Project W1 wins Association for Project Management award
As I sat in the London Hilton on Monday night at the Association for Project Management’s annual awards ceremony, there was a frisson of excitement in the air. The BBC was up for the prestigious title of “Programme of the Year” – not, as you might think, for a TV or radio programme – but for the W1 Programme – a major project that successfully delivered a state of the art creative hub in the centre of London that brings together over 5,500 staff from the BBC’s Television, Radio, News (national and international) and Online services in the redeveloped and iconic Broadcasting House. And the excitement spilled over into jubilation when it was announced that the BBC had actually won its first industry award for project management.
So how did we manage to successfully deliver this, now, award-winning major project? Its success was down to a combination of collaborative working - we made the project a collaborative experience for all - open teamwork, engagement with all the moving BBC divisions, good project leadership and a strong commitment from stakeholders.
Programme Director Andy Griffee and his central W1 Project team, supported by the delivery teams from BBC Operations, Technology and Workplace, worked hand-in-hand with all the BBC divisions moving into the new building.
The approach worked - all areas were delivered safely, over 72 weekends, with the right training (17,494 training days in total) delivered at the right time, to multiple tight deadlines and without any on-air interruptions. No mean feat when moving over 3,500 journalists out of five different buildings across London into a new building with new production and technical facilities. And all this came to a head in perhaps the busiest editorial year in our history with the Olympics, Paralympics and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
But we did it – we managed the seamless on-air transfer of 3x24 hour television news channels, 3 network radio stations, 26 international language radio services, all of the main Radio 4 and World Service news programmes including Today, World at One and PM as well as other live programmes such as Newsnight, The Marr Show, Sunday Politics and the main One, Six and Ten O’Clock TV news bulletins.
Accepting the trophy on behalf of the BBC, Director of Operations, Dominic Coles told the audience of professional project managers that new Broadcasting House “will be a lasting legacy of this success, as will the quality of the programming produced in this state of the art building.”
So do come and visit your stunning new Broadcasting House and while you are here, be sure to admire the shiny new trophy displayed in the main reception - testament to the hard work and collective efforts of all those involved in this 10 year major project.
Andy Baker is W1 Manager at the BBC
Discover more on the W1 Project on the Broadcasting House website.
BBC Shows and Tours offer members of the public the chance to visit the building, learn about its architecture and how some of the output is made.
In his last blog for About the BBC, Andy reflected on his first 100 days in his job as W1 Manager, including the visit by Her Majesty the Queen to formally open Broadcasting House.