Are We Delivering Projects or Meeting Real Needs?
Behind every project there is not just the construction need, but the wider project needs to be considered. First, there is a physical asset that must be created or upgraded to perform a specific purpose. There are also multiple additional needs related to social and economic factors and the asset lifecycle that should be considered.
Innovations in construction technology and more imaginative ways of working offer a greater variety of options than ever over how each project is executed. In practice, project benefits that might once have been ‘nice to have’ or not technically feasible can now be within reach – if the contractor is both curious and agile enough.
Beyond Past Experience
Curiosity partly means going deeper than the specification to understand what represents good value to customers and affected communities. It’s about listening, learning and understanding rather than assuming that what worked on a similar project in the past is still the best approach to use. Past experience is valuable, but it should never constrain our thoughts and imagination.
Curiosity is also about keeping abreast of new technological opportunities and being open-minded about how they can improve the way we work. We’ve introduced MMC and offsite techniques into many projects even though they were not part of the specification. We frequently use offsite technical trials to prove new techniques that allow infrastructure projects to be delivered more efficiently and with less disruption.
As well as understanding, we also need to be understood. Our customers, quite rightly, expect us to be the ones evaluating opportunities and advising on how they can be implemented to meet real project challenges. Value is released when our customers see how innovations can be applied to deliver tangible benefits to them and their customers.
Procurement used to be driven by price and perceived technical competence. Today’s value equation is more focused on value and experience. The cultural approach of being customer focused and agile will deliver the most successful projects and customer relationships in both the immediate and long-term.