Project S³


Led by Daniel Armanios, BT Professor of Major Programme Management, Project S³ aims to integrate expertise and research agendas from engineering and the social sciences, in order to stress-test today’s major programmes for tomorrow’s challenges.

The project involves collaborators from the Business School, the Department of Engineering Sciences and the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, as well as the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

S³ platform

3 circles one for each workstream - scoping, scaffolding and sensing

The ‘S³ platform’ comprises three workstreams; scoping, scaffolding and sensing.

Each workstream:

  • targets a particular challenge in building and leading major programmes
  • draws on expertise from across engineering and the social sciences
  • develops a set of tools to ignite action, create value and advance policy and practice

Scoping workstream


The scoping workstream will map existing major programmes to identify components most vulnerable to disruption and opportunities to learn and innovate from them.

Under this workstream, we have mapped how different US states experiment around uncertain technological trajectories. We have also mapped how major venture financing and research and development (R&D) programmes handle political turmoil, such as the Arab Spring in Egypt and Tunisia and the 2014 military coup in Thailand.

We are currently mapping the Chinese drone Industry to identify where and how the county has become a global leader in the cutting-edge technologies that underpin this industry.

Scaffolding workstream


The scaffolding workstream aims to discern and develop technologies for coordinating across major programmes, to identify needed and existing expertise, roles and specifications.

As part of this work, we are currently looking at how organisations and technologies can help improve coordination and heuristics for handling disruption. This ranges from organisational structures that help connect and translate knowledge, to digital tools that help improve collective sensemaking for anticipating future disruptions, like augmented reality.

Sensing workstream


The sensing workstream will enhance the resilience and reliability of major programme management models, by identifying and including those who have been historically marginalised in standard approaches to major programmes.

We are using bridge and broadband network gaps to detect vulnerable communities more quickly, with the aim of enhancing the resilience of such groups to disruptions

Research team