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How to identify and recruit infrastructure leaders

Adam Kirkup

What competencies, skills and experiences are required by leaders in a Capable Owner organisation? How does an Owner find these individuals and what barriers might it face to securing them?  

Project 13’s Capable Owner working group has published considered advice on the composition and recruitment of leadership teams.

The Identifying & recruiting infrastructure leaders report reflects the research and discussions that took place during the Capable Owner working group on the skills and experience required by the leaders of Owner organisations. It suggests factors to consider when recruiting such individuals, and practical steps that an infrastructure organisation should take to maximise its chances of recruiting the best leadership possible? 

About the report

Between July and October 2017, the Capable Owner working group of Project 13 considered the necessary qualities, capabilities, and behaviours of infrastructure Owners. It summarised its findings in a Capability Maturity Model.  This model provides an effective tool by which an Owner can evaluate its current approach and measure its progress towards Capable Owner status.  
In parallel, the Capable Owner working group explored the competencies of leaders within Owner organisations as ultimately it is they who will set the goals, priorities and culture to ensure the Owner organisation achieves its specified outcomes.  
Regardless of whether they are employed directly by the Owner or come from a consultancy, integrator or supply chain partner, the quality of leaders is vital. Selecting them and ensuring that they operate effectively is one of the most important decisions the Owner organisation will make.   
So, what competencies, skills and experiences are required by leaders in a Capable Owner organisation? How does an Owner find these individuals and what barriers might it face to securing them?  

To answer these questions, the Project 13 Capable Owner working group with the support and facilitation of Professor Graham Winch and his team from Alliance Manchester Business School, examined the skills required by leaders in a Capable Owner organisation in the infrastructure sector.

The report and its conclusions can be downloaded via the resources section of the Project 13 Network website

Please note that you must be signed in, or register as a member of the Project 13 network to access this report.  It is free to become a member, and you simply need to complete the simple registration details here

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Thank you Adam for this report, which as stated is focussed on the skills and experience required by the leaders of Owner organisations,  a role that I have been undertaking as an accredited NHS Project Director for many years.   

One question  for me that arises after reading it is that,  although not mentioned in the report, 'what role do you think that integrity plays in such a role? '  I did in fact prepare an earlier response illustrating this question with an example drawn from experience but it appears to have disappeared from you system (which is itself of concern if time and effort being put into responding to such matters).


Dennis O'Keeffe FRICS FCIOB FICE C.Eng


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