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How to identify and recruit infrastructure leaders

By Adam Kirkup, in News,

What competencies, skills and experiences are required by leaders in a Capable Owner organisation? How does an Owner find these individuals and what barriers might it face to securing them?  
Project 13’s Capable Owner working group has published considered advice on the composition and recruitment of leadership teams.
The Identifying & recruiting infrastructure leaders report reflects the research and discussions that took place during the Capable Owner working group on the skills and experience required by the leaders of Owner organisations. It suggests factors to consider when recruiting such individuals, and practical steps that an infrastructure organisation should take to maximise its chances of recruiting the best leadership possible? 
About the report
Between July and October 2017, the Capable Owner working group of Project 13 considered the necessary qualities, capabilities, and behaviours of infrastructure Owners. It summarised its findings in a Capability Maturity Model.  This model provides an effective tool by which an Owner can evaluate its current approach and measure its progress towards Capable Owner status.  
In parallel, the Capable Owner working group explored the competencies of leaders within Owner organisations as ultimately it is they who will set the goals, priorities and culture to ensure the Owner organisation achieves its specified outcomes.  
Regardless of whether they are employed directly by the Owner or come from a consultancy, integrator or supply chain partner, the quality of leaders is vital. Selecting them and ensuring that they operate effectively is one of the most important decisions the Owner organisation will make.   
So, what competencies, skills and experiences are required by leaders in a Capable Owner organisation? How does an Owner find these individuals and what barriers might it face to securing them?  
To answer these questions, the Project 13 Capable Owner working group with the support and facilitation of Professor Graham Winch and his team from Alliance Manchester Business School, examined the skills required by leaders in a Capable Owner organisation in the infrastructure sector.
The report and its conclusions can be downloaded via the resources section of the Project 13 Network website
Please note that you must be signed in, or register as a member of the Project 13 network to access this report.  It is free to become a member, and you simply need to complete the simple registration details here

The digital transformation of the industry gathers pace

By Adam Kirkup, in News,

Melissa Zanocco, ICG Head of Programmes, summarises the highlights from the latest Digital Maturity Benchmarking Report, illustrating that UK asset owners and operators accelerated their digital transformation in reaction to COVID-19.
The findings of the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG) Digital Benchmarking Report 2020, which provides a snapshot of digital maturity from members of the ICG’s Digital Transformation Task Group (DTTG), show that digital maturity increased by around 20% relative to last year driven particularly by improvements in digital transformation and asset management.
The report, produced by Mott MacDonald for the ICG using data from the Smart Infrastructure Index, surveyed leading asset owners and operators from the transport, energy, defence and water sectors representing more than 40% of the national infrastructure and construction pipeline, including Project 13 Adopters. It showed that those with a clear digital strategy, who had already embraced the need for transformation, were much better positioned to ride out the storm and capitalise on the new digital-first normal.
Benefiting from three times as many responses as last year and involvement from the new Buildings Client Group, the report represents the most comprehensive benchmark yet of digital maturity across UK infrastructure and the built environment.
Highlights from the report include:
+10pts improvement in digital strategy and plans. Twice as many organisations had an empowered network of digital change agents. +17pts increase in standardisation and automation. Only 36% were confident most decisions were informed by evidence, not instinct. 77% say poorly organised information prevents them from realising its full value. There have been dramatic improvements in some of the areas tested hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic - resilience, how well risks to service were handled, and security – as organisations were forced to adopt remote and online working at speed. The members shared how this has strengthened the business imperative for digital transformation, with initiatives that previously might have waited months for approval being rolled out almost overnight. In this way COVID-19 has served as a digital accelerator, forcing to the front what many held as a long-term priority.
Mark Enzer, Chair ICG Digital Transformation Task Group and Chief Technical Officer, Mott MacDonald said: “
Digital Benchmarking Report 2020
Read the report here to learn more about its findings related to the six cross-cutting themes: organisational alignment; adopting effective operating models; unlocking investments; the human challenge; digital twins; and short-term pressure: the impact of COVID-19 on digital transformation.
Melissa Zanocco is Head of Programmes for the Infrastructure Client Group

Empire State Building – 90 years old, designed and built in 20 months and still ahead of most of us on integration and efficiency 90 years on

