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ICE director general meets with first international Project 13 early adopter


Australia's Sydney Water joins the UK's Anglian Water, Environment Agency, Heathrow, National Grid, Network Rail and  Sellafield in adopting Project 13.

Published: 25 March 2019

Nick Baveystock, ICE director general and chair of the Project 13 board, has visited Sydney Water, the first international early adopter of Project 13. 

The director general met with Mark Simister, head of delivery management at Sydney Water, to learn more about its journey in embedding Project 13 and the early lessons learnt that could prove useful for the wider early adopter programme. 

Project 13 is an industry-wide and industry-led movement to change infrastructure delivery models, providing better outcomes for the public and customers while moving to a more sustainable and collaborative business method.

By becoming an early adopter, Sydney Water joins Anglian Water’s Capital Delivery Alliances, the Environment Agency’s Next Generation Supplier Arrangements, Heathrow’s expansion, National Grid’s London Power Tunnels project, Network Rail Track Alliances and Sellafield Ltd's Programme and Project Partners model. 

Together, they have committed to implementing the Project 13 principles on a programme or project as part of a strategy to deliver better customer outcomes. Sydney Water will be using the principles for its Partnering for Success (P4S) programme.

Transforming its business

Sydney Water has set an exciting and ambitious vision for the future of its business. Through Partnering for Success and establishing long-term partnerships, Sydney Water is looking not just to change the way it procures services but to transform the way that it does business.

To enable this, in 2019 Sydney Water will appoint three Regional Delivery Consortia (RDC) to partner with it for a 10-year period and to undertake an organisational transformation process to support, enable and integrate the RDC.

Given the decade-long term of these contracts, this is an almost once-in-a-generation change that will have a lasting impact on Sydney Water, the industry and its customers. 

The scale, complexity and impact of this change cannot be underestimated and, done right, will create an enduring legacy.

Baveystock said: “Project 13 is a movement about building a sustainable future for the construction industry, creating a more highly skilled workforce and creating infrastructure that represents better value for all.

“I am delighted to see Sydney Water embed the Project 13 principles into its work on the P4S strand and help the delivery of infrastructure move from a transactional business model to a more collaborative and sustainable one.

“This approach is being applied by some of the UK’s largest projects and seeing that activity move into an international context goes a long way in illustrating that we are on the right path. I look forward to hearing how Sydney Water progresses and what lessons it can share with the Project 13 community and other early adopters.” 

Shared learning

Simister said: “We’re really excited to be the first international early adopter for Project 13. Through our Partnering for Success programme, we’re looking to use the Project 13 principles to benefit Sydney Water, its partners and ultimately our customers by incentivising high performance and increasing productivity. 

“By doing this, we’ll give our partners more certainty and drive better decision-making across the whole lifecycle of our assets, improving our productivity and delivering value for our customers. Being part of Project 13 will allow us to share our experiences and take advantage of lessons learnt by other member organisations.”

The principles of Project 13 are to move away from a transactional approach encouraged by current procurement models that engender a damaging set of behaviours to an enterprise model that: 

  • Focuses on customer outcomes
  • Brings together skills and technologies in a collaborative environment
  • Properly integrates teams across projects
  • Fosters long-term relationships

The early adopters commit to sharing their experience of adopting the principles and the first four recently spoke about their learning at the six-month mark with the Project 13 community. 

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