top of page

io applies a big picture perspective across the technical, commercial and strategic frames to develop an enduring masterplan for your portfolio

A robust and enduring masterplan is one which sets out a clear way forward for an often complex and interlinked programme of works, laying down the framework for the ultimate whole to be more than the sum of the parts, whilst leaving enough space and flexibility for optimisation as individual projects emerge and develop.

A well-constructed masterplan must consider a broad set of factors across technical and commercial solutions as well as strategic and political considerations and must also recognise and cater to multiple stakeholder requirements.

At io, our integrated technical, commercial and strategic consulting skillset is ideally suited to working with government entities, and national operators / development groups to break down this wicked problem and to develop masterplans which enhance long term value and stand the test of time.

technical-commercial-strategic – systems thinking approach

A masterplan study can be considered the ultimate project development system with multiple discrete projects coming together as a whole, with inter-dependencies and synergies which, by design, should enhance overall value, potentially providing the framework for marginal or uneconomic projects to succeed.

A masterplan seeks to strike a balance between infrastructure projects and individual development projects such that the infrastructure builds over time in harmony with the project sequence. This balance is not only informed by technical solutions but also provides the framework and boundaries of responsibility for different entities and commercial agreements to be formed.

Examples of infrastructure include, common utility systems, national pipeline networks, national grid systems but can also delve into some elements of the processing facilities (e.g. in hub concepts for CO2 transportation). Striking the right balance here and selecting the most appropriate blend of operating entities and commercial models is at the heart of a successful masterplan. Individual technical / technology solutions, whilst important, often become 2nd tier to the overall masterplan solution and commercial/strategic and political framework.

Through our systems thinking and systems modelling approach, we are able to construct models of the overall system which simulate the interdependencies between the technical, commercial and strategic aspects. A well-constructed systems model, whilst inherently complex in its make-up provides a tool to test out different approaches and solutions and rapidly see a predicted outcome in a simple pre-determined format.

The value in a systems model is that it seeks to properly model the system interdependencies to aid high quality decision making, as opposed to making disjointed decisions within sub-elements of the system. 

our masterplanning workflow

At io, we always design study workflows which are bespoke and tuned to evaluating situation at hand, however we have developed a generic master-planning workflow which forms the starting point. The main steps are:

  • Set the frame: develop the objective / opportunity statement, understand the stakeholder mix and requirements and develop an understanding what success looks like (value drivers).

  • Determine the status quo: establish what resources and infrastructure already exist, whether any commercial or political commitments have already been made and examine the relevant markets.

  • Identify potential strategies: examples are brownfield vs greenfield approaches, infrastructure led (hub concepts) vs project driven, different commercial models, project phasing options etc.

  • Evaluate: evaluation of the identified strategies against technical requirements, economic assessment and a developed understanding of risk and opportunity (uncertainties).

  • Screen and Select: We use a range of decision analysis techniques to compare different strategies against the identified value metrics / measures of success. A key element here is how to deal with the inherent uncertainties which exist at the master-planning stage. Sensitivity analyses using the systems model enable us to better understand a broad range of possible outcomes.

  • Develop Masterplan and forward governance: The masterplan typically takes the form of a road-map / sequence of projects which inevitably needs to be adaptable over time as new challenges and opportunities emerge. Forward governance and evolution of the masterplan is a critical success factor to ensure that it continues to provide the framework for maximised value realisation.



bottom of page