By Simon Murray, in News,

When it opened in May 1931, the Empire State Building (ESB) in New York was the tallest building in the world.  It had also been delivered in record time.  “Within just twenty months – from the first signed contracts with the architect in September 1929 to opening-day ceremonies on May 1st 1931 – the Empire State Building was designed, engineered, erected and ready for tenants.”1  This challenging schedule included the demolition of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on whose site the ESB was built.
It is tempting to argue that the construction of the ESB reflected conditions in the US in the early 1930s and cannot be used to benchmark the construction of tall buildings today.  It was built at the beginning of the Great Depression, so there were no shortages of labour or materials.  It was also built at a time when there was less concern with the health and safety of the workforce.  Seven people were killed during the construction of the ESB – one of them was a young woman in the street below who was injured by a piece of wood that fell from the building and who subsequently died from sepsis.  But by making these arguments, we ignore the fact that the design, engineering and construction of the ESB was delivered by an integrated team of experienced architects, contractors and suppliers using the most advanced production methods available at the time.
Fortunately, we have accounts of the construction of the ESB that we can use to explore how this remarkable building was delivered.  In 1928 William Starrett published Skyscrapers and The Men Who Build Them which is a personal and detailed account of the design and construction of tall buildings.  Starrett was a partner in Starrett Brothers and Eken – the contractor that delivered the ESB.  After the building was opened, staff in the contractor’s office wrote up detailed notes of the planning and construction of the building and these have been published by The Skyscraper Museum.  Since then there have been several academic studies of the project including a recent paper from Indiana University.
Taken together, these sources paint a picture of an approach to promoting, designing, engineering and constructing the building that is different to the approaches we use today.  The promoters were a small group of wealthy men who had intimate knowledge of the economics of tall building and were clear about the outcomes they required.  They appointed the architect and the contractor at about the same time and based on capability and experience rather than on price.  And they engaged the key suppliers like the Otis Elevator Company at the outset in completing the design of the ESB and planning its construction.  In many ways they were following the principles we advocate today through Project 13.
Integrated processes and information
Starrett Brothers and Eken were experts in the construction of tall buildings.  It is clear from William Starrett’s book that they understood how every component in a tall building was made and how much labour, materials and plant were consumed in making it.  The processes they used to plan and manage the construction of the ESB was based on this deep knowledge and reflected their culture and attitudes.  They were respected as experts in their field and, although they sub-contracted large elements of the project, they took responsibility for its engineering and construction.  In the accounts of the project, there is no mention of transferring risks to sub-contractors.  Starrett Brothers and Eken took most of the risks and expected to keep most of the rewards.
The estimates were developed from first principles using the contractor’s knowledge of the costs of materials, plant and labour.  From their experiences of building similar skyscrapers, the contractor knew how much labour was needed to construct a cubic foot of concrete floor or a square foot of limestone cladding and this Labour Unit Cost was a key metric in monitoring construction and assessing whether the project was within budget.
During construction, the contractor employed a team of inspectors that visited every part of the project several times a day and recorded the amount of work that had been done.  This information was summarised in the Daily Construction Report and was used to calculate the actual labour unit cost for each element of work.  If this number was above that used in the initial costs estimate, the contractor was losing money and if it was less, they were making money.  And because the information was available within hours of the work being completed, the contractor was able to take action before any problems became too large.
This approach to monitoring the construction also ensured that in respect of the current status of the project, there was one version of the truth that was available almost in real time.  The inspectors measured the work that had been done that day, the staff in the project team consolidated it into a summary report and it was presented to the Superintendent and to Paul Starrett within hours of the work being completed.  The whole team seemed to have been aligned towards achieving the targets rather than challenging the data.
To read more from Simon on the Empire State Building click here

