Oxford and BT establish major programme management research centre

BT and the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford are to establish what is claimed to be the world’s first research centre for major programme management.

BT and the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford are to establish what is claimed to be the world’s first research centre for major programme management.

The new BT Centre for Major Programme Management will carry out a programme of leading-edge and multi-disciplinary research, drawing together the expertise within the Saïd Business School and the broader University of Oxford (within departments such as engineering, computer science and law), and practitioners from the global business community. 

As well as carrying out research in this field, the centre will also develop a teaching programme which will lead to an MSc in Major Programme Management to be launched in Autumn 2008.

BT said major programmes, such as the Olympics, which are characterised by being complex, high value, long-term projects, have proliferated in recent years.

Yet there is a shortage of rigorous, empirically grounded and intellectually robust support for this discipline, said BT.

BT said the traditional tools and techniques of project management are no longer sufficient for the complex task of major programme management.

The BT Centre for Major Programme Management is intended to consolidate knowledge around this field, which has significance economically and often politically.

The BT Centre is expected to be fully operational in 2008. A director of the Centre and a BT Professor of Major Programme Management will be appointed and further research appointments will follow.

Tim Smart, president of BT Global Services UK, said, “We will see an increasing number of these huge programmes as a result of rapid technological change and the effects of global connectivity, so there has never been a greater need to create a world-class research centre focused on improving overall predictability and performance.”

Colin Mayer, dean of 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.

“The field of Major Programme Management is emergent and dynamic and requires leading-edge research which takes into account the latest understanding of best practice in the area.”

Last week, Cambridge University announced a new technology research department in partnership with Nokia.

Related article: Cambridge University joins forces with Nokia on research

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