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P&G Innovation Centre, Reading

Using the Lean-IPD project delivery method for P&G’s world-class Innovation Centre

Successful project management is key to creating an environment where innovation can thrive. When Procter & Gamble (P&G) set out to design, procure, and construct a new research and development (R&D) facility on its existing campus in Reading, UK, finding an effective methodology that would improve the experience and outcomes throughout the construction process was critical.

Reflecting on many key approaches to construction, Lean Integrated Project Delivery (Lean-IPD) was identified as the optimal solution. In comparison to traditional approaches, the model incentivises collaboration between all parties to drive efficiencies and productivity. However, P&G’s experience with Lean-IPD was limited. How could the team ensure success using a method untested in the UK?

P&G appointed Arup as its key advisor throughout construction to help directly engage with contractors, designers and statutory authorities. Our team of project management and technical specialists ensured Lean-IPD methodology was adopted by all parties from the outset. The result was an innovative environment for all stakeholders that focused on the client needs and the delivery of a facility that supports the talents of our scientists – both now and in the future.

Project Summary

3,500m² of flexible laboratory space

1,600m² of office space in a refurbished iconic local landmark

Integrated project delivery

The changes to the traditional project team hierarchy initially presented a challenge. Under a more traditional process, individual opportunism can set parties against each other’s interests, rather than progressing under a common goal. The Lean-IPD model creates an environment within which companies are incentivised to work collectively to provide client value. However, for the method to be utilised effectively, a deep understanding of both design and construction is required. Arup bridged this knowledge gap. 

Our team was key in keeping the balance and ownership of all resources and solution-based approaches to ensure the success of the project. We facilitated communications between the contractor, designers, and clients so all parties solved problems collaboratively and creatively.

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Saving time and costs

Timing was a critical factor. As part of Lean-IPD, our project managers ensured Pull Planning, a collaborative approach to project scheduling, was utilised to meet restrictive deadlines. This enabled us to identify the key priorities for the team to meet and improve the project in line with the designated completion date. We implemented the ‘big room’, a physical space that all parties attended to collectively brainstorm solutions to challenges, which helped save time, avoided misunderstandings, and built a stronger team dynamic.

We also helped optimise costs. The project teams were committed to substantial cost savings by cooperating closely to expel waste in the design and site operations. Shortening the construction duration equated to instant preliminary savings; review of scope and material choices provided further cost reductions, reviewing site processes and procedures and rectifying construction mistakes in a collaborative manner. Profit percentages were set from the beginning which meant team members were motivated to think in terms of what is ‘best for the project’, as opposed to ‘best for their company’. This helped drive creativity, innovation and control cost.

Stefan has been at the forefront of the project from day one, bridging the thinking and communication gap between the contractors, MEP contractor and P&G.

Lean-IPD provided clear benefits to the entire construction and client team, and I’m sure has helped us approach the challenges we face so we can manage them more effectively when compared with a different, contract and working methodology ” Keith Branwhite Project Manager P&G

A trusted advisor

The key to successful Lean-IPD delivery model is engaging with the right team. Arup created a collaborative, creative and open environment that yielded benefits traditional approaches could not provide. All parties were incentivised to work together to realise the best outcomes for the client – which in turn benefited everyone.

Learn more about Arup’s programme and project management expertise.