Project 13 reveals the seven elements that drive integration

By Adam Kirkup, in News,

Analysis of seven major programmes by Project 13 has revealed a golden thread of seven key features that drive integration which it says is at the heart of improved decision making and better outcomes. This analysis features in the new Project 13 Integration paper discussing integrating processes and information within project teams.
Click here to read the full Project 13 Integration Report
The Project 13 Integration Board analysed how schemes, from construction of Stratford East Village to development of Highways England’s Business Information Framework successfully used integration to deliver better results.
This revealed the elements that were common and that allowed the projects to successfully integrate their processes and information.  These the board have categorised as enabling features or core technical features.
Under enabling features, all of the programmes had:
Capable owners that had clear business objectives that set out to adopt integrated approaches to delivery Governance and metrics were used to monitor the delivery of the programmes and satisfy owners that the business objectives were being achieved. Organisation and culture was established at the outset to support integrated working. Under governance and metrics for example, GSK’s Factory in a Box used full scale trials of the erection of a factory to demonstrate that the approach would work in a developing country using local labour.
The core technical features are:
Product development  - the case studies suggesting that the first step in implementing integrated processes is to define a project as a set of products. Process development  - successful integration meant teams developed their production processes in parallel with the detailed engineering of the projects. The emerging production process were usually led by the owner and its contractors which influenced the engineering, details of components and arrangement for transporting them and fixing them in place. Supply and logistics – where the case studies demonstrated that not only streamlined delivery of materials was critical but also the workforce. Information architecture – a common thread was the ability to access shared information that could be instantly consolidated to create real time data on progress. Under core technical features the Project 13 Development Board highlights as an example construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth. The warship was conceived as nine functional modules built in six different shipyards and then towed to Rosyth Dockyard for assembly.
Programmes studied were:
Empire State Building –opened in 1931 and still groundbreaking
Stratford East Village – two 23 storey residential towers build using production techniques developed by Mace
Factory in a Box – GSK’s development of pharmaceutical manufacturing plants using standard components
HMS Queen Elizabeth – production techniques to improve productivity in construction of a very large warship
Highways England Business Information Framework – development of standards and processing for integrating information across all its major programmes
Strategic Pipelines Alliance – Anglian Water’s strategy for delivering £650M investment in improving resilience of water supply
Construction to production – developed by Drees & Sommer of processes and systems for productionising design and construction.
Click here to read the full Project 13 Integration Report

Vision for the Built Environment aligned with core Project 13 Principles

By Melissa Zanocco, in News,

Dale Evans, Chair Project 13 and member of the Vision Steering Group, explains how the Project 13 Principles align with the Vision and how Project 13 will play its part in making it a reality.
‘Our Vision for the built environment’ released today (22 April 2021), reinforces the direction advocated by Project 13.  With contributions from over 75 industry leaders and endorsed by more than 35 industry bodies spanning the built environment, the vision describes the future we want: a built environment whose explicit purpose is to deliver better outcomes for people and nature.
It recognises the significant opportunity we are presented with, in now having the tools, technology and delivery models to make this future vision a reality.
Outcome-focused collaborative delivery models
The Vision calls for ‘approaches to the delivery of interventions that are able to deal with complexity, and enable effective integration of new assets into the existing systems. Outcome-focused collaborative delivery models leverage input from across the supplier ecosystem, bringing together engineering and technology to deliver intelligent solutions.’
The built environment has traditionally been seen as a series of unconnected construction projects focused on short-term outputs.  Suppliers construct individual assets, delivering solutions predetermined by the owner.  The resulting delivery processes and relationships are formed narrowly around the scope of this new asset.  By the time delivery teams are brought together, there is little recognition of the outcomes required of the solution.
The Project 13 Principles require that the end-to-end process of development is focused on improving outcomes; so maintaining the focus on the purpose of the intervention, aligning teams around a common purpose and creating greater opportunity for creativity and innovation. This marks a significant shift from the traditional approach that focuses on projects and building stuff - and where success is defined in terms of project metrics and cost.
The Project 13 Enterprise delivery model allows owners and operators to:
Focus on the better outcomes we are trying to achieve for people and nature; Recognise that an understanding of the existing system increases the opportunity to achieve these outcomes through better and more efficient use of the system; Ensures that where the required intervention does include new assets, they are integrated effectively with the existing system. The Vision is aligned with Project 13 in calling for the alignment of outcomes; from global and national strategic priorities, through to investment decisions for individual interventions. The Project 13 Principles advocate owners developing processes that provide a clear understanding of local requirements; the voice of the customer, the communities and the environment. The dialogue that takes place to agree the desired outcomes is crucial in creating alignment and clearly articulating the outcomes required.
Making the Vision a Reality
The Vision calls for everyone involved in development of the built environment to contribute to this new approach. As the Project 13 Community, we aim to do just that. In 2020 the number of Project 13 Adopters doubled, and the Project 13 Network, launched in March 2021, already has over 750 registered members, demonstrating the commitment to leading the change required and to helping the industry make this shift.
Project 13 is also contributing to the Infrastructure and Projects Authority on the Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030 to be published later this year, which will help to translate the Vision into policy.

Why is it more relevant than ever to develop capability?

