Training case study: challenging the status quo25 Jan 24
Icon was the first business to become accredited to deliver GIRI training in house. Group quality assurance manager Peter Billimoria discusses the training’s impact on Icon’s internal quality culture.
Icon Group has been delivering GIRI training to staff across its three entities Icon, Minicon and Barpa in-house for a year now. What are the key things you have learned about becoming an accredited training provider?
We have gained significant experience in rolling out what has been one of our largest internal training campaigns to date. In total, we have trained 15 trainers to deliver both the supervisory and management skills and training across interfaces courses, and these in-house trainers have increased their skills to become extremely well-rounded facilitators. Their achievements are evident in the positive feedback we regularly receive. Our staff find these courses both engaging and empowering.
How far along are you in the training rollout within the business?
We have now trained over 900 staff from our original forecasted campaign. Due to significant growth of the Icon Group over the last fiscal year, we anticipate running a further 35 courses in 2024.
What has been the biggest impact of the training so far?
As an early adopter of GIRI training, we have challenged the status quo. There have been numerous noticeable changes throughout the business, including an increase in conversations around quality and greater awareness of error across at all levels. This is anchored by GIRI’s research into the cost of error, which is highlighting to our staff the huge amount of waste within the sector, empowering them to be more creative in discovering ways to boost productivity and reduce error.
The learning exercises in the courses, particularly the Lego exercise, are delivered in a way that achieves consistent impact on delegates, as does the fact that the course content relates closely to what happens in real-life scenarios.
How has adding the interfaces training benefited the business?
Delivering the interfaces training internally was a logical progression as design is a significant root cause of error throughout our business, as well as in the wider industry. It is an area that traditionally has seen less scrutiny, and the interfaces course brings home to delegates the importance of the design development process and how its effectiveness can directly contribute to the reduction of error.
What outcomes did you set out to achieve when you began the training?
From the outset, our aim was to look at new ways to boost productivity and reduce error. We have been searching for a universal language that could take our quality culture to the next level. We have achieved this via the initial stages of our GIRI rollout.
So far, training has been provided to core staff, and we are now rolling out interfaces training to further support supervisor and managerial training. We are also in the process of adopting several GIRI principles into our Integrated Management System. It has set our organisation apart from the rest of the Australian construction industry by demonstrating our commitment to reducing error.
We have also trialled various components of GIRI content with our clients, consultants, and subcontractors. Our next step is to begin offering GIRI training to these associated parties upon commencement of our projects.
How do you measure success?
We have seen active growth in both trust and transparency in quality assurance and control throughout the business. This has allowed us to break down cultural barriers and address challenges that have been considered industry norms for a long time. We have seen an increase in non-conformance reporting and our teams actively employ GIRI techniques such as “build it in your brain” and “press pause to avoid error”.
Do you have any practical examples of how the training has helped reduce error?
There have been many occasions where our teams have been forced to work against multiple external factors to deliver a project, and have actively pressed pause because of a quality concern. Our culture around error reduction and elimination has developed dramatically, particularly in scenarios where a team is nearing completion of a project and working under significant delivery pressure.
We have also observed our teams pressing pause earlier in the process. This has reduced or eliminated error at source, as opposed to course correcting when an issue has already progressed.