The Get it Right Initiative - A game changer for industry.

23 Jun 17
Today movers and shakers in the UK Construction industry gathered at the ICE for the launch of The Get it Right Initiative - a new organisation with the single aim to significantly reduce construction industry error and its associated consequences.

Sir John Armitt introduced the Initiative saying, The issues we're discussing today are fundamental to our industry. According to a recent Mckinsey report Imagining Construction's Digital Future'; productivity in the construction industry has barely increased in the last twenty years. As a consequence our projects cost more, which means we are building fewer, as society can't afford them. We all know part of that cost is the things that go wrong, and the aim of the Get It Right Initiative is to address this. We're an industry that loves to crack on, but in cracking on errors are made, so it's a case of less haste more speed. GIRI could be game changing for our industry, so I encourage you to get on board and maintain momentum

Ed McCann from Expedition Engineering described how the Initiative evolved: In 2014, at the ICE Best Practice group, a team of us got to wondering how much errors cost UK construction and indeed whether anyone knew. In parallel Peter Hansford, who had just issued the Industry Strategy for Construction was looking for ways to deliver cost reduction targets. We proposed to research and identify classes of significant errors' and then develop specific interventions to address them. Supported by seed funding from the CITB, and 16 major industry companies the research team put together a £100k project to identify the costs and root causes of error in UK Construction - and to make recommendations about what should be done.

This research revealed that within the construction industry, worth £100Bn annually, avoidable error results in costs between £10-25Bn/year. At the upper end this is not far off UK Government spend on transport last year and is much much more than total profits across the sector. The research also showed that the root causes for this are embedded deep within the construction industry.

Results indicated that error costs between 10% - 25% of project value depending on circumstances, and repeatedly in the following areas: concrete works, mechanical systems, facades / cladding, electrical systems, finishes, roofing, basement waterproofing, setting out, drainage, damage to completed works, steelwork coatings, piling, and roads & pavements. The root causes of error were highlighted as: inadequate planning (from task through to project level), late design changes, poorly communicated design information, poor culture in relation to quality, poorly co-ordinated and incorrect design information, inadequate attention paid in the design to the construction, excessive commercial (financial and time) pressures, poor interface management and design, ineffective communication between team members and inadequate supervisory skills.

When the companies involved were asked how they might invest to reduce error, responses determined a striking 73% of resources would be put towards skills development including design, management, planning and trade.

In light of this valuable research the Get It Right Initiative has developed a Strategy for Change' which has four threads: a skills development programme to improve capability in identified areas; a campaign to change and align attitudes which will both raise awareness to the cost of error and change attitudes to the issues; a programme to improve management programmes and systems which includes defining a common language to describe error as well as error identification and measurement to deliver benchmarking data; and improve construction technology and techniques including how digital technology is understood and used across the industry.

Original research partners were so convinced by the findings, that on failing to find an existing organisation to pick up the drive for change, decided to set up the Initiative as a not-for-profit subscription based company which can apply for grant funding as well as gain consultancy income from running workshops.

Initiative members benefit from expert industry guidance, regular articles and reports on best practise, a free bespoke Avoidable Construction Errors workshop' designed to help understand and address avoidable error within their businesses, access to cutting-edge, pilot operative cultural training, benchmarking data and the opportunity to share knowledge in a Chatham House Rules' context through member only forums and conferences.

Tom Barton, Executive Director of the Get It Right Initiative explained that the first important phase for the Get It Right Initiative is about raising awareness and building momentum. Its membership and business community is growing on a daily basis and providing the right forum for sharing ideas and developing training programs. Workshops currently being delivered include Avoidable Construction Errors' and Training for Operatives' and a Design Management course' is in the pipeline.

Emma McNabb, Business Excellence Director at Taylor Woodrow, and one of the founding Get It Right Initiative members said, Initially I was skeptical, but within the first 30mins of our initial meeting I was convinced we need to be part of this. We're an industry that's good about sharing things we get right, but not the things we don't get right. We've been Impressed by how GIRI has handled our data in a sensitive, confidential manner and helped us understand what our internal targets need to be. It makes perfect sense to Taylor Woodrow commercially, by investing the equivalent cost of a minor defect, we can get a massive return and in parallel improve how we run our business.

The Initiative unites its members with a mission to build a better construction industry for the UK, to help reduce avoidable error, to share expert knowledge and solutions, to save businesses involved, the industry and the taxpayer money and to improve industry reputation, rigour and respect.

For information about membership and subscriptions please contact:

Tom Barton
+ 44 (0)7802645121
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