By Lucy Howard, in News,

Lucy Howard, Project 13 Capable Owner Development  Group Co-Chair  and Head of Infrastructure Markets at Turner & Townsend, discusses the need to focus on the core six areas of capability following the Covid crisis.
2020 has seen many owners around the world adapting to unique challenges to maintain productivity, sustain supply chains, and enact a step change in digital transformation in the face of a global pandemic. Project 13 Adopters have doubled in Number in 2020 with more owners recognising the value of the six core capabilities in making their organisations more resilient in the crisis and to deliver outcomes in the face of these challenges.
These are the capabilities and how they are changing the landscape.
Articulating the voice of operations requires enabling an equal voice for both operations and maintenance upfront in the enterprise. Covid-19 has shown us the importance of operational staff who have been working on the front lines during the pandemic. Capable Owners need to translate the experience of those staff in managing our assets in these times into project requirements so we build back with more resilient infrastructure.
Articulating the voice of the customer requires identifying, engaging, and absorbing customer views into organisational goals and outcomes.  Anglian Water’s innovative engagement with its customers is demonstrating how this can lead to a strong set of outcomes that deliver economically sustainable solutions for the environment, for the enterprise and ultimately for the customers.
Recruiting and maintaining talent requires that we seek out those with the skills, desire to challenge, comfort with ambiguity, and business management. This means those in leadership roles have to be proactive in finding those people. As the industry emerges from Covid, owners and their supply chains will need to draw in new skills and thinking from beyond the sector.
Value driven mindset requires re-focus from assets to the infrastructure services provided by those assets. Value is achieved through service provision outcomes, not asset delivery outputs. This means that what is required is an outcome focused strategic case that meets long term investment needs rather than the traditional short term, cost and output driven economic case.
Relating to the ecosystem requires new commercial models that align suppliers to organisation and customer outcomes. There has to be a move away from the transactional approach towards that of a high performing value adding enterprise where strong relationships are developed between all parties who have the ability to affect the overall outcome. Risk also has to be appropriately proportioned and discussed in an open and transparent manner. As we emerge from these challenging times, this ethos is of increasing importance as we look to improve the industry’s resilience going forwards.
Creating and maintaining complex systems requires the technology, structures and processes that fuel an enterprise perform at their best. Capable owners establishing new enterprises in the predominantly virtual environment created by Covid 19 have been required to develop new abilities and use new techniques. As my co-chair John Grimm observes: “Bringing together multiple organisations to create an aligned enterprise to deliver outcomes has historically been challenging, but trying to do this in a virtual environment poses a set of additional demands.”  To overcome them takes commitment from all parties, some new skillsets and different approaches to the ways of working.

Project 13 adopters double in number in 2020

By Adam Kirkup, in News,

Melissa Zanocco, Head of Programmes, Project 13, provides an update on the growing number of Project 13 adopters.  
2020 was an important year for Project 13: its partnership with the World Economic Forum, a growing community and, most significantly, the continued increase in Project 13 adopters.
From the initial four early adopters I began working with shortly after the launch of the project in 2018, the adopter group has in 2020 expanded to 13 infrastructure programmes. The group now includes:
Anglian Water Strategic Pipeline Alliance Environment Agency Next Generation Supplier Arrangements Heathrow Expansion National Grid London Power Tunnels Network Rail Transpennine Route Upgrade  Sellafield Programme and Project Partners Sydney Water Partnering for Success Yorkshire Water Capital Programme Delivery  British Antarctic Survey  East West Rail  Openreach Fibre First  Devonport Royal Dockyard  Anglian Water Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant relocation This is a fantastic cross-section of organisations that are all sharing their experiences and learning across the group as they adopt the Project 13 principles. 
A critical component of Project 13’s success is that it is sponsored by the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG), which ensures that we have owner organisations championing and driving the shift to new delivery models. More than half of the ICG’s members are Project 13 adopters.
This significant increase in projects and programmes adopting Project 13 illustrates that the principles clearly resonate across infrastructure.
From adopter group to community
As Project 13 transitions from a UK initiative to a global movement, the early adopter group is on its own transition to becoming the Project 13 adopter community. With its growing number of adopters, the community is looking forward to interacting across a wider group of stakeholders internationally – enriching the learning and sharing. 
Project 13 is about highly integrated enterprises working collaboratively across the supplier ecosystem to deliver better outcomes. It is therefore fitting that the community will now be made up of representatives from across the adopter enterprises rather than just the owner organisations. It will also be in regular contact with the Project 13 supplier readiness group and will nominate representatives to sit on it to ensure that suppliers who are not yet operating in an enterprise can benefit from their shared learning.
In addition, the community provides important learning and feedback to the Project 13 development groups to ensure that the initiative is constantly evolving and reflecting best practice across the industry.
Recap: what is Project 13?
Project 13 is an industry-led movement to improve the way in which high-performance infrastructure is delivered. It moves from transactional business models to collaborative operating models. Adopted by some of the UK’s largest infrastructure owners, it brings together skills and technologies in a collaborative environment. As well as creating a more highly skilled workforce and infrastructure that represents better value for all, it contributes to building a sustainable future for the construction industry.
What is a Project 13 adopter?
They are organisations that intend to adopt Project 13 principles on a project or programme as part of a strategy to deliver better customer outcomes. Adopters become an integral part of the overall Project 13 initiative and benefit from being part of a shared best-practice community.
The adopter programme provides Project 13 – and more broadly the ICG – with continued learning, enabling the continued development of Project 13 knowledge and tools. In applying the principles of Project 13, adopters get additional support from the ICG.
What is the Project 13 adopter programme?
The purpose of the adopter community is to create a forum for the direct exchange of learning and best practice across owners or enterprises adopting Project 13 principles and to provide peer-to-peer guidance and support. The programme consists of:
Project 13 adopter community forum Programme of themed workshops with topics decided by the adopters themselves Adopter/supplier readiness joint meetings  Peer group hubs on specific topics or themes Peer review programme Site visits Events and workshops If you are interested in becoming a Project 13 adopter and joining the community then please contact me at melissa.zanocco@ice.org.uk

