When we read in the press of yet another public sector procurement debacle, or that the project has been fraught with difficulties, it rather begs the question – what was the project for and how was the budget set?  All too frequently, it is less that a project cost more or took longer than that the project expectations were ill-defined or poorly understood and the relationship between key parties broke down.

I have long been an advocate for the position that cost overruns and delays in major projects are optional.  The challenge all too often is understanding project uncertainties and setting realistic objectives at the outset, and then managing the procurement process sensibly and proactively.  It is in this respect that the independent neutral, and more particularly the project mediator, has a vital role.