May 22

What does Project Context mean?


What does Project Context mean?

What does Project Context mean?

Consider a project to build a nuclear power plant in England in an area with high unemployment, but a large population.

Undertake a preliminary assessment of the project’s context.


Is there government commitment to nuclear energy; if yes, then the project is on a sound footing, if commitment is unclear, then the risk increased.

How does the local authority view the project – favorable then good news, against then more risk, and much more work to do on “hearts and minds”.

What sort of stakeholders will need to be considered in this area? Will they be positive or negative?


An area that has high unemployment may consider the relevance of grants, European funding, central government funding.

Likely to boost local jobs and economy so should engender positive views of local community.


There is likely to be a mixed response.  Some people will see the investment providing jobs and boosting local economy whereas some may not want the threat of nuclear power in their area (closely linked to environmental considerations).

With the current security threat levels there are bound to be concerns in this area.  The project must consider the security implications, make the appropriate plans, and commit sufficient resource.


This will use new technology but there is expertise available.  The project will need to ensure proper representation from international suppliers who have the latest experience in this area.

The fact that the technology is new and is likely to change before the station is built indicates that the project budget must include for these possible changes and contain sufficient contingency to cater for unexpected problems.


There are likely to be legal challenges to the construction from a range of sources. It will be important to ensure that all areas are investigated and the appropriate legal team established to deal with challenges that are likely to be based on environmental concerns and local issues.

Consider any relevance of European legislation affecting nuclear installations.


This is an area where there is likely to be the most concerns and where the majority of the opposition will come from.  There are likely to be protests for anti-nuclear groups, environmental campaigners and so forth.

The project will need to carefully research this aspect and ensure that appropriate security measures are put in place for people working on the project both in the planning and delivery phases.

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About the Author

David spent 25 years as a senior project manager for USA multinationals, and has deep experience in project management. He now develops a wide range of project-related downloadable video training products under the Primer and PM Mastery System brand names. In addition, David runs project management training seminars across the world, and is a prolific writer on the many topics of project management.


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