Comment and opinion
Improving major project performance through the right culture and leadership behaviour – PART ONE OF THREE
At a national level, project reviews play a fundamental role in ensuring the nation’s critical infrastructure gets delivered on time and on budget. When properly run they enable the teams involved, and their leadership, to see through the fog, evaluate a project’s underlying health and make effective decisions on future activity. This all centres on the encouragement of desired behaviours and the discouragement of undesired behaviours through different consequences.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste”. This statement on the lessons of action in adversity, attributed to Winston Churchill, describing post-war attempts to create the United Nations as a force to rebuild the global community is absolutely pertinent in a COVID-19 impacted Britain right now.
How do we ensure the infrastructure we’re building to underpin our towns and cities and enable our way of life doesn’t cost us the earth? As an industry, we have to find a way to balance the demand for better transport connections, more housing, cleaner energy and a steady flow of fresh water with the urgent need to protect our environment.
Every year in the UK we spend billions of pounds repairing and maintaining our vital infrastructure . But new, smart materials could enable us to cut those costs, improve sustainability, and the safety of major project delivery.
Amie Dornan, process engineer at Costain, reflects on her career and describes why she believes there's no such thing as a "typical" engineer anymore.
A report was published towards the end of last year by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) claiming that the global temperature rise needed to be capped at 1.5° rather than the previously stated 2° (rise measured against pre-industrial global temperatures). The last time the global temperature spiked in such a dramatic fashion was 56 million years ago when a vast quantity of carbon was injected into the earth’s atmosphere. The outcome of which completely flipped the world on its head.
Well it’s that time of year again when those of us with children or involved in the education sector hold our breath as we wait for the exam results to be announced. For almost everybody this will involve some flashback to the past and their own experience. For me, it reminds me of ‘first love distractions!’ and a lack of real focus and direction in my A-levels leading to a happy four years at my ‘back up’ university choice!
Through the wonderful organisation Girls Out Loud, I have just completed a year as a mentor to a 13 year old girl. This wasn’t part of the plan, when asked, my inner voice screamed “Noooo!”, but having done it, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Not for the warm fuzzy feelings we associate with doing good for a youngster, but for the massive impact it had on me.
When East Sussex County Council awarded the Costain/CH2M joint venture the £300 million contract for highway maintenance at the beginning of the year, we knew we had some ambitious aims to meet. Not only were we determined to achieve measurable value for money over the seven-year life of the contract, but we would do that by having the right skills in the right place