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Driving Forward Project Performance

7 May 2013

Costain’s planning community is materially helping drive forward project performance for customers.

Planners are now more visibly involved in projects, said Group Technical Director, Bill Hewlett, speaking after the annual Costain Group planning conference.

“When we began this conference a few years ago we talked about issues such as the type of software we should use.

“This year was 100% externally-focused, looking at the ways our planners are innovating to make a difference to the core performance of the Company. The focus was very much on the bonus it could bring to our customers’ businesses.”
He described the planning community as “The guys who glue everything together. They’re the mortar.”

Among clients present at the conference was one of the planners’ opposite numbers at a major client. Bill said the guest complimented his audience, noting their experience and the support their work received from elsewhere in the Company.

The annual event brings together planners from across the Group to exchange best practice, said Head of Planning, Brendan Johnston.

“The problem is getting planners together, as they tend to be ‘deeply embedded on their individual projects.” The conference aimed to break down barriers, he said.

A major topic under discussion at the conference, held at Woodland Grange conference centre near Leamington Spa, was ‘best practice & lean construction’.

Speakers gave presentations on how this was being employed at Brighton & Hove, Heathrow Airport and London Bridge Station, as well as the experience of using lean construction techniques on the much-praised Bidston Moss Viaduct refurbishment project on The Wirral.

Matt Lumm talked on planning in Natural Resources, while several project managers and Business Improvement Director, Tony Blanch, also attended to provide a cross-section of representation from the Group.

“It was a very useful day,” said Brendan. “We all learned a lot.”

  • The event was marked by Infrastructure Managing Director, Darren James, making a presentation to Airports Sector Planning Manager, Adrian Mitchell, who was retiring after completing more than four decades with the Company.