CCFE is the UK’s national laboratory for fusion research. CCFE (formerly known as UKAEA Culham) is based at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire and is owned and operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

Today the UK fusion programme is centred on the innovative MAST (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) experiment and employs around 150 people. The programme is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the European Union under the EURATOM treaty.

The Business Challenges

Europe. With all this in mind there are multiple projects running simultaneously and sound project management is required to ensure there are no clashes and that the facilities are available for scientific research as and when they are required.

The prime objective of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) senior management was to increase the awareness and skills of project management across the departments and embed a standard approach based on the PMI method

A second requirement was to spot talented members of staff who either expressed a wish to get into project management or would be potential candidates as project managers.

The Solution

The Pearcemayfield approach to this was to engage with the senior management to assess their current situation and help them decide whether to take an accredited route or a more practical set of workshops to achieve their aims.

Pearcemayfield decided to use a highly experienced programme and project manager who was local to CCFE and had worked in the engineering sector to run the project as credibility was a major factor in helping CCFE embed project management practice within their organization.

Many delegates who attended the first workshop attended the other two and CCFE is extremely pleased with the results leading to the following comments from the Learning and Development Manager ‘These have been the best courses we have ever run here at CCFE’ and ‘We have been oversubscribed on the courses and will have to commission more workshops’.

The Outcome

Prior to the Practical Project Management workshops CCFE did not have a consistent project delivery method across the organization. PMI was the favoured method but it was used by a few experienced project managers and many others had been left to their own devices. They also had a dearth of project managers and did not know if there were staff who would enjoy the challenge of running projects.

After the Practical Project Management workshops, the staff were enthused by the practical approach, had a standard and consistent method to employ and identified themselves as potential project managers to fill the resource shortage.

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