The Construction Playbook: what it is and why it matters

By Adam Kirkup, in News,

Melissa Zanocco, Head of Programmes, Project 13, discusses the importance of the alignment between the Construction Playbook and the Project 13 Principles to the transformation of the industry.
Project 13 welcomes the publication of the Construction Playbook, which aims to embed a new approach to the procurement and delivery of construction projects and programmes.
As well as aligning with the overall Project 13 approach, the Project 13 principles are recommended in several places. The Playbook contains 14 main policy changes to drive the government’s agenda of "better, faster and greener delivery", including:
Incentivising the industry to innovate by setting clear and appropriate outcome-based contract specifications, rather than defining upfront how infrastructure should be delivered Developing a consistent and mutually beneficial relationship with industry, moving away from a confrontational approach towards stronger relationship and contract management that will deliver continuous improvement over time Further embedding digital technologies to standardise the approach to generating and classifying data, data security and data exchange, and to support the adoption of the Information Management Framework and the creation of the National Digital Twin Better benchmarking to understand the whole life cost, value of a project and get an estimate range of what projects should cost Better allocation of risk between the sector and public buyers to mitigate risk being inappropriately managed or passed down the supply chain Based on the Outsourcing Playbook, the Construction Playbook has been developed over several months with industry and government collaborating through weekly workshops with Dale Evans, chair of Project 13.
Project 13 is part of the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG) programme and is therefore a key vehicle for achieving the objectives of the Construction Leadership Council's Infrastructure Industry Working Group, led by the ICG. The group is governed by a programme group that includes senior representation from the Construction Playbook and so Project 13 will continue to play an active role in the extensive implementation plan.
The Playbook is mandatory for all central government and arm’s length bodies (such as Highways England or Network Rail). It will be rolled out on a 'comply or explain' basis, with a Cabinet Office team monitoring and guiding implementation. It is therefore a significant step for Project 13’s aim of transforming the industry.
Dale Evans, chair of Project 13, said: "The Construction Playbook is a really important step that provides clear and progressive direction on how government wants to work with construction. Project 13 is highly aligned with the principles set out in the Playbook and we look forward to supporting the next phase."
Nirmal Kotecha, chair of the ICG management board and CLC task force member, said of its focus on an outcome-based approach:
"Defining clear outcomes from infrastructure investment is going to become a key competence for clients in future and this will form the basis for driving significant change in the way we procure and commercially incentivise organisations through the value chain to ensure they are fully aligned in the pursuit of the desired outcomes."

Project 13 and World Economic Forum united in drive for new infrastructure delivery model

