Victoria is investing in an unprecedented way in major projects including transport, social, education and justice infrastructure.
As Governments across Australia undertake unprecedented investments in major projects, the Australian Major Projects Leadership Academy (AMPLA) has grown to become the pre-eminent learning journey for senior public sector leaders at the forefront of major project delivery.
Established in 2018 in Victoria, AMPLA has since expanded throughout Australia to continue building the talent needed to deliver complex infrastructure projects across the nation.
The 12-month immersive program is a collaboration between OPV, the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and EY. Through this program, participants are provided with the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading academics and practitioners in major projects. Participants will build their capability to lead the delivery of major projects on-time, on-budget, and ensure government projects achieve outstanding outcomes for the community.
Strengthening leadership capability
AMPLA’s bespoke design aims to transform the skills and capabilities of major project leaders by:
- Developing the world-leading project delivery skills-set required to oversee an increasingly complex portfolio of projects.
- Influencing the broader system, including the political and stakeholder influence, to support better project outcomes.
- Creating a national network of outstanding leadership professionals across the Australian government sector.
- Uplifting the role and importance of project leadership professionalism.
- Encouraging major project thought leadership, underpinned by global research.
AMPLA alumni report that participating in the program not only has increased their capability as a major project leader and extended their professional network, but also has directly created benefits for the major project they are delivering during AMPLA.
“I can already see the benefits in the approach I am taking to things like broadening my perspective, advocating with stakeholders and navigating complexity, and I definitely feel more equipped to guide my team through challenges to deliver great outcomes.”
Director, Infrastructure, Translink at QLD Department of Transport and Main Roads, 2020 participant
AMPLA is an immersive learning program, conducted over a 12-month period with the aim of providing major project leaders with the capabilities to effectively deliver projects on-time, on-budget and to specification.
The program is underpinned by primary research and case study content, which sits alongside an individual participant development plan. Each plan is personally tailored to highlight areas for professional growth within the scope of AMPLA’s content. This ensures that participants are aligning their learning outcomes to the goals of their projects, and that their goals are linked to the challenges a leader is likely to face when implementing and managing major projects.
AMPLA is based on five key tenants, developed by the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, to transform the capability and performance of major project leaders. These include:
1. The leader as the CEO of a temporary organisation
Leading a major project is a challenging position, requiring all the leadership attributes of a CEO, with the additional challenge of rapid mobilisation and then demobilisation. Central to the AMPLA program is the need to equip participants aspiring to, or operating in, this senior role.
2. The incomplete leader
People have a range of strengths and limitations and there are good reasons why it is difficult for anyone individually to develop a complete set of leadership capabilities. That is, we are necessarily incomplete. Understanding this and building compensating strategies is a key focus for AMPLA participants.
3. Harnessing risk
Risks are not external, but internal to an organisation. Major project leaders need to address biases which can lead them to underestimate negative events and overestimated positive events. AMPLA teaches participants how to better understand, manage and capitalise on project risk.
4. Good governance
There is no one right way to set-up a major project. In major projects the structures, processes, staffing and objectives need to be set to fit the project’s strategy. To navigate these negotiations, AMPLA helps project leaders learn how to shape and manage the power relations in their projects, in addition to tools that help identify and engage stakeholders.
5. Infrastructure-enabled transformation
AMPLA explores the need to avoid treating delivery of the infrastructure asset as the primary focus. This is only ever the enabler; the real goal is the achievement of the intended outcomes of societal and economic impact. Through this lens AMPLA supports participants to focus on delivering the maximum benefits from the major projects they lead.
“AMPLA is the premier example of sharing knowledge and breaking down barriers between programs and States. This program provides a unique combination of the leading global academic research in major projects and deep delivery expertise in the Australian context.”
CEO, Health Infrastructure NSW, 2019 Participant
AMPLA is delivered through a blend of in-person residential modules and masterclasses, virtual classrooms, and peer support groups.
The program begins and concludes with individual 360-degree leadership assessments to measure the change and growth each participant will experience throughout the program. The assessments and combination of delivery methods provides participants of all learning styles with the opportunity to build
leadership skills which can be transitioned into day-to-day work practices.
Throughout the program, networking opportunities are provided to ensure participants can expand their professional connections and build an environment of collaboration and mutual support. At the conclusion of the program, participants will be invited to join the AMPLA Alumni network to maintain their connection with fellow major project leaders.
Over 12-months participants will be provided with a world class leadership development program which ensures they remain at the forefront of contemporary theory and practice of successful project delivery.
Upon completing the AMPLA program participants will be able to:
- Apply insights gained directly to their role as a project leader, as well as implement strategies on their projects.
- Combine personal and technical development as a leader with their responsibilities and challenges as a major project leader.
- Implement major project leadership skills in their day-to-day project responsibilities with support from AMPLA resources.
- Apply the insights and leadership skills learned across teams to create lasting impact in their projects and organisations.
- Utilise the connections with project leader peers across jurisdictions and draw on the valuable experience of the AMPLA Alumni Network.
“AMPLA has really challenged my thinking about being a major project leader with big ideas and profound insights. As part of the program I have made lasting connections with peers, which will continue to be of great value in years to come.”
Deputy Secretary, Investment and Technology Victorian Department of Transport, 2019 Participant
The AMPLA alumni network
All AMPLA participants become members of the AMPLA Alumni Network upon completion of the program. Each year, alumni members will be invited to additional events designed to maintain their connection to the program and learning.
Alumni activities will expand as the program grows, allowing personal connections to be fostered and knowledge shared by major project leaders across organisations.
OPV leads the AMPLA nomination and selection process and will open applications for the 2022 program from mid-2021. The application process is as follows:
Step 1 - Email through your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest in the program, and ensure you are kept up to date about activities and timelines throughout the application period.
Step 2 - OPV will email an invitation to the AMPLA 2022 information sessions and provide access to the participant application form.
Step 3 - Complete the application form, including sponsorship endorsement, and email to email@example.com by 29 October 2021.
Step 4 - OPV and the AMPLA faculty review all applications against the key selection criteria and select participants for admittance. OPV seeks AMPLA Steering Committee endorsement of the successful applicants.
Step 5 - AMPLA 2022 applicants will be contacted to advise on the outcome of their application.
AMPLA Prospectus 2022
The AMPLA Prospectus provides a course overview, the AMPLA learning methodology, the faculty members who will guide the learning journey and the application process.
Downloaded the AMPLA Prospectus 2022 (PDF, 8.1 MB)
For further information about AMPLA, or to request an application form, please contact the OPV team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“One of the things that I have most valued from participating in the program has been the ability to extend my professional network not only with peers and colleagues around other infrastructure agencies in NSW, but all the way across Australia. The Peer Support Groups have been a place where I can test ideas that we’ve learnt through the program in a safe way to take them back into the workplace and I have done that in a range of different ways and formats.”
Director of Innovation at Health Infrastructure NSW, 2020 participant