Skip to main content

Celebrating the Anniversary of Apollo 11: Why the Time Has Come for a New Era of Programme Management

Today marks 54 years since astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.

Arguably one of the greatest achievements in human history, the Apollo 11 lunar landing represents the remarkable potential of interdisciplinary collaboration and scientific endeavour.

When US President John F. Kennedy outlined his ambition in 1961 to land a person on the moon, much of the technology required did not exist. Nevertheless, the Apollo programme at NASA innovated at pace and after a 400,000-person effort, successfully accomplished its mission live on television in front of a worldwide audience on 20th July 1969.

This remarkable technological achievement gave commentators at the time a profound sense of optimism about further scientific breakthroughs to come. Indeed, from the reflective ‘space blankets’ used in first aid kits, to the technology behind rechargeable hearing aids, many inventions we take for granted today stem from techniques developed during the Apollo missions.

However, despite such technological progress, the fundamentals of programme management have remained stagnant in the years since.

In a world of bigger ambitions, greater uncertainty and increasing complexity, traditional delivery approaches are no longer fit for purpose. We need a new way of managing major programmes that recognises these challenges and grasps the opportunities afforded to us by the digital age.

That is why Deloitte Major Programmes has developed Programme Aerodynamics® – a decentralised yet coherent delivery framework, which creates the conditions for success by combining core delivery disciplines with new thinking and technologies.

While the conventional wisdom of delivering major programmes is to expend extensive time, energy, and resources into sticking to ‘the original plan’, the flexible, data-driven approach of Programme Aerodynamics® enables us to rapidly adapt the plan to reflect the evolving strategic, operational and technological environment, and ensure we are always on the optimal pathway to success.

Programme Aerodynamics® also ensures the programme itself (including its delivery model, processes and technologies) is designed to evolve in line with the changing delivery environment, and considers how the programme can be resourced at each stage with the right people and the right skills.

To find out more about Programme Aerodynamics®, watch this video:

Given the increasingly acute economic, environmental, and societal challenges we face, the need for this new way of thinking is greater than ever.


The global economy is the most connected it has ever been, making markets more competitive, complex, and vulnerable. Deloitte Major Programmes helps clients develop plans for sustainable business growth, informed by economic insight, to make a positive impact for future generations.


The effects of climate change are having an adverse impact on businesses and communities across the world. We help organisations reach their net-zero targets and improve the sustainability of their operations at a global scale.


The importance of social impact and support within every community has never been clearer. We work with our clients to ensure future investment is effectively directed to increase access and develop solutions that benefit communities at large.

So, as we celebrate this historic achievement, and as NASA prepares for its next mission to return humanity to the moon in 2025, we look forward to how we can channel that same spirit of ambition and optimism to address society’s most pressing challenges.


Did you find this useful?

Thanks for your feedback

If you would like to help improve further, please complete a 3-minute survey