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Striving For Perfection

6 June 2011

The search for excellence has led to a valuable Severn Trent workshop.

Finding ways to get the most out of any working relationship isn’t an easy process but the benefits to the team and to the customer are crucial to its success and sustainability, says Maria Melton, Delivery Manager on the Costain MWH framework team, for Severn Trent Water (STW).

The team from Costain, MWH and Severn Trent got together on May 24, in Solihull, to participate in a one-day workshop called Creating the Perfect Design and Construct (D&C) Team, to see how they could get the best out of their working relationship and further improve their performance.

The team is now in the second year of a five-year framework agreement with Severn Trent and, with the team having grown considerably since its inception in April 2010, it was felt that it was timely to review their performance and to examine ways of further strengthening the relationships across the client, design and construction spectrum.

“It’s very important that we, as a team, spend time reviewing our performance because the conversations in the workshop will aid the team’s development and help build stronger and more aligned relationships to take us into years 2, 3, 4 and 5, and ultimately into AMP6 and beyond,” said Maria.

Using a formula that was originally developed by the 4D Costain MWH, the workshop was opened by Matt Crabtree, Costain’s Customer Director, and Richard Ratcliff, MWH’s Water Business Director.

Splitting into three mixed teams, the workshop consisted of three key areas for discussion followed by an opportunity to deliver feedback and to discuss their findings. The topics covered included:

• What is perfect D&C? What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

• Are we working as effectively as we should and what can be improved?

• An environment of competition and cooperation creates high performing teams

Following the workshop, an eight-point action plan was developed focusing on leaner delivery through improving the organisational setup, the working environment, systems and processes.

Ian Moore, the STW Area Manager who attended the workshop, said it is important to continually challenge the team, as well as the supply chain, to drive efficiencies and to get the best out of the relationship.

“It’s important to have an action plan with assigned owners, as well as a set of tangible metrics so that improvements can be demonstrated,” Ian said.

Richard Ratcliff of MWH added that for the team to develop, it’s important not to rely too much on what had been achieved in the past but to focus on what can be achieved, as a group, in the future.

“Continued improvement in performance will be achieved through maturing relationships and building on the single Delivery Team identity,” said Richard.

Commenting on the workshop, Costain’s Matt Crabtree, said: “Working relationships change over time and therefore holding a team workshop is a great way of bringing all the teams together and getting everyone involved in reviewing our performance and examining ways we can improve as a team.”