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Stephen Barker


I'm Stephen Barker, Managing Director of Capital Programme Consultancy Ltd (CPC).
I have had the privilege of working with many talented people over the course of many years and I want to share with you the knowledge and practical experience I have gained in that time.

We all need to better understand how each decision we make impacts capital efficiency

Each gate review is an opportunity to check progress and correct the course, to maintain a clear focus, unify the team and facilitate agility at each phase. But do we see and grasp that opportunity?

So much nonsense is spoken today about delivering complex projects that often we don't see the wood for the trees. Everyone has an opinion and an agenda when it comes to delivering capital work.


Yet the basics are quite simple.

What is capital programme planning?

If you have sailed a yacht, or just watched a yacht on the horizon from the shore, you will know that you want to avoid the rocks! Planning the voyage is an important first step.

You need to know where you are at any point in time. You have to react to the wind and tide as they constantly change.  Sometimes the mist comes in, you cannot see!

The crew have to work as a team to avoid a disaster. 

Each team member has a contribution to make and you have to rely on one another so that you don't become shipwrecked. You may have to change tack from time to time but you remain true to the original course if you are to get to your destination in a timely manner.

It is exactly the same with capital programmes and major projects. You have to maintain your focus on the objective or as we now say the desired outcome.

To become a yacht master you have to gain practical experience. That is what we offer. Knowledge and practical experience of the whole spectrum of capital works. Help, to build your confidence and find your way in a complex world of confusing signals.

From initiation and business case writing to design, delivery, commissioning, handover and close out. A simple health check from time to time can keep you on the right course.

Many project managers will say they just want to get on with the job. But maintaining the course set by the owners is part of the job, and yes, good governance and assurance is as important as triangulating your position when sailing.


It is not a bureaucratic chore to know where you are as the mist surrounds you.


It is the difference between success and failure.

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