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Project 13 Early Adopter case study: SMP Alliance 10th April 2024

Amy Reed-Gibbs

REGISTER HERE to attend the next of the Project 13 webinar series 10th April 2024 9am - 11am GMT

What makes SMP Alliance such a successful example of a Project 13 Enterprise? Put simply, they have created an environment of integration and collaboration which has enabled people and organisations to achieve better outcomes.

As part of the Smart Motorways Programme (SMP), National Highways recognised that to make a difference, they needed to transform not only what they did, but how they did it. That realisation led them to Project 13 and what is now one of the most mature, class-leading examples of a Project 13 Enterprise.

Together, each of the seven members of the Alliance together with their wider supplier community, are embarked on a journey to realise the potential of their enterprise and unlock the benefits it can deliver.

This insightful session will share experiences and learnings covering the background of SMP Alliance, its set up and mobilisation, how it works commercially and has overcome multiple challenges, as well as the real differences the Alliance it is making at scheme level.



John Grimm, Production Director, SMP Alliance

John is committed to improving the performance of the infrastructure sector and passionately believes that the key to this is moving from traditional transactional models to collaborative win-win relationships that boost certainty and productivity to deliver better outcomes for all.

He has broad infrastructure experience and has held a variety of senior leadership positions, including playing a central role in Anglian Water’s @one Alliance. In this role he led projects that were both referenced in the UK Government National Infrastructure plan as an excellent case study for sustainable construction, and used as a best practise case study in ICG’s Project 13 report ‘From Transactions to Enterprise’. John was a co-author and launched the Alliancing Code of Practice. 

It was this experience that led him to join National Highways in 2018 to lead delivery of the organisation’s first alliance and be a key figure on the SMP Alliance Leadership Team (ALT). John has ben the key architect for the Alliance and its strategy, with the goal of creating an industry leading way of working that will improve safety, the customer experience and deliver greater efficiency. 


Tony Slater, Managing Director, SMP Alliance

Tony Slater has demonstrable history of successful project delivery and alliancing within civil engineering and infrastructure projects. He was appointed Managing Director of SMP Alliance by National Highways in April 2020, having previously been with Balfour Beatty on both motorway and rail projects.

Based on Project 13 principles, SMP Alliance is a unique integrated enterprise comprising seven members together with a wider supplier network. The members are: National Highways as the client; Fluor as the production management partner; Jacobs and WSP as the digitally-enabled design partners; Balfour Beatty, bmJV (the BAM / Morgan Sindall Joint Venture) and Costain as the three on-site assembly partners.

Tony’s has led SMP Alliance’s mission to be a high-performance enterprise that excels in delivering multiple major schemes nationally across the strategic road network. His experience and proven ability in transforming performance through authentic and committed leadership has been central to successfully overcoming the considerable challenge of mobilising this new enterprise in the middle of the COVID pandemic, and subsequently navigating multiple significant external challenges and change factors that have impacted on the Alliance’s programme scope.


Peter Winnicott, Commercial & Procurement Director, SMP Alliance

An RICS chartered QS with 33 years in civil engineering contracting, Peter began his early career in highways before spending 14 years in the water sector working with organisations on their transition away from transactional procurement towards more collaborative frameworks and programmatic delivery. 

Peter then worked on rail and highways projects with a further focus on delivering complex schemes through collaborative approaches, working closely with the client to ensure performance and commercial sustainability for both client and contractor. Projects included Dartford Freeflow, the Managed Motorway Programme and then Commercial Director on the first Smart Motorways Programme in RIS1 2015-2020 where he oversaw £1.2bn across three major schemes.

He has been Commercial & Procurement Director since SMP Alliance was formed in 2020, bringing a passion for bringing the best out of people through opportunities, integrity in delivery and collaborative working to focus on collective success.


Harriet Buffery, Senior Commercial Manager, SMP Alliance

Harriet has extensive experience leading commercial teams on major infrastructure schemes, including multiple highways projects. She is a results-driven Senior Commercial Manager with a passion for implementing change and improving the way construction projects are managed through effective communication.

Experienced in NEC contract management with a specific focus on supply chain procurement and management, Harriet champions collaboration and is an active mentor focusing on professional development and chartership. Her previous highways experience includes Senior QS for the M3 J2-4a works between 2014-2018 before being appointed Commercial Manager M4 structures between 2018-2021.

Harriet joined SMP Alliance in 2021 as Commercial Manager for the M3 J9-14 scheme, where she led procurement and management of £70m Subcontract Packages under the NEC4 Alliance Framework with responsibility for all commercial reporting including cashflow forecasts, cost value reconciliations, applications, payments and valuations. Most recently she is Senior Commercial Manager for the National Emergency Area Retrofit (NEAR) south schemes.

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1/ Please can we make sure the risk assessments to cover road users are attributed and visible. Signed off by knowledgeable People not politicians.

2/ Where are the future HGV in motion smart motorway infrastructure going to sit lane wise.

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Delighted to have received an invitation to yet another excellent-looking event and happy to ask respectful questions and perhaps contribute based on (if and when appropriate) on my recently published (in press) research on the role that social media increasingly  plays in the successful delivery of such socially important infrastructure during this age of the Climate Crisis and how 'traditional' stakeholder theory could (and I would, and have argued) should be supplemented with novel analytical approaches to gain better insights into such societal changes.   

With best regards Dennis O'Keeffe  https://www.linkedin.com/in/dennis-o-keeffe-a75a8315?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_profile_view_base_contact_details%3Bqj%2FRw0CORA2gyyRqMAvjkQ%3D%3D

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