GIRI announces Error Reduction Framework

11 Dec 23

The Get It Right Initiative marked a significant step in its fight against avoidable error in construction this month, with the GIRI Error Reduction Framework made public for the first time as the highlight of its annual members' meeting. 

The GIRI Error Reduction Framework builds on the growing awareness of the cost of error in the sector, driven by GIRI’s campaigns, and brings together many of the tools GIRI members already use into a standardised, structured, step-by-step process that enables companies, organisations and project teams to systemically identify, diagnose and reduce errors. 

Former ICE President Ed McCann, one of the founders of GIRI and a member of the Strategic Leadership Group, introduced the framework by recalling how the Get It Right Initiative was founded to offer a solution to the fact that so much money and time is wasted in the sector through error. The latest announcement marks a crucial shift in focus for the organisation from simply raising awareness of the problem of error to providing the tools for businesses to take meaningful action to reduce it.

The framework answers a need in the industry, particularly from large infrastructure clients, for structured error-reduction programmes, said Chris Shrubsall from Expedition Engineering, which worked with GIRI to develop the framework. “Where quality management and error reduction was once seen purely as an overhead, it is now being seen as an investment. But while there are a myriad quality management processes and tools available, including those developed by GIRI, there’s nothing tying them together.”

The development process included a workshop with GIRI members to gather feedback, which was incorporated into the framework. The current version, Chris told GIRI members, is regarded as a ‘minimal viable product’. “It is the first iteration to be adopted and executed by users and will be refined based on your feedback.”

What is the framework?

The GIRI ERF aims to improve an organisation's ability to identify, address and prevent errors in a structured, effective, and proactive way. As well as deepening understanding of the root causes of error, it provides a strategic approach to reducing error and an opportunity to tackle systemic issues within organisations and projects, leading to long-term improvements in behaviour and company culture.

It does this by taking a systems-change approach, explained Oana Sala from Expedition Engineering. “First you understand the system – which could be an organisation, project or programme – then define the intervention based on the needs of the system, which results in an outcome that you can analyse, learn from, and use to embed change.” 

There are six key steps:

  • Understand the system, gather comprehensive data and analyse errors.
  • Investigate the root cause of errors to uncover the underlying issues within the organisation. 
  • Develop interventions through brainstorming, testing and involving key stakeholders, taking account of the system’s definition and constraints. 
  • Develop an implementation plan by prioritising and defining interventions while drawing upon established models, set relevant metrics, and establish governance frameworks.
  • Assess and measure the impact against pre-defined metrics or against the GIRI Matrix to determine the effectiveness of interventions; identify successes and areas for improvement. 
  • Learn from outcomes and take steps to embed the change in your organisations. 


Each of these steps is mapped against available tools that can be used to facilitate the process. Some of these, such as leadership training, the Design Guide and the Maturity Matrix, have been developed by GIRI. Others, including the Pareto analysis technique, 5 Whys, value effort matric, and SWOT analysis, are tools already in use by many businesses. A tool-mapping booklet will be provided as part of the framework materials.

Enabler actions

However, before beginning implementation, GIRI recommends that companies or project teams take three ‘enabler actions’ to give them the best chance of success, said Oana. 

“GIRI’s recommended approach to implementing the framework is to start with securing leadership support, evaluating the impact of error on the organisation, and assessing the organisation’s error management maturity,” she said. 

This establishes a solid foundation from which to apply the Error Reduction Framework. Errors can then be tackled by addressing their root causes, leading to a system improvement and an increased organisational readiness to error management, which can be assessed using the GIRI Maturity Matrix. 

How to access the materials

The GIRI Error Reduction Framework includes a framework guide and toolkit guide as well as supporting documentation such as an executive briefing, error impact workshop materials, and a methodology. These will be available via registration from the GIRI website once the framework is launched and those interested can sign up to express their interest here

The framework has been designed to allow businesses to follow it without assistance, but support will also be available from GIRI and Expedition Engineering to assist with implementation.

Chris Shrubsall closed the presentation by reminding members that their input is vital to consolidating and fine-tuning the framework. “We encourage members to use it and provide feedback so it can be refined and improved.”


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