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Get It Right Initiative

The estimated cost of error in UK construction ranges between 10% – 25% of project cost. The Get it Right Initiative is dedicated to eliminating error in UK construction.

David Keohane is looking to the future on behalf of the surveying industry by being the first, and currently only, representative within his sector to have joined a group of industry experts, organisations and businesses in their mission to eliminate error and improve the UK construction industry.

The group is called GIRI – the Get it Right Initiative. OmegaGeo joins experts from Balfour Beatty, Bam Nuttall, Morgan Sindall, Mace, Network Rail, and many others taking responsibility for actively improving productivity and quality in the construction sector by eliminating error. The goals of GIRI members are to:

  • Create a culture and working environment to get it right from the start.
  • Change attitudes and harness leadership responsibility to reduce error and improve construction quality and productivity.
  • Engage all stakeholders in eliminating error from inception, through operation, to completion.
  • Share knowledge about error reduction processes and systems.
  • Improve skills across the sector creating a positive approach to pre-empting error.

The GIRI Research Report 2016 undertook research to identify the areas of work in which error – and the causes of error – are most financially significant, and the most effective methods for avoiding error and minimising its consequences.

Three key areas were identified as root causes of error:

  1. Client changes.
  2. Design errors.
  3. Failures in project planning.

The report also analysed the different systems and frameworks used to reduce error, and concluded that substantial financial savings can be made by the adoption of such systems. Excellent methods for eliminating error include quality circles, encouraging feedback from the workplace, and quality risk assessments. The report also concludes that the ‘…best examples of Good Practice come from those companies that have effective senior leadership interest in quality and that build an effective culture’. Indeed, an interest in quality by a company’s board was considered to have a more positive effect on reducing defects than an assumption that defects will be eliminated by focussing on costs.

What does this mean for the role of the surveyor in construction?

When appointing the surveyor for your project, it is important to consider the following in order to ensure errors, and costs are minimised across the project in its entirety:

  1. Check that the leadership from the surveying company has a focus on quality. Good quality standard accreditations are demonstrated by membership of RICS, ICES, GIRI, Constructionline and CHAS. 
  2. Consider that a cost saving at the tender stage does not necessarily result in a reduction in the entire project costs. An experienced surveyor will take the time to step back, consider the overall project needs and requirements, and ensure that the deliverables are as the whole project team require, both in the short and longer term. The GIRI research suggests that due to the often-complex structure of the supply chain, it can be difficult for organisations to develop a comprehensive understanding of the costs of error. While the majority of the initial cost of error is incurred by Tier 2 Contractors, this cost is often invisible both to Tier 1 Contractors and to End Clients.
  3. The report importantly identifies a “Get It Done” attitude that is commonplace in the industry and which means that poor decisions are frequently made. Don’t rush the planning and take that important time required to ensure you have good expertise and advice. 
  4. Good communication results from effective, strong working relationships. This creates a positive culture and encourages best practice.
  5. We have a responsibility to change our focus from managing the consequences of error to eliminating the causes of error. On many levels – at the business level and the social level, isn’t a focus on efficient use of people and resources the most progressive move forward for us in the UK Construction industry?

OmegaGeo is committed to changing attitudes to help build a culture in the construction industry that gets it right from the start. Supporting GIRI, alongside other construction industry experts has been a significant part of that mission. To find out more about GIRI, and how you, too can start improving productivity and quality by driving down the cost of error in construction, visit getitright.uk.com.

OmegaGeo | November 2019 | Get It Right Initiative

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