Are End Users the Best Judges of Value in Infrastructure Projects?
Value isn’t always easy to quantify or to define. But there’s no doubt that for infrastructure projects it goes way beyond delivering projects on time and to specification. In our view these are the minimum expectations.
To understand what best value means, and to deliver it, we have to put end users in the driving seat. End users in this context can be the travelling public (which is a complex mix of needs, wants, preferences and abilities), and the people who will be responsible for maintaining the assets we leave behind.
Increasingly, our focus as a business is to build new types of customer relationships that take a more holistic view of infrastructure networks and assets. Technology gives us new possibilities for capturing detailed information about these assets and, more importantly, making that information readily available to those who plan, design and execute projects.
With that intelligence we can prioritise all of the risks, and visualise and model projects to ensure that every closure or possession delivers everything that it can to make life easier for transport users and to minimise future disruption.
The ability to collect, store and share information efficiently also simplifies future maintenance operations. The handover should include a complete digital record of the asset as it was built. There should be no surprises or gaps when somebody needs to plan future work. Everything is installed exactly how and where the plan says it is.
By getting all stakeholders involved early we can also ensure that ease of maintenance is given sufficient weight in the original design. All of which adds up to less disruption later on.
Contractual relationships are critical in redefining value around the needs of end users. Through openness, innovation and a spirit of shared risk and reward we are lifting our sights beyond the project-centric view to one that delivers the greatest long-term value for everyone.