Eduserv Symposium 2013 - Making the Games

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Emma Norris, Institute for Government presents 'Making the Games: what we can learn from London 2012', at the Eduserv Symposium 2013: In with the new.

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  • Read Boris quote. Should remind ourselves of the context of the Games as a project – in 2005 success was far from a foregone conclusion and the Games have greatly exceeded early expectations.
  • As many interviewees reminded us, London was far from the favourite to host the 2012 Olympics. Paris was considered the likely victor – even amongst some inside the UK bid team.
  • The UK had a mixed track record on major projects – the Millennium Dome, Wembley Stadium, NHS IT had all run into problems – whether on timing and finance as per Wembley and NHS IT, or content as with the Dome.Major project statistics:There are currently 205 projects in the government portfolio, with a whole life cost of £376 billion (£14.6 billion in 2011-12)Two thirds of public sector projects are completed late, over budget or do not deliver the outcomes expected39 of the 205 projects currently in the government portfolio (or 19%) have a delivery confidence rating of red or amber/red. These projects have a whole life-cost of £90 billion38% government projects lack adequate formal plans for assurance
  • The Olympics is one of the largest peacetime events in the world. The resourcing and ambition in terms of transport, regeneration, volunteers was enormous and fraught with risk.
  • There were many challenges that could have derailed the project. From the predictable – at least one General and two London elections were due to take place during the planning period.To the unpredictable - financial collapse and the 7/7 terrorist attack the day after London’s win
  • Despite this, the Games were highly successful in the eyes of the public. This success, in the face of possible failure, led us to ask why and how the project was achieved – and, through the lens of IfG’s interests, what this success meant for government effectiveness – in particular the effectiveness of government major projects.This is a question government itself is interested in both in terms of the Olympics (Cabinet Office work, DCMS work, other departmental work) and more broadly on major projects, given the investment in MPA (who were are extremely pleased are joining us here today).
  • The two ‘exam questions’ for the project were therefore (as above)The project ran from September to December 2012 in close collaboration with DCMS and the GOE, and helpful cooperation from all stakeholders.Researchers undertook 58 interviews with key figures including Lord Coe, Lord Deighton, Dame Tessa Jowell, Sir David Higgins and Sir John Armitt to understand their reflections on project successResearchers also undertook analysis of documents from NAO, OGC, IOC and othersThe project included three public seminars: on government structures, vision and delivery - with key figures from the Games – with a final event on legacy tonight.
  • These were the areas we examined in our interviews and analysis. They were formulated after scoping conversations and input from the Government Olympic Executive. For us, they capture the main components of the project but given the size of the project there are inevitably areas we have missed.
  • This next three slides focus on our first research question: what lay behind the successful delivery of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games?
  • This next three slides focus on our first research question: what lay behind the successful delivery of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games?
  • This next three slides focus on our first research question: what lay behind the successful delivery of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games?
  • This next three slides focus on our first research question: what lay behind the successful delivery of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games?
  • This next three slides focus on our first research question: what lay behind the successful delivery of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games?
  • These were the areas we examined in our interviews and analysis. They were formulated after scoping conversations and input from the Government Olympic Executive. For us, they capture the main components of the project but given the size of the project there are inevitably areas we have missed.
  • This next three slides focus on our first research question: what lay behind the successful delivery of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games?
  • This next three slides focus on our first research question: what lay behind the successful delivery of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games?
  • These were the areas we examined in our interviews and analysis. They were formulated after scoping conversations and input from the Government Olympic Executive. For us, they capture the main components of the project but given the size of the project there are inevitably areas we have missed.
  • This next three slides focus on our first research question: what lay behind the successful delivery of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games?
  • These final three slides answer our second question – what lessons can be applied to future major projects?
  • These final three slides answer our second question – what lessons can be applied to future major projects?
  • Eduserv Symposium 2013 - Making the Games

