Applying Project 13: New Arup guidance on value creation in capital projects

Brad Ryan, Senior PR Coordinator Brad Ryan UKIMEA Press Office,London
20 August 2019

Arup today announces practical guidance for infrastructure owners looking to apply the principles of Project 13 – the industry-led response launched by The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) to improve the delivery and management of high-performing infrastructure.

The Applying Project 13: Reimagining value creation in capital projects white paper offers new guidance for infrastructure owners and their supply chains, grouping advice and recommendations into three core areas: Outcomes, Digital and Capability and Collaboration.

“Change in the United Kingdom’s delivery of infrastructure is overdue,” says Matthew Walker, Strategy and Insights Lead, Arup. “Despite many successes, we are experiencing the same issues. We need to redouble our efforts to ensure that there is increased focus on the total value and outcomes that infrastructure can deliver for society and shareholders. The sector urgently needs to transform itself and turn principles for high-performing infrastructure into practical actions that will improve outcomes, reduce risk, and deliver what’s required.”

Kings Cross Station Kings Cross Station

Key takeaways from the new Arup paper include:

Outcomes: Incentivise outcomes and avoid the low-margin trap

  • Focus on what benefactors (society and shareholders) want and value, and reward contributions that achieve these outcomes.

  • Price contracts transparently, leaving headroom for outperformance and reward parties for managing risk well.

  • Appoint integrators to coordinate, evaluate and maximise value from integration across projects.

Digital: Invest in data literacy, embrace data collaboration and ‘bytes not bricks’

  • Build-in ‘discovery’ time at the start of a project to best share data across entities, to unlock insights and value.

  • Venture with third parties, including start-ups, to build data literacy and digital capabilities.

Capability and Collaboration: Build trust and develop leadership to match aspirations

  • Broaden the pool of trusted talent to lead major projects. Appoint and promote a ‘new generation’ of leaders – that come from and combine different learning disciplines – based on the outcomes they have achieved.

  • Invest more time and focus on understanding a delivery team’s personal (and corporate) agendas, ambitions and capabilities, to establish a true common purpose. 

Infrastructure owners are best-placed to make the first move to transform the sector by turning Project 13’s principles into reality. But it’s not all down to owners. All of us in the industry – advisors, investors and suppliers – need to recognise when an organisation is striving to do things differently and support them. We should all be ready and willing to embed this approach in our sector. ”

Matthew Walker Matthew Walker Associate Director, Strategy and Insights