Oxford University and BT have joined forces to open a research centre dedicated to major programme management.
The BT Centre for Major Programme Management is thought to be the first of its kind in the world and will be based at the University’s Saïd Business School.
It aims to meet the growing need for rigorous, empirically grounded research to support increasingly complex large-scale projects, which are difficult to manage successfully with traditional project management tools and techniques.
A survey of 100 UK-based project and programme managers conducted by the business school found that six out of 10 felt that current educational opportunities did not meet their needs. Lack of suitable skills meant that 23% of programmes did not effectively identify milestones, while nearly half experienced problems with the bidding process.
The centre will bring together eminent practitioners from the global business community, expertise from the university’s departments of computer science, engineering and law and the business school’s own academic staff. It will focus on a practical approach to effectively managing large scale programmes.
The centre aims to carry out multidisciplinary research as well as developing a teaching programme that will lead to an MSc in Major Programme Management, to be launched in Autumn 2008.
Professor Colin Mayer, dean of the Saïd Business School, said: “There is a professional need for high-level research and education in programme management which is not currently being served by any global business school.”
He added: “We envisage that the BT centre will create a community of knowledge and will provide a resource for practitioners to locate the latest thinking on specialist topics. It will be a priority for the BT centre to disseminate its work to the widest possible audience through publications, case studies, workshops, executive education and events.”