By Adam Kirkup, in News,

2021 will see continuing impetus in the partnership between Project 13, the World Economic Forum and the Engineering and Construction Risk Institute to improve the quality and performance of infrastructure projects through the adoption of collaborative delivery models.
Project 13 was initiated by the UK’s Infrastructure Client Group. In partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF),  Project 13 aims to help underpin collaboration, particularly as the world looks to infrastructure investment as an important part of the recovery from Covid-19.
Governments looking to stimulate economies via infrastructure investment will want to make sure every penny counts. Old-school transactional, confrontational procurement will not deliver on that aim and the WEF is advocating a fresh approach.
Oliver Tsai, platform curator at the World Economic Forum, said: “In our discussions with industry and government leaders about key objectives for the infrastructure sector, limitations of the conventional delivery model have consistently been identified as a challenge to improving outcomes in sustainability, resilience and technological innovation.”
Following the 2020 annual meeting in Davos, the WEF launched its Collaborative Infrastructure Delivery Initiative , which seeks to address imbalances in risk sharing under current contract structures and improve collaboration between the public and private sectors.
The WEF has partnered with Project 13 and the Engineering and Construction Risk Institute to advance the adoption of best practice in collaborative infrastructure delivery. The partnership between the World Economic Forum and Project 13 was officially announced in May 2020.
Under this initiative, a series of online panel discussions and workshops to promote collaborative principles and the Project 13 approach among international project owners, engineering and construction companies, clients, partners and other industry stakeholders started in May 2020. It will continue in March 2021 with a panel consisting of infrastructure financiers and investors.
The elements of Project 13 that will particularly help to meet the WEF’s ambitions are:
Its focus on delivering better asset performance through a focus on outcomes rather than price Its collaborative procurement approach, using aligned supply chains to work together as an enterprise set up to deliver on those outcomes Its ability to better allocate risk. Tsai said:  “An imbalance in risk allocation between public and private sectors under traditional contract structures poses a significant challenge to effective delivery and performance of infrastructure projects and it inhibits much needed innovation in the industry."
The aims of the joint programme are to build a global community of proponents of collaborative delivery, to improve understanding of the challenges involved and to investigate and prioritise solutions needed to drive reforms in the infrastructure sector.
Through the workshops, the WEF is aiming to build a community of advocates of collaborative delivery models. The intention is to work with all parts of the value chain in recognition that the change demanded requires a joined-up response. There will be a focus on specific groups or geographies where appropriate, with feedback from each workshop informing the next steps as an ongoing development process.
 “We are delighted that the Project 13 principles first set out by the Infrastructure Client Group are resonating with the global infrastructure community,” said Project 13 Chair Dale Evans. “The WEF partnership provides us with the opportunity to increase the potential sources of learning that will benefit all Project 13 practitioners.”
 Project 13 was launched in the UK in 2018 by the Infrastructure Client Group – a community of the UK’s most progressive infrastructure investors, government and industry.
Along with the WEF, Project 13 has been adopted by clients including Network Rail, the Environment Agency, Heathrow, National Grid, Openreach, Anglian Water, East West Rail, Yorkshire Water, Sellafield Ltd, Sydney Water and British Antarctic Survey.
About Project 13
Project 13 aims to shift the delivery of infrastructure to focus more clearly on outcomes for society. Achieving this will also help to boost productivity and certainty in delivery and to support a more sustainable, innovative, highly skilled construction industry.
Key to it is the adoption of enterprise delivery models for infrastructure programmes and projects, moving from transactional, cost-driven procurement to value-driven, collaborative enterprises.
Project 13 is underpinned by a framework of five capability pillars: capable owner, enterprise governance, organisation, integration and digital transformation. There are associated Project 13 principles and a maturity matrix  that explains the journey necessary for participating organisations.

A Systems Approach to Infrastructure Delivery: ICE report calls for technological focus

By Adam Kirkup, in News,

A major ICE-commissioned review explains how systems thinking can be used to improve the delivery of complex infrastructure projects, citing the Project 13 approach and the Principles underlying it.
Download A Systems Approach to Infrastructure Delivery 
The current approach to delivering complex infrastructure projects is facing obsolescence. The sector is struggling to deal with projects that require complex systems to be planned, delivered and, most importantly, integrated to provide the mobility, energy, sanitation and other infrastructure services on which people depend.

In these projects, traditional civil engineering, while still a large capital cost, exists to support a system that is made up of multiple physical, digital and human components. A new tunnel, for example, exists to support a system such as a railway that includes physical trains, stations and track; digital signalling, safety and communications; and human components such as the procedures followed by drivers.
At the report's launch, Andrew McNaughton, steering group chair and former SYSTRA group chief operating officer, said:
Interconnectivity is influencing infrastructure
The use of technology to maintain and operate infrastructure networks means that interconnectedness has grown substantially in recent decades. Today, even relatively small projects are best seen as interventions into existing complex systems that provide the services needed by millions of people. In the future, the increasingly technology-based functionality of infrastructure systems will mean that a different mix of skills will be needed to execute these interventions. 
Access to infrastructure services has never been more important. Delivering the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, executing the transition to a net-zero economy and levelling up economic opportunity between countries and regions are all vital for our future.
This report is a review into the benefits of applying systems thinking to the delivery of complex, major infrastructure projects and brings together a literature review and 30 interviews with project practitioners from the infrastructure, aerospace, defence, oil and gas, and technology sectors. ICE has used this insight to create a Systems Approach to Infrastructure Delivery (SAID), a model that can be used to help deliver better outcomes for infrastructure owners and users.
Find out more about the SAID report and model by revisiting the ICE Strategy Session: A Systems Approach to Infrastructure Delivery. 

