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Trust and Productivity
The private sector construction playbook
I’ll start by making a point that I heard at the launch event… this is not a report, it is a guide. From clients to suppliers and anyone in-between, Trust and Productivity provides useful and practical interventions to improve productivity.
Produced by the industry, for the industry, it builds on the work of the public sector Construction Playbook.
The key principle throughout Trust and Productivity is a push towards greater collaboration. It’s therefore appropriate that the guide itself is the output of 20 months’ work and much collaboration between many big names in the industry. The launch event yesterday was inspiring and certainly reminded me of why I am part of this great industry. I (amongst other driven and ambitious individuals) can effect change for the better.
Trust and Productivity aims to encourage clients and their designers, construction teams and suppliers to work in a more collaborative way to help boost productivity, quality and value, and in doing so reduce carbon emissions and improve the health, safety and wellbeing of the workforce and health of the industry.
The aim of the guide is to drive a step change in the way projects are commissioned, procured, and delivered. Productivity in construction lags behind other industries and the report points towards it being highly fragmented, lacking transparency and often suffering from a lack of trust. Just look at this…
The playbook sets out 10 drivers for success, which then run as themes across 9 chapters covering aspects of a projects lifecycle.
Form effective partnerships: Define the objectives, values and measures of success in a project charter
Adopt portfolio and longer-term contracting: Apply this transparently and you can create value and positive behaviour
Adopt outcome-based approach: All parties need to be clear what success means to them, with an intent to share risks
Embed digital information flows and technologies: Embrace digital and it will reward you in many ways
Involve the supply chain early: Early engagement promotes innovation and added value
Benchmark objectives: Measure things on the project, including productivity. React if things fall below target.
Allocate risk fairly and appropriately: Share risk and transfer it at the right time
Pay fairly: Secure trust with the supply chain. Assess mechanisms and incentives over and above the Construction Act 2011
Assess the economic and financial standing of suppliers: Minimise the risk of supply chain failure
Promote innovation and continuous improvement: Create a culture of innovation throughout the team and the project lifecycle
At the end of the launch the four-person panel on stage were asked how they would ensure this isn’t just another report (sorry… guide) that ends up in a drawer. The collective answer was to ensure the message gets spread far and wide so that the industry are aware of this and have it to hand.
I do agree with this, but I think the true key is that for most of the things recommended in the guide to be easily and successfully implemented on projects, you have to set out the vision for them right from the start. Some of these things will feel very different, so clients especially need to get comfortable if they are going to allow a project to run in a different way - it could take them outside their typical governance processes (for example, a different approach to procurement and risk allocation).
As you can imagine, I asked a question about the circular economy and material reuse! There is a chapter largely focused on MMC, but not so much on the circular economy. My question got a positive response, with Brian Morrisroe and Neil Pennell both saying it has an important part to play in design and minimising waste. On talking with some of the other contributors afterwards, we agreed there is surely potential for a circular economy chapter… should a version 2.0 ever be published.
Well done to the many companies and individuals involved in writing this and arranging the launch today. Let’s all spread the word and try to adopt even just a handful of the recommendations on our future projects.