Table 1.

Benefits from application of good practice – example from the Environment Agency for England and Wales groundwater modelling programme

Good practice componentBenefits
Project briefClearly defined scope and objectives will benefit project teams, beneficiaries and stakeholders
A realistic time scale will instil confidence in beneficiaries and stakeholders
A clear specification of team composition will ensure that communication and participation are targeted
A clear specification of project deliverables will result in avoidance of false expectations and will provide focus to project teams
Clear guidance on benefits realization will ensure that project activities are targeted to achieve the benefits
Stakeholder participationStakeholders can provide valuable local knowledge to the project (see Whiteman et al. 2012a). This knowledge may have been gained through their operational work and through their responsibility for the National Environment Programme (NEP). The NEP is a list of environmental improvement schemes that ensure that water companies meet European and national targets related to water
Conflict minimization, for example a reduction in the risk for public inquiry
Technical as well as non-technical contributions will lead to a better and more acceptable product
It will improve the relationship between stakeholders and the Environment Agency with benefit to the Environment Agency profile in the eyes of the stakeholders and the general public
Communication and participationImproved consensus on project approach and outcome
Limitation of false expectations regarding model output
Improved uptake by non-modelling staff
Improved dissemination of project output
Improved efficiency by incorporating good practice and experience from other projects
Improvement in perception of benefits of modelling projects
Improved appreciation by end users of the strength and weaknesses of model output
Uptake of model data and results by end users and inclusion in their own assessment processes
Improved dissemination of data, knowledge, experience within and across Environment Agency Regions, resulting in improved efficiency and enhanced appreciation of the worth of modelling projects
Potentially significant time savings in the work related to regulatory and operational processes
Knowledge managementAppropriate data storage and retrieval systems can be of benefit to end users at the early stage of the project
Longer-term benefit in giving more attention to the role of data providers in projects, so that, with appropriate feedback of corrected data, others will be able to save time when using such data in the future
Local teams would benefit if informed about the quality of data
Information/data exchange will motivate staff and create appreciation of the value and benefits of the projects
National groundwater modelling systemA common and agreed knowledge and information baseline
Environment agency staff and skills baseAvailability of skilled Environment Agency staff for the projects would enhance Environment Agency capability in more effective and efficient execution of the Environment Agency functions
More emphasis on the importance of staff skills would improve motivation to actively contribute to the projects
Technical approachHigh technical standard of project output will enhance confidence