Steve Townsend expands on the theme: “It’s about taking away the data that can cloud your view and move you away from getting the data that matters. It’s like layers of information, and layers of accuracy and surety. As you mature your process, you go further down those layers of information, to develop your understanding of your data and what it actually means.”
Having a trusted, impartial benchmarking partner is crucial
Institutions or organisations that act as data custodians have a key role to play in this success. “It would be very difficult for our organisation to speak to our peers about sharing data”, explains Townsend. “It would involve discussions about what sort of confidentiality agreement is needed. I don’t know how long that would take, but it would certainly slow down the very process you were trying to accelerate.” A trusted intermediary, therefore, is critical.
Standards are essential to good quality, comparable data, and they also allow for greater efficiency in operations
Working to shared industry standards enables greater efficiency in comparing like for like across industry projects. “Making sure we all use similar work breakdown structures makes it easier to compare across projects”, explains Nigel Barnes. “There are different codes, standards, and ways of packaging a report. Our data analysts work with the cost people in each of the relevant companies to translate this, so that we can start comparing like for like.”
Says Steve Townsend: “It’s not just about standardisation purely for the benefits of benchmarking. When you have a number of projects across a number of capital teams, it’s really helpful if everybody understands and utilises the standard. If you move from project to project, you then recognise the stages or phases. That helps efficiencies within the normal course of design and build, which is something we strive for.”
Off-site modular building fabrication enabled construction to continue throughout the pandemic
Some construction projects were needed on sites where facilities were already in operation. Choosing a modular approach involving off-site building fabrication allowed those projects to continue throughout the pandemic. As Steve Townsend explains: “Existing facilities have to be able to continue making other medicines. Access to those facilities was very rigorously controlled to prevent people coming onto site who were not directly involved in the manufacturing process during the pandemic. If it had been a traditional stick build, construction would probably have been cancelled or extended considerably.”