Do you know the activities with the greatest cost of error?

23 Mar 21

Only a third of those polled during last week’s GIRI/CQI webinar correctly identified concrete as the area of construction that has the greatest cost of error. But while concrete was the most popular choice overall, areas that are less costly in terms of error, such as piling, finishes and setting out, were also selected by some – demonstrating that there is still work to do in raising awareness across the construction industry of the true cost of error.

The audience of more than a hundred heard about how error reduction improves quality and productivity and also reduces waste in construction. As guest speaker, GIRI executive director Cliff Smith presented an introduction to the work of the Get It Right Initiative, talking delegates through the organisation’s research into the cost and causes of avoidable error in construction and highlighting the ways in which design and construction processes can be disrupted, leading to error and waste.

GIRI’s aim is to eliminate error in construction through a multi-disciplinary membership and a strategy that focuses on changing culture and attitudes in the industry, and improving knowledge, decision-making and planning skills.

Two polls during the presentation asked attendees to identify the area of construction where they felt the cost of error was greatest, and to rank the root causes of error identified by GIRI’s research from most to least significant.

While only a third correctly identified concrete as the area that generates the most losses due to error, the root causes of error seem to be better understood, with many participants identifying the top three most significant root causes of error as identified by GIRI – inadequate planning, late design changes, and poorly communicated design information. However, while people may know what is causing error, they don’t necessarily understand what it is costing them, which is why GIRI’s campaign for zero error seeks to raise awareness of the estimated £25 billion that avoidable error costs the industry every year.

The full results for both topics, based on GIRI’s research, are available in GIRI’s Call to Action

The presentation concluded with a lively Q&A session, which saw Cliff answer questions on GIRI’s strategies and analysis. Delegates also expressed an interest in GIRI’s planned Error Frequency Ratio metric, which is currently in development, and speculated on whether legislation will be required before quality and error reporting is taken as seriously as health and safety.

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