg with his new book Project Management in the 21st Century: What you need to know about the elephant, the eco-system and the experience.

So, if our ideas about project management are wrong, what's next?

Well, Greg has plenty of positive ideas about the future of project management, so you’ll need to read the book. In the meantime, if you need support with a project, we’ve got a Dr/author/project management guru who has done the research, asked the questions, and is here to help.

Project management in the 21st Century: what you need to know about the elephant, eco-system and experience is available in hard copy or e-book, through Springer, Amazon, or Google Books.

Get in touch with Dr Greg and discover more of his insights on project management>>

 

About RPS

Founded in 1970, RPS, A Tetra Tech Company (RPS) is a leading global professional services firm of 5,000 consultants and service providers. Operating in 125 countries, working across six continents we define, design and manage projects that create shared value to a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world.

RPS delivers a broad range of services in six sectors: property, energy, transport, water, defence and government services and resources. Services provided across RPS' six sectors cover twelve service clusters: project and program management, design and development, water services, environment, advisory and management consulting, exploration and development, planning and approvals, health, safety and risk, oceans and coastal, laboratories, training and communications, creative and digital services.

RPS stands out for its clients by using its deep expertise to solve problems that matter, making them easy to understand. Making complex easy.

For further information, please visit www.rpsgroup.com.