Kier's Top Ten Tips for Project Success
Deane Hudson, Kier National Minor Works framework director, has given us his 'Top Ten Tips' for achieving project success.
Kier lead our National Minor Works framework and have successfully delivered over 1,000 projects to date.
With their nationwide network of regional offices and an extensive supply chain of local SME’s across the UK, Kier have a wealth of experience in ensuring that projects exceed all stakeholder expectations.
There are some simple but extremely effective steps that help to deliver the best project results. Particularly at this current time, it is more important than ever to ensure that the basics of project delivery are put in place.
Take a look at Deane's recommendations.
1. Engage with the soft start process
Early contractor engagement is proven to facilitate the achievement of maximum benefit from construction projects.
The Minor Works framework is direct award and as such, it enables the earliest introduction of the contractor to the design process, which supports the formation of an integrated team and enables the sharing of construction expertise in relation to buildability, modern methods of construction, sequencing and logistics.
2. Appoint a Project Manager
Minor Works projects are commissioned using the NEC3 contract, which encourages collaboration and communication at every stage, from the outset.
Appointing a project manager experienced in using NEC3 enables the maximum benefits of collaboration and will aid in the success of projects.
3. Take advantage of collaborative training programmes
The Kier team are here to help you at every stage and offer free training on a range of collaborative topics including NEC, risk management, process, and social value.
These sessions help form an integrated team and the adoption of common goals and objectives.
4. Commission a free feasibility report
As part of the Minor Works framework, projects can be commissioned at any time during the design stage, but the sooner the contractor is engaged, the better the outcomes.
A free feasibility report is offered as part of the framework and enables our experienced teams to provide a high-level viability assessment against project cost, programme and key risks.
We also help clients understand the options for design responsibility. If a design team has not been appointed, we can arrange this; either through the Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework partner Perfect Circle; Scape Group’s architectural practice Lungfish; by engaging one of our supply chain partners or by appointing a client’s preferred supplier.
5. Review and agree pre-construction activities
The free feasibility report is used to validate current project plans or develop high-level strategies where design has yet to be commissioned. We review anticipated costs against a range of metrics, including industry benchmarks and current market returns.
We identify if surveys are required to validate early assumptions or to mitigate risks.
We review planned timescales for the works, ensuring there is enough time for design, any planning consents or approvals, and allowing sufficient time for our subcontractors and suppliers to price the works. Our feasibilities also identify key next steps and provide clear and transparent costs at every stage, ensuring clients can make the right decision at the right time.
6. Establish the time needed to gain internal approvals
One of the key drivers in instructing construction works is often the internal client processes and time needed to seek and gain approval for capital works expenditure to move the project forward at key milestones.
Our teams recognise the importance of these processes and can provide supporting documentation to evidence achievement of performance measures, social value, and value for money criteria as well as the wider framework benefits of employment, training and up-skilling.
By allowing sufficient time within our programmes at key milestones for these processes we ensure projects are effectively managed and delivered on time.
7. Attend a launch workshop
A pre-construction launch workshop is a key activity in ensuring the integrated project team have clear roles and responsibilities.
It is an opportunity to check the project brief; re-state project objectives and identify any changes in the needs of stakeholders.
It is also an opportunity to agree performance measures and the desired social value and employment and skills targets and outcomes.
8. Establish and agree a procurement strategy
The Minor Works framework delivers speed to market through a two-stage process, the first stage is a rigorous procurement that has been undertaken by Scape to appoint a single delivery partner.
To ensure value for money, work packages are tendered in the open market during the second stage and client-named or preferred suppliers or products can be included on the tender lists.
Some specialist packages and occasionally market conditions, can mean that from time to time this is not possible and we will collaboratively agree a series of protocols should this be the case, to ensure value for money whilst protecting the project programme.
9. Keep contract administration up to date
The NEC form of contract encourages cooperation and collaboration for the benefit of all parties.
The use of early warnings, risk reduction meetings and compensation events are used to acknowledge, manage and mitigate risks and are an integral part to building and maintaining strong and long-lasting relationships.
They should be reviewed every month and agreed progressively, providing clarity and certainty in both project costs and programme.
And last, but by no means least;
10. Carry out post project reviews and capture learnings
Just as important as a project launch meeting, a completion review meeting enables the capture of best practice.
This identifies where processes and procedures could be improved to provide better outcomes on future projects.
Best held with all key stakeholders, they are chance to reflect and to recognise project successes, which are all too easily forgotten and to put in place joint actions to ensure a continuously improving team outcome.
Following Deane's Ten Tips’ will help to keep your project on track. but, just to reiterate, the earlier you engage your contractor, the more collaborative the relationship, the better the outcomes.
Deane HudsonFramework Director
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