GIRI forum report: addressing the 'race to the bottom' post Covid-19.

6 Jul 20

The potential pitfalls of the government's Project Speed initiative in the context of the predicted 'race to the bottom' post Covid-19 created a timely discussion point for those attending the GIRI online forum on 2 July. 

The forum introduced participants to the concept of 'optimism bias' and demonstrated how GIRI’s 'Get-it-wrong' pre-mortem technique allows project teams to identify and prevent errors before they ever happen. During the session attendees took part in an interactive workshop to counteract the 'race to the bottom' by identifying specific failure scenarios, analysing their possible impact, and proposing countermeasures to minimise this impact. But the government's call to 'build, build, build!' gave an extra edge to the discussion.

"Does the recently-announced Project Speed initiative mean that the industry will become more productive?" asked GIRI director Tom Barton, "Or will the ‘race to the bottom’ simply become faster with an even larger legacy of errors?"

Possible concerns delegates raised for the post-Covid world ranged from increased carbon emissions as contractors sought cheaper materials and equipment; compromised safety due to time pressures and lack of planning; and a drop in competence created by a shortage of staff and reduced investment in training. 

Forum host Nick Francis led an accelerated taster of the GIRI project leadership training course, which took delegates through the 'Get it wrong' exercise of identifying a concern, analysing the underlying root causes, and proposing countermeasures to address it - in this case targeting an anticipated lack of workplace competence as projects are accelerated. 

Countermeasures proposed included defining competence upfront (ideally in the contract documents); ensuring roles and responsibilities are clearly defined - then carry out a gap analysis; and providing a buddy/mentoring scheme for new staff. 

For more information, the video of the forum is available on our YouTube channel here

Download the slides from the presentation here

More detail about the full range of GIRI training courses is available in our downloadable booklet


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