Using intelligent forecasting to reduce risk in major programmes

Published by Ben Morris on

A big thanks to Richard Corderoy from The Oakland Group for his presentation at the Project Data Analytics Community meetup on 29 April. We had a record attendance of ~150 people.

Richard provided an overview of his work with Network Rail on intelligent forecasting. Ground breaking work, but he confirmed that we are still in the foothills with so much more opportunity ahead of us.The video can be found here

Some key points I took from it were:

  • Start with the use case
  • Iterate and experiment. There will be dead ends
  • Data engineering is very important
  • Demonstrate the benefits
  • The correlations between the data sets are really important
  • Having automated reporting removes the temptation to manipulate the data
  • When we build in supply chain data it will become incredibly powerful
  • Clients will soon start to request data as part of the contract, but need to be grown up on how they use it
  • Benefit also comes from understanding the data and the feedback loop to improve how we capture it.

The session was interactive and I’ve attached some of the results from mentimeter below:

We asked the audience about their data quality. You will note the shadow in the background that illustrates the distribution in scores. It highlights that we still have a long way to go. Until we start to value our project delivery data and how we extract insights from it, we will always struggle to deliver the vision outlined in Richard’s presentation. But those who do engage will outperform everyone else. 

We also asked how these methods would impact your role. Over half of people see that it will change their role and they need to act, within only 6% indicating that it wouldn’t change their role. 


We also asked how useful the predictions would be and 60% confirmed that it would be useful for their businesses, with only 2% indicating that it wouldn’t be useful. 

Martin Paver is CEO/Founder of Projecting Success. In Dec 2017 he saw the opportunity to transform how projects could be delivered through the application of advanced data analytics and founded the London Project Data Analytics meetup, which has expanded throughout the UK and has grown to a community of ~5500 people. He delivers strategic and tactical solutions that integrate project management and leading edge data science and analytics. He also founded the project data analytics apprenticeship; a scheme that will upskill a new cadre of project professionals.  


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