    1. 1. Making the GamesWhat can we learn from London 2012?Emma Norris, Institute for Government
    2. 2. 2Introduction“It was a surprise, wasn’t it? There we were, little old us, the country that made such aHorlicks of the Millennium Dome celebrations in 2000, putting on a flawlessperformance of the most logistically difficult thing you can ask a country to do inpeacetime. …I want you to remember that feeling of surprise because that surprise isrevealing of our chronic tendency in this country to underestimate what we can do. Wenow need to learn the lessons of the Olympics and the Paralympics.”(Boris Johnson)
    3. 3. London was the underdog3
    4. 4. The UK track record on major projects was mixed4
    5. 5. The scale and complexity was huge511 ‘Olympic hospitals’ on standby to provide free medical care for the ‘Olympic Family’52 every police force in the country provided security for the Games200 extra buses provided in London for the Games4,000 extra Games-time train services provided over the Olympics and Paralympics15,000 police officers deployed on the Olympic operation on peak days18,200 troops required to provide security for the Olympics at peak times
    6. 6. There were serious challenges along the way6• May 2010• September 2008• July 2005• May 2008
    7. 7. But the Games has been judged a success7“It has lifted the cloud of limitations.”– Emily, Games MakerGuardian/ICM: more than 75% of people say the Games were ‘well worth the cost’YouGov: 83% of the public thought the Games were a success
    8. 8. How did they do it?1. New ways of working2. New modes of engagement8
    9. 9. 9New ways of working
    10. 10. 10Our analysis: the building blocks for success1. PoliticsChallenge: changes of administration present danger for major projectsAnalysis: politics was dealt with head on - using its advantages and minimising therisks of administration change through transparency. But there were still challenges -for instance on reshuffles, and unusual advantages – for instance the guarantees.LeadershipGuaranteesCooperation
    11. 11. 11Our analysis: the building blocks for success2. People and skillsChallenge: capability gaps and changes in personnel are regular problems for majorprojects in governmentAnalysis:• world-class recruitment and leadership• creating and embracing mixed teams who were skilled at commercial andpolicy/political work• stability in personnel – politicians, civil servants and private sector staff stayed thecourse“The most important thing was never physical things; the most important thing wasalways people” - David Higgins, ex-Olympic Delivery Authority Chief Executive
    12. 12. 12Our analysis: the building blocks for success3. Institutional design and governanceChallenge: delivery bodies built from scratch; complex role of government asguarantor but not the only client; the hardest of deadlinesAnalysis:• institutions had clear roles and responsibilities, and the right powers“The correct answer to ‘Who’s in charge of the Olympic Games?’ is ‘Nobody’” –Jeremy Beeton, former Government Olympic Executive Director-General
    13. 13. 13Our analysis: the building blocks for success4. Programme management and deliveryChallenge: the delivery environment was complex and government track record oncommissioning and procurement mixedAnalysis:• focus on getting the scope right and high bar to change in ODA and LOCOG• investment in project management• the use of NEC3 contracting
    14. 14. 14But one warning:Challenge: the scale of the Games meant the project was fraught with riskAnalysis:• G4S failure – failure to adapt to new working environment; Games was no‘business-as-usual’
    15. 15. 15New modes of engagement
    16. 16. 16Our analysis: the building blocks for success1. BudgetChallenge: budget overruns are very common on Olympics and on government majorprojectsAnalysis:• transparency – quarterly reporting that drove efficient behaviour and kept pressand public informed
    17. 17. 17Our analysis: the building blocks for success2. VisionChallenge: there were a huge range of interests in the Games and the possibility ofconflict loomed largeAnalysis: the bid company developed a vision that tied everyone together – whilstallowing flexibility to meet subsidiary objectives including the benefits for London,the country and sports participationA greatGames foreveryoneRegenerateEast LondonRegionalbenefitsTourism££ for smallbusinesses
    18. 18. 18New skills sets
    19. 19. 19Once developed, make the most of new skills• Civil servants developed new expertise in major project management anddelivery• Commercial skills and ‘intelligent client’ role developed in partnership withprivate sector recruits• Are these skills being redeployed?
    20. 20. Overarching lessons from London 2012201. Project trumps silo“There was only one brand – London 2012” – David Higgins2. Bring together the right people in effective teams“That’s the most important thing – the team” – Metropolitan Police Assistant CommissionerChris Allison3. Personnel stability and personal relationships matter“It’s really about the ability of the people in those organisations to be open and honest andto have relationships that work, and they did in large part.” – Seb Coe4. Political cooperation creates space for project success“The big thing on political transition was transparency. There were no surprises when thenew government came in or when Boris took over from Ken” – Jonathan Stephens5. Change and time discipline are crucial“Many projects start with a scope that’s not buttoned down, a lack of clarity over theprogramme and therefore a budget that isn’t defined” – Dennis Hone
    21. 21. Lessons for government216. Budget transparency brings benefits“Transparency forced everyone to cut costs” – David Goldstone7. Arm’s length bodies and the public sector can deliver[London 2012] “brought out the public services and the civil service at their very best” –Jonathan Stephens8. Beware false economies“That front end costs money. Whether its private sector or public sector clients, they don’t likespending money at the front end.” – John Armitt9. Be bold and ambitious“Blair and Jowell were right about the Olympics and all the officials who advised them not todo it were wrong.” - former DCMS official
    22. 22. Download the report from: www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/publications

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