John MacCarthy

Here is my business mission — to resolve your project challenge.

Our vision is to provide genuine value and pay-back in the selection, execution, and realisation of projects for regulated industries.

Our strategy is to be a guardian of the client’s interests; focus on strategic capital, organisational and manufacturing projects for regulated industries in Europe; to be differentiated by my profile, experience, skills and knowledge.

Values, Attitudes and Behaviours: Be positive (there is always a solution); make robust business cases based on data and rigorous analysis; keep the business needs and drivers that justify the project visible; constantly monitor and evaluate; seek out opportunities for client value; develop collaborative relationships; continuously learn.

Our Approach

Project Realisation Ltd is keenly aware that capital projects are the implementation of business strategy, and are only one part of the overall asset management spectrum.

We use project management skills to eliminate your frustrations with projects, such as deliveries not-quite-fitting your business strategy, or assets that are tricky to operate and to maintain or otherwise don’t meet your expectations.

Our “Darwinian edge” is to represent the client’s interests and needs - not the vendor or engineering service provider’s — by (1) ensuring the best project strategy to meet business needs, and (2) ensuring assets meet operational and maintenance needs. The best strategy may be asset life extension rather than replacement, and we can help here also.

Our strong points are:
- Monitoring / evaluating skills and experience to identify, prepare and strategically challenge business cases,
- Resource investigation skills when pulling a team together, finding creative solutions and communicating the options,
- Reliability training and practical industry experience to minimise the life time asset-costs for the client.

Professional Profile

Professional Profile, John MacCarthy:

I am an engineering leader with 26 years technical and leadership experience in pharmaceutical, biotech and consultancy industries (Ireland, Oslo, Shanghai).

In addition to my project management expertise, the unique value that I bring to clients is at both ends of the project or asset acquisition: ensuring the most appropriate and cost effective project scope that meets the business needs, and to minimise asset-life costs by safeguarding operational and maintenance needs are met once the asset is delivered. This is a more client-centric than the traditional approach, with a focus on the business, and on the asset working- life.

I have expert knowledge of Project Start-Ups; Project Management; Maintenance & Reliability; Strategy; Capital Projects and Finance; Asset Management; Qualification and Validation; Risk Management; Cost Management; EHS programs; Finance; Business Case Development; Facility design and planning.

Selected Experience

Owner / Director of Project Realisation Ltd., Cork since 2012 I specialise in business case development for capital investment; project portfolio management; stakeholder management to EVP level; Leading project planning and execution to implement business strategy. For API facility.

MSD, Brinny, Cork (4 years) Associate Director, Engineering
Facilities Lead / Reliability Lead (set up Reliability department)
Member of reorganisation and negotiation team.
Engineering Lead (API Business Unit)
…also responsible for Facilities, Waste Water Treatment Plant and Outside Utilities.

ALTANA Pharma Ltd, Cork (4 years) Engineering Manager / Senior Manager, Engineering:
Employee No 4, for a Green field start-up (€35m)

Jacobs Engineering, Cork (3 years) Project Coordinator (office) and
Project Manager Seconded to Schering Plough (Brinny), inc. product transfer

Nycomed, Cork, Norway and China (8 years) Employee No 7 - Green field start-up in Cork (€30m)
Project Manager for Cork Phase 2 expansion (€12m)
European Project Manager: on foreign assignment, Norway and China (Employee No 2 for China Green field start-up)

Allergan, Mayo, Ireland (4 years)

Selected Education & Training, Affiliations

- Member of Engineers Ireland (MIEI)
- Chartered Engineer (C.Eng)
- Certified Reliability Engineer (American Society for Quality)
- Graduate Diploma in Management (Institute of Commercial Management, FETAC Level 8)
- Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance (ACCA)
- Certified “Project Management Professional” or PMP, PMI (1999)
- Diploma, Applied Project Management, IPMI
- B. Eng. (Production Engineering), University of Limerick
- Certificate in Health and Safety Management
- Numerous change management, Lean Six Sigma, and similar courses

Project Management Philosophy

Some of my philosophies on Project Management

(1) All project management is strategy execution. The two can’t be separated, and it is always worth bearing this in mind (and communicating the strategy frequently).Knowing what to do comes from the business strategy, knowing how to do it is project strategy / management.

(2) Capital project management is just one part of the overall asset management program (whether it formally exists or not),and cannot be treated in isolation. Acquisition is only the short bit at the start of a long asset life. Don’t lose sight of design for reliability, and operations and maintenance life-time costs, in the project scope.

(3) "Plans are nothing; planning is everything". Working interactively with the team generates understanding and buy-in. Sometimes we gain more from the process of preparing a deliverable than from the deliverable itself, for example: knowledge, stakeholder management, team building, motivation, focus.

(4) Sometimes it’s insightful to talk about uncertainty as well as Risk. The value of data is when it shines a light on both.

(5) It can be tougher to spend €10k than €1m – it is not the scale that is important when it comes to strategy execution.

(6) The weakest link approach only works after the chain has broken. Again taking lessons from Reliability, there is an element of randomness and probability that needs to be taken into account when managing project risk and uncertainty.

Contact Details:

  • Name: John MacCarthy
  • Address: Project Realisation Ltd., No 3 Roselawn, Ballinacurra, Midleton, Co. Cork.
  • E-mail:
  • Phone: +353 (0)86 6628310