It used to be possible to forecast six to twelve months ahead on a construction project, but we’d all regard that as a luxury right now. As post-Covid recovery gets under way, lack of predictability is a major barrier to planning ahead. The risk register grows longer and the schedule can feel nebulous.
Maintaining business as usual is exceptionally challenging in the current operating environment. Every organisation knows that it will have to adapt, innovate and improve, to stay afloat in the face of intensifying competition. With changeable circumstances showing no signs of abating, organisations find that not only are their own business operations affected, but also those of their suppliers, collaborators and customers.
Introducing Resilient Programming
To help our clients take control, adapting and adjusting their project and programme management as necessary, we have developed the Faithful+Gould Resilient Programming tool. The tool keeps projects moving forward and facilitates strategic and operational decision making, bringing efficient use of available resources in difficult times. Currently the focus is on Covid-19 effects, but Brexit is on the horizon too—and Resilient Programming can be used for any unpredictable set of circumstances.
Impact of external influences on operations
The tool’s methodology begins with identification of the external influences and risks potentially affecting the client’s sector or organisation; these are categorised as political, economic, sociological, technological, legal and environmental.
The tool then informs the programme and its individual projects to be viewed through a number of shifting lenses. These might be the changes in stages of Covid lockdown, for instance—which could affect a client in any sector. For a higher education client, these might include, for example, changes in student numbers, due to a range of external factors, or changes to course delivery requirements.
Informed analysis and manageable sprints
Each project is analysed using client criteria for criticality, deliverability and priority, enabling assessment of delivery risk. Delivery is then planned in manageable “sprints” which are aligned with the known or anticipated duration of the influencing factors. This is an iterative process, responsive to changing circumstances, and designed for adaptability. It’s a responsive methodology but also an objective one. It provides an auditable evidence-based plan for moving forward towards the end goal.
Changing priorities, continued resilience
When the operational circumstances change, the plan changes and Resilient Programming facilitates informed decision making. There could be a regional lockdown, a challenge to procuring materials, or a change to site-based legislation—whatever the external environment factor, the tool has analysed the risk and mapped the next steps clearly and objectively. The collaborative client/design team knows how to navigate the period of instability, and what to do next. This may mean delaying some projects and bringing forward others.
Better decision making, improved efficiency
The tool’s integrated risk analysis and mitigation supports an agile approach, promoting responsive change management and flexibility of delivery. Resource can be redeployed appropriately to maximise efficiency, having been planned in advance. The tool is highly customisable and configured for optioneering and real-time reporting. It also enables clients to model potential future scenarios (“what if?”) and plan for the impact. Suitable outputs can then be produced for a variety of needs—operational, estates departments, FDs, board level etc.
Resilient Programming takes advantage of our extensive project data, gathered across the many industry sectors in which we operate; refining and developing that data to allow more nuanced application. Our pioneering tool underpins our robust project delivery, supporting successful outcomes for our clients in challenging times.