The winning side: project management at Lloyd’s Register

Stained glass window at Lloyd’s Register, designed by Gerald Moira

“I left school with minimal qualifications,” said Roger Clutton, Programme Director at Lloyd’s Register Group Services Ltd.  “I was probably programmed to feel not good at things.”  Clutton is the self-confessed project manager for “horrible projects” at the risk management organisation which provides risk assessment and risk mitigation solutions across the UK.

Lloyd’s started out 250 years ago, giving underwriters and merchants an idea of the condition of the vessels they insured and chartered.  Today they still work in the marine sector, assessing and certifying ships and equipment to improve quality and safety.  They also work in other industries, and one of Clutton’s current projects is a £100m oil and gas initiative in the Caspian.  The gas involved is under pressure, and Lloyd’s have to put a certificate on it to say it’s safe.  It’s an unlimited liability environment, “which we’re adverse to, as a charity,” he said.

Stained Glass window
Close up of window, showing English rose and Scottish thistle

Clutton was speaking at the Austerity Debate, an event in London hosted by Lloyd’s, which aimed to answer the question: is project management an enabler for cost reduction or a cost to be reduced?  As our host, he kicked off the proceedings by explaining about his background.

Clutton started out as a mechanical engineer before realising his skill with numbers, which he puts to good use in his current role.  He’s been with Lloyd’s Register since 1994 and is now in a position to shape the projects that the company embarks upon.

Just back from a leadership seminar in the Netherlands, Clutton explained that the core industries for Lloyd’s are those that will now shape global projects in the widest sense.  The global population is growing at 6 million a month, he explained.  Someone at the seminar had set out the facts about managing this population explosion:  if we use the farming methods and technology from even just a few years ago, we’ll need 72 planets to keep everyone fed.  So the future, he said, has a focus on energy and consumption.

“Project management has a role to play here in ensuring we manage our projects to the best effect,” he said.  “There will be winners and losers – part of this process is to make sure we’re on the winning side.”

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