Positive feedback on GIRI’s remote training courses

3 Feb 21

Five months into the remote delivery of GIRI’s training courses, feedback from the industry is overwhelmingly positive.

GIRI’s training courses focus on the root causes of error in construction, which costs the UK industry up to £25 billion a year in direct and indirect costs. The training uses a variety of learning formats and practical exercises to engage with the topic at three different levels. The Supervisory and Management Skills course aims to reduce errors on construction sites; Training Across Interfaces is about avoiding errors at interfaces; and the Leadership Training courses focuses on strategies to eliminate error for leaders of construction projects and organisations.

Almost all participants said they were able to achieve the learning outcomes for the course. These vary depending on the type of course. For the leadership stream, for example, outcomes include improved understanding of the scale and impact of error in the construction industry, improved awareness of leadership behaviours, dialogue, and processes that will eliminate error; and individual and team action plans.

‘I found the course a useful means of getting my leadership team introduced to our growth strategy, which requires change and new ways of operating, digital thinking and collaboration,’ said one participant. ‘The team could begin to understand and think positively about the need for improved performance in the context of our industry's own analysis of waste, or rework at 21%, rather than perhaps thinking negatively about the performance improvements being driven by increasing or unreasonable client demand.’

Since September, all training has been delivered remotely to comply with Covid-19 restrictions, and participants said they found the online system worked well and encouraged interaction through the use of tools such as Mural, a digital workspace for visual collaboration. ‘Excellent, engaging, and enjoyable – hard to achieve online,’ said one. ‘Concise, well run, and good engagement with plenty of different breakout groups. Well received all round,’ was another comment.

Participants also praised the teaching methods, particularly the practical exercises. One of the most popular aspects of the courses is the Lego exercise. The exact format of this exercise differs depending on the course and its learning outcomes, but the underlying aim is to demonstrate how easily errors can occur, and to encourage participants to explore the reasons why these happen from a different perspective – to understand the root causes of errors. ‘Thought-provoking,’ was how one attendee described the exercise.

‘Talking about why we make errors can be contentious and confrontational and it can be hard to turn this into valuable learning,’ explains GIRI Training & Consultancy Director Nick Francis. ‘We want people to think about their behaviour and how it impacts outcomes. By using Lego, we can replicate processes in the real world and create something objective we can talk about.’

On the leadership course, the Get it Wrong exercise was also singled out as being extremely helpful. This aims to tackle optimism bias – the tendency to believe that we will experience more positive outcomes, and fewer negative outcomes, than others – by taking a pre-mortem approach to project error. 

‘A pre-mortem is a technique for preventing this behaviour,’ says Nick. ‘You jump into the future and instead of asking what will happen, you look back at all the things that have gone wrong, which unlocks a much more honest way of identifying issues.’ 

‘The course will change my whole approach to programming and managing the design process,’ was the verdict from one attendee. Another said it would make them more mindful of how other people like to communicate, adding: ‘I will take the time to pause and consider the task in hand before starting without proper planning.’ Better understanding of the power of open questions was another common takeaway, along with the concept of ‘pressing pause to avoid error’, which struck a chord with a number of participants.

If you would like to find out more about GIRI’s training courses, download our brochure or get in touch. We also have a short video that provides an introduction to GIRI training. Courses are discounted for GIRI members.


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