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Project 13 Highlights from 2023

Melissa Zanocco

Project 13 is a global industry change movement and is managed through a number of governance bodies and platforms that have been working hard throughout the year. This is a summary of some of the highlights for 2023.

Project 13 Network: the knowledge-sharing community for all those interested in delivering infrastructure differently and putting the Project 13 Principles into practice, now has over 4,600 members from across the globe. Help us to make it 5,000 by registering, if you have not already done so, or spreading the word (NB to access some of the links in this article, you will need to be registered on the Network)

Training: the first Project 13 training module, 'Introduction to Project 13', was published in Autumn. You can find out more and access it here.


Partner Initiatives: 

Strategy: The Strategy Group, chaired by @Dale Evans, has met three times this year to provide overall direction to Project 13. It is made up of the Chairs of the other governing bodies, plus representatives from our partners.

Adopters: The Project 13 Adopter Community is Co-Chaired by @Steve Hudson and @Melissa Zanocco and has welcomed two new Adopters this year Rolls-Royce Submarines and the New Hospital Programme (and we held a Peer Review Session to act as a critical friend on their strategy to date). A list of the Adopters is available here.

The Adopters started the year doing the Project 13 Maturity Matrix assessment - it is great to measure your own maturity but even better to be able to compare with your peers.

The Adopter Forum has met twice to oversee the strategic direction of the Adopters and has held workshops on:

  • Maintaining High-Performing Enterprises - looking at joint HS&W strategies across the Enterprise, including the supplier ecosystem. The journey for some organisations has been from trying to get consistent H&S strategies across their own organisation to looking at having something consistent across the supplier ecosystem, with their input. The next step is having shared wellbeing strategies across the Enterprise.
  • Relationship between Capable Owner and Integrator -  how the Project 13 Capable Owner can best interact with the Integrator to achieve optimum outcomes. Two perspectives were shared - an Adopter almost 5 years into their Enterprise and one just at the start. 
  • Commercial models - The Adopters talked through 'wiring diagrams' showing how they have translated the Project 13 Principles into practice in their commercial arrangements, including contracts, governance and incentives. 
  • Joint meeting with the Infrastructure Client Group Digital Transformation Task Group on de-mystifying AI for infrastructure delivery - After explaining exactly what AI is, and is not, in plain English, lots of practical examples of how the ICG members are already using AI were shared with a discussion on the potential for the future. The need to focus on outcomes and people, rather than seeing AI as the end in itself, and the need to use AI responsibly, including ethically, were some of the key messages.

Suppliers: Earlier this year the Project 13 Supplier Engagement Community, chaired by @Tony Gates, and supported by @Alasdair Reisner, released the results of the Project 13 Supplier Survey 2022. The results of the survey for 2023 will be released in Q1 of 2024.

The Supplier Forum has met 3 times to oversee the strategic direction of the Engagement Community and has held 3 workshops to create the Project 13 Supplier Roadmap that will be published in 2024.

Both Communities come together twice a year. At the workshop in the summer we identified the top characteristics of a Capable Owner and a Capable Supplier

Development Board: chaired by @Dale Evans and supported by @Amy Reed-Gibbs, oversees the Project 13 Pillar Development Groups on Capable Owner, Governance, Integration, Organisation and Digital Transformation and has met four times to offer guidance to the activity of the Groups, including the Capable Owner event and Governance Code mentioned above.

Digital Transformation Pillar / ICG Digital Transformation Task Group: these two groups, chaired by @Mark Enzer, worked together closely on joint outputs in 2023, including the joint AI workshop above:

The Project 13 Adopters are invited to the DTTG Peer Review Programme workshops. Highlights included:

  • Joint workshop with ICG Infrastructure Carbon Task Group 'How can data and digital support in enabling the achievement of Net Zero targets?' The discussion led to the following steps: start with the outcomes in mind, work back to confirm the process needed to achieve it and then identify the information requirements at each step of the process.
  • Government & Industry Interoperability Group (GIIG)'s Management Information Platform with a case study from the Environment Agency. It is becoming clearer that in order to ensure that the right information is getting to the right people at the right time for better decisions to be made, we need to collaborate across the Enterprise / supplier ecosystem - it is not enough just to get our own house in order. It is also critical that data is independent from the technology to ensure interoperability.
  • Apollo Protocol: Jonathan Eyre and Henry Fenby-Taylor took us through the journey they have been on to date, which is all documented in the Digital Twin Hub Apollo Protocol Network.
  • Houses of Parliament Restoration & Renewal Data and Digital team had a Peer Review Session where ICG members act as critical friends, giving feedback on their digital journey. 
  • UK Power Networks' Digitalisation Strategy and Action Plan. The DTTG believes that clients having Enterprise digital transformation strategies are a key lever to enabling the transformation of the industry and this is a perfect example. 
  • East West Railway Company's approach to digital systems. Although there was lots of technical talk it all came back to people and integration. What we want is for everything to be interoperable, and preferably in an automated way, so that people have the right quality data and information that they need, in a timely fashion, to make better decisions.
  • Joint workshop with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology on data accessibility and data-sharing architecture - If you have a presumption of openness then it changes the culture. It does not mean that the data needs to all be open but if you encourage people to think about why they should NOT share it rather than focusing on why they should - it drives a different approach. You can read the National Highways case study on valuing their data here.

ICG Infrastructure Carbon Task Group: Project 13 also holds joint workshops with the Infrastructure Carbon Task Group chaired by Rachel Skinner. Highlights from their programme this year include:

Launch of Concrete Decarbonisation Accelerator involving several of the ICG members and consisting of three streams:

  • Collaborative alignment – what can be done quickly and for little or no money just through consistency from the clients
  • Pipeline of demand for concrete – understand ICG-led demand for concrete so the supplier ecosystem can invest with confidence
  • Research into game changers that could have big impact but take longer

Input to several industry initiatives:

Workshops held every 6 weeks:

  • Resilience workshop: to discuss if our current approach to climate resilience is sufficient with guest speakers Thomas Abdallah, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York and Tom Burgoyne, Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo)
  • Circularity workshop: How can a group of economic infrastructure clients accelerate the move to more circular models by working together? With guest speakers Rafe Bertram, Enfield Council Meridian Water, Sara Solis, TULIPS – Green Airports and Christian van Maaren, Excess Materials Exchange
  • Joint workshop with the National Infrastructure Commission on the National Infrastructure Assessment 2 recommendation on Natural Capital. 
  • Joint workshop with National Infrastructure Commission and Digital Transformation Task Group on the National Infrastructure Assessment 2 recommendations:

    - For government to publish a full set of outcome based resilience standards for energy, water, digital, and transport services.

    - For infrastructure operators to estimate the costs of maintaining government resilience standards in the face of projected climate change to 2050.

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