Project 13 will help to rebuild a more sustainable construction industry

By Adam Kirkup, in News,

Mark Hansford, ICE director of engineering knowledge, explains why Project 13 is central to efforts to rebuild a more productive, sustainable construction industry post-Covid-19.
Led by the Infrastructure Client Group and supported by ICE, the industry-wide change programme Project 13 is intended to improve outcomes for the public and infrastructure customers, deliver a more highly skilled, innovative workforce and create a more sustainable, productive construction industry.
The collaborative enterprise business model officially moved into its implementation phase in May 2018. Back then, in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of UK contracting giant Carillion, it was hard to argue that existing business models were not broken.
Fast forward two years and introduce the biggest shock to the construction industry in living memory – Covid-19 – and the call for change is deafening. Embedding more collaborative working between the industry and its clients, building on initiatives such as Project 13, is a key plank of the Construction Leadership Council’s recovery plan for the construction sector and it is easy to see why.
The reasons for embracing Project 13 are compelling. At its heart, it advocates delivering projects through enterprises – long-term relationships between owners, investors, integrators, advisers and suppliers – and aligning all involved around a set of agreed outcomes that they then work collaboratively towards achieving.
Delivery through enterprises
To be clear, these outcomes are customer outcomes. This, says ICG Project 13 Chair Dale Evans, ensures that the voice of the customer is clearly articulated and investment is focused on its needs.
“Outcomes provide the starting point for engagement and creating alignment between the owners of infrastructure and the deliverers,” he says.
The Project 13 philosophy is also based on earlier engagement between infrastructure owners and integrated supply chain teams. Evans places emphasis on the word 'integrated' here.
“These integrated teams can then support the application of innovative technology and more productive methods of delivery, such as manufactured solutions, thereby enabling continuous improvements in productivity,” he says.
Lastly, Project 13 promotes a more sustainable construction industry. It aims to change the business model, connecting infrastructure owners and their supply chains to one that jointly incentivises performance; aligns reward with delivery of outcomes, not on volume of work done; and promotes greater understanding of cost drivers and risk across all organisations in the enterprise, with commercial incentives for collaboration to jointly mitigate risk, not transfer it.
So how is Project 13 faring? It's doing well, according to early adopters of the philosophy at ICE's Strategy Session, Turning Theory into a Reality. There, adopters ranging from Network Rail in the UK to Sydney Water in Australia described how the Project 13 principles were being brought to bear on major infrastructure programmes.
Still, it is not as simple as going home on a Friday night in an old model and turning up at work on Monday and instantly converting to the Project 13 way of working.
Both Network Rail's and Sydney Water’s Project 13 enthusiasts make clear that real and bold leadership is required to move to these new delivery models and that all organisations – and all of us individually – have to be prepared to tackle some of the key blockers along the way.
It’s clear and obvious that moving to an enterprise approach requires owner commitment from the outset and that the approach has to be developed by working much more closely with partners. An environment must be created where all involved collectively pursue the clear benefits of greater integration and collaboration.
A focus on the cultural and behavioural aspects is an essential part of creating this environment – and in overcoming some of the behaviours embedded in our traditional thinking.

