L.E.K. Consulting launches major capital projects advisory practice

06 December 2021 Consultancy.com.au 2 min. read

After two years in development, strategy consultancy L.E.K Consulting has formally launched its new Major Capital Projects Advisory, which aims to address risk management shortcomings.

The new practice in Australia will provide strategic and specialised risk and cost management services to stakeholders of large-scale infrastructure projects. The practice is led by L.E.K. Consulting partner Joseph Sponholz, and has been developed over the past two years in response to current market conditions.

“We have the perfect storm of near-record investment in high-stakes infrastructure projects, questions increasingly being asked about how infrastructure funding is being spent, and growing disquiet among clients about effective management of risk and cost issues on major projects,” Sponholz said, having first joined the firm’s Organisation & Performance practice at the beginning of 2019.

L.E.K. Consulting launches major capital projects advisory practice

“We are establishing Major Capital Projects Advisory in direct response to these development.”

Sponholz contends that there’s a pressing need in Australia for project management delivered by those with a thorough understanding and deep experience of risk allocation, and will be supported in the new practice by a five-strong team of L.E.K. experts including senior partner Simon Barrett, along with fellow senior partner David Ogilvy (Industrials lead) and partners David Chalmers, Ian Watt, and Aakash Gandhi.

“More than ever, clients are looking for ways to ensure they can control costs and risks as major projects become even larger and more complex to deliver,” commented Barrett. “We have seen firsthand what happens when responsibility for different phases of a major capital project is taken by short-term participants. Large-scale, complex projects require a consistent approach throughout to obviate risk and ensure cohesion.”

Speaking with the AFR, Sponholz said that he expects the new practice will be engaged for trouble-shooting as a ‘tactical consultant’ to advise of specific issues when they arise, whereas as ideally clients would seek support from the very planning stage and through a project’s life-cycle to avoid those problems from occurring down the track or at any step of delivery.

This is reflected in the range of services on offer. In addition to cost and risk management, the practice – which aims to further expand next year across other L.E.K. Consulting offices – will among other areas support governments and private companies with project feasibility and value improvement, operational strategies, contractual and regulatory requirements, the design of project technology platforms, and in establishing and managing procurement processes.