Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT September 2019

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 9 of 47

10 | XXXXX 20XX | WWT | www.wwtonline.co.uk In Focus Model behaviour Project 13 was developed to provide a route map to a sustainable, innovative and highly skilled industry. With those working across the UK water sector under pressure to drive efficiencies, could the 'enterprise' model provide a platform for the utility of the future to bring about the necessary change? By Robin Hackett I n May last year, the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG) published its blueprint for a plan that would allow the industry to end its reliance on a delivery model it described as "broken". The ICG, which consists of experts from a wide range of organisations, had argued that the traditional 'trans- actional' approach to infrastructure delivery frequently produces assets and networks that are expensive, perform poorly and fail to exploit the advances in technology that are transforming other industries. Its Project 13 plan proposed an alter- native model that maximises collabo- ration and prioritises outcomes and, with Anglian Water's capital delivery alliances among its early adopters, the concept is now gaining traction in this country and beyond. As water companies and their sup- ply chains face pressure to bring about major improvements in efficiency, could the 'enterprise' approach provide a smarter solution? Roots of the problem Established under the guidance of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the ICG was initially brought together to support the implementation of the Government's Infrastructure Cost Review Report 2010. With members from a variety of organi- sations including the Environment Agen- cy, National Grid, CECA, Transport for London, Tideway, Mott MacDonald and the Cabinet Office, the ICG spent several years working on a number of projects that sought to bring about improvements to infrastructure delivery. Their 13th project promises to be the game-changer, setting out a clear plan to rectify the issues that have caused schemes to be delivered over budget, past deadline and below par. Having estab- lished the conceptual case for their pro- posals in 2017, the ICG and ICE officially launched the P13 Blueprint last year. "Collectively, we decided we needed to do something around delivery models," ICG chair Dale Evans says. "There were a lot of good initiatives across the infra- structure industry, but the one obvious need was for a new approach to how we engage and how we procure." The ICG began looking into the roots of the problem and found that, a—er much of the UK's economic infrastruc- ture was transferred to the private sector in the 1980s, the new owners and operators tended to outsource technical skills and rely on the market. Consult- ants would design projects that were delivered by contractors chosen by competitive tender. While the exact model may vary, it meant owners o—en using lowest initial price and maximum transfer of risk as their measure of value for money, while contractors would generally separate the work and sub-contract anything they were unable to deliver. The ICG highlighted several problems with this approach. As they do not own and operate the infrastructure, consult- ants can struggle to acquire the knowl- edge needed to design the best project; contractors may be unable to manage the delivery process efficiently and find themselves unable to bear the risks in delivering the project; and, ultimately, it would o—en turn out that the lowest price does not represent best value. The ICG advocated a move away from this 'transactional' approach and identi- fied an alternative in which all parties – from owners to suppliers – were encour- aged to collaborate as part of longer-term 'ecosystems' in which reward models rec- 13 10 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | WWT | www.wwtonline.co.uk

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