A new partnership between Project 13 and the World Economic Forum

By Adam Kirkup, in News,

Project 13 has formed an exciting new partnership with the World Economic Forum. What does this mean for the future of the initiative? 
Following constructive engagement throughout 2019 and at the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) Industry Strategy Annual Meeting, Project 13 has been selected as a flagship initiative supported by the WEF’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Energy, Materials and Infrastructure. 
The partnership
This new partnership represents a significant and welcome step for Project 13. It demonstrates that the principles first set out by the Infrastructure Client Group resonate with the global infrastructure community, providing further impetus for their adoption.
It also provides us with the opportunity to significantly extend the active participants of the Project 13 network, increasing the potential sources of learning that will flow from adopters to the wider community of practitioners.
The WEF’s Platform on Shaping the Future of Energy, Materials and Infrastructure is focused on the transition to net-zero carbon, resilience and wellbeing, which aligns well with the objectives of Project 13, in particular the need to focus on outcomes for end users. The platform, a focal point for discussion, starts with the premise that there are big challenges when it comes to urbanisation and the future delivery of infrastructure. While nobody has all of the answers yet, there is a lot of thinking going on around the world.
The platform aims to coordinate this thinking to ensure that when tangible action and policy measures are ready to be made, they are done in a coordinated and collaborative way across the public and private sectors right across the globe. The platform shares the same ethos as Project 13 – that by looking at case studies worldwide and sharing best practice, the infrastructure ecosystem will be in a better place to advocate and provide guidance on the changes needed to deliver impact at scale. 
As part of the partnership, I was invited to participate in the WEF Industry Strategy Meeting on 25-26 March, along with Mark Enzer, Project 13 digital transformation lead.  The discussion focused on the barriers to industry transformation and the innovative strategies that can be employed to overcome the unprecedented challenges faced by the infrastructure and urban development industries in these challenging times.
Katherine Davisson, head of the Platform on Shaping the Future of Energy, Materials and Infrastructure, said: “We are delighted to partner with Project 13 given its pioneering work and thought leadership in advancing enterprise delivery models and collaborative principles for infrastructure projects.  We share its aim of improving outcomes surrounding the delivery of sustainable and resilient infrastructure and look forward to supporting Project 13 in its next phase of development.” 
Recap: what is Project 13?
Project 13 aims to shift the delivery of infrastructure to focus more clearly on outcomes for society. Achieving this shift in thinking will also help to boost productivity and certainty in delivery and to support a more sustainable, innovative, highly skilled construction industry.
The key shift required as part of Project 13 thinking is the adoption of enterprise delivery models for infrastructure programmes and projects, moving away from transactional, cost-driven procurement to the creation of value-driven, collaborative enterprises.
From the initial research phase onwards, when exemplar projects provided our initial evidence base, Project 13 has demonstrated that enterprise models deliver significantly better performance. This study of industry best practice gave us the framework for moving towards enterprise delivery, including:
Five capability pillars (capable owner, enterprise governance, organisation, integration and digital transformation) The associated Project 13 principles A maturity matrix that recognises that for participating organisations this is a journey not an overnight shift. This clear framework also recognises that application will vary in line with required project outcomes, the organisations involved and their relative maturity.
As well as aligning with the World Economic Forum focus on resilience, Project 13 also aligns with other industry drivers, including the need to improve sustainability in infrastructure delivery. Some of the exemplar Project 13 projects, such as Anglian Water’s @one alliance, have demonstrated how stretching sustainability targets can be delivered alongside productivity and efficiency – the @one alliance reduced capital carbon by more than 50% across the investment programme. 
The Project 13 focus on outcomes also enables the opportunity presented by digital transformation, probably the single biggest opportunity for our industry in generations. Engaging with partners and the wider ecosystem to deliver outcomes, rather than to just deliver a specified engineering scope, opens up the opportunity for intelligent solutions and highly optimised infrastructure systems.
As Project 13 has developed, a number of infrastructure owners have become early adopters, including Heathrow, Sellafield Ltd, the Environment Agency, Anglian Water, Sydney Water, Network Rail and the National Grid.
Other owners, such as Highways England and Yorkshire Water, are now looking to embed the Project 13 principles into their programmes of work, including the Smart Motorways Programme. 
A focus on outcomes
In all cases, these owners have placed a greater emphasis on delivering better outcomes for their customers. Having clearly articulated those outcomes, they have then set out to select and integrate partners with the right technical and behavioural capability and deliver through high-performing integrated teams.
As an example, Heathrow is aiming to integrate the wider ecosystem of delivery partners, including specialist suppliers who can add greater value through earlier involvement in the development process. The use of regional logistics hubs will extend this involvement and support modern methods of construction. These sites are key to kickstarting the nationwide benefits that Heathrow expansion would bring – creating jobs and economic opportunities up and down the country, years before the additional trade and tourism that would follow from unlocked runway capacity. 
John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow, spoke at the WEF’s 2020 annual meeting in Davos in a session with industry executives and government officials, and highlighted the collaboration benefits of being a Project 13 early adopter. 
As Project 13 principles have been adopted by various organisations, the learning process has been extended and it has progressed from an initiative to a movement. The task now is to continue this collective learning and knowledge-sharing process, ensuring existing and future Project 13 network members are supported with current understanding and knowledge as they go on their enterprise journey. The WEF partnership is a significant enabler in this overall aim.

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