The Mike Nichols Award for Inspiration 2016

We are delighted to announce that the 2016 Mike Nichols Award for Inspiration has been awarded to Nottingham City Council’s Good To Great Transformation programme.   The award was presented by Frances and Kathryn Nichols at the Association for Project Management Awards on the evening of 7 November.

The Good to Great Transformation programme has achieved many successes in the difficult environment of austerity budget cuts, rising demands and the changing role of a local authority.  A focus on innovative and transformative approaches has delivered budget reductions, improved quality, protected frontline services and has enabled Nottingham to grow and thrive as a city.  Through their commitment to designing and driving long term, sustainable change founded on their Citizens at the Heart ethos, Nottingham City Council are transforming how they serve their city and its people, providing a lasting legacy to the benefit of their community.

All of the finalist’s entries were extremely deserving of recognition and demonstrated hugely inspiring qualities.  Their bravery, innovative thinking and visionary approaches will have a great positive impact in the future.

We look forward to learning about and celebrating those who inspire the project community and the world in 2017.


Marie Gilmour – Nichols Innovation Champion

Marie Gilmour – Nichols Innovation Champion, led Crossrail’s world class Innovation Programme, Innovate18 between January 2014 and March 2016.  Under her leadership, the programme saw the introduction of products and services from a variety of Small and Medium Enterprises and engagement with Academia, including Imperial College, Reading University, and Cambridge University’s Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction.

Innovate18 promotes and enables collaboration across the Supply Chain, and provides a platform to enable sharing of ideas and innovation in practice.  Innovation is nurtured, focusing on strategic themes that will drive value to delivery of the Crossrail project: Efficiency, Digital Integration, Health and Safety, and Sustainability.  Many innovations have been implemented in Crossrail’s construction, including use of sensor technology, and drones.  They have utilised software to benefit from efficiencies in the red-lining process (Basestone) and have explored Augmented and Virtual reality applications for possible use in Interdisciplinary Design Reviews, and Health and Safety briefings.  The Crossrail Learning Legacy website shares learning that future projects will benefit from.

Marie is passionate about innovation, and believes that having innovation and collaboration at the heart of organisations, enables major programmes to reap significant benefits – improving both deliverability, and assurance of outcomes.  She has spoken at a number of industry events over the last 12 months, including: The Railway Industry Association Technology and Conference Centre on 16 March 2016, where she spoke about the benefits of an Innovation programme to a Construction Programme; the Internet of Things Conference on 7 March, where she spoke about How a Mega-Project planned 20 years ago adopts new and emerging ideas; the VRTGO conference on 12 November 2015, where she spoke about opportunities for Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies in construction; and the NCE Future Technology Forum on 1 October 2015, where she spoke about Crossrail’s use of drones.

Most recently, Marie spoke at the Internet of Things (IoT) Conference in Sweden on 7-8 September discussing how the IoT is delivering value to the UK Infrastructure industry, and was on the expert panel for the Innovation Showcase competition at the NCE UK Rail Conference on 22-23 June.


Major programmes and the role of a single controlling mind

Neil McCrimmon has written an article for the APM discussing the role of a single controlling mind in planning major programmes. Click here to read the article.


The Mike Nichols Award for Inspiration finalists are announced

Thank you to all those who entered, all of the applications were inspirational and we would like to congratulate all those who applied or were nominated on their superb successes and achievements.

The winner will be announced at the APM Awards on 7 November 2016.  Click here to view the finalists.


Report on the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster

Nichols has contributed supporting evidence to a report on the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster that has been published by the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster.

The report contains recommendations on a preferred way forward for carrying out the essential works required to the Palace, and contains a draft Motion for the House of Lords and the House of Commons to consider. Click here to view the full report and here to view Nichols supporting evidence.


Nichols Innovation Champion presenting at Mega Project Workshop in Rome

On 19 May, Tim DeBarro – Nichols Innovation Champion will be presenting at this international mega project workshop in Rome. Tim will share Nichols work in the development and implementation of the Innovation Programme at Crossrail and discuss the legacy and benefits for future projects.