Time to re-assess your AMP6 journey? | JCP News

Time to re-assess your AMP6 journey?

The water industry is halfway through the AMP6 cycle and whilst many companies reported a challenging first year, there has been a general agreement overall that working within an alliancing and collaboration model is helping to deliver the TOTEX and ODI requirements set out by Ofwat.

Many of these alliancing arrangements are targeted beyond AMP6, with some set to run as far as AMP8, but it is in the day-to-day management of AMP6 projects that focusing on collaboration becomes the key to success.

How are you using collaboration to succeed?

The Alliancing Code of Practice for Infrastructure Alliancing is a good place to start when assessing the effectiveness of your existing alliancing project, or if you think this is something you could add to your planning in order to improve the way things are going.

It’s even worth using the basic principles of the Code to make sure you’re still on the right path. For example:

  • Are behaviours for the project agreed by all parties?
  • Are those behaviours being followed?
  • Are new personnel adequately inducted, briefed and trained to sustain those behaviours?
  • Is integration still effective?
  • Is there a need to re-set or re-inforce the integration model?
  • Are leaders completely committed to the alliance and do they show this in their actions?
  • Is everything documented, contracted and measured?

Whilst alliancing delivers significant positive results across long-term programmes like AMP6, it is most effective when all parties are committed, principles are applied consistently and programmes are re-visited and updated when suppliers or individual members of the team change. You can use the Code’s self-assessment tool to see how you are doing against key measures.

Are you engaging with your alliancing partners?

Projects often run into trouble when partners within the alliance start focusing on the wrong things. Alliancing is hard work – constant work – so it’s important to build in reviews and updates so that you are confident the process is still heading in the right direction.

Delivering to the ODIs is crucial, and alongside measuring your success there, you should also be looking at some of the softer metrics involved:

  • Team turnover across all parties – is there something within the alliancing project that is precipitating turnover? How can you improve retention?
  • Promotions – are you considering individual approaches to alliancing when you go through the promotion process? Do you make the understanding of and commitment to your alliancing programme a key part of your promotion and development plan? It’s common knowledge that just one person with the wrong priorities can have a significantly negative impact on the wider team. Make sure alliancing is at the heart of your AMP6 promotion metrics.
  • Productivity – if you’re measuring productivity across your AMP6 programmes on a regular basis, you’ll be able to see where downtime occurs and look into how you can reverse that trend. Reduced productivity always has a reason behind it, and good alliancing helps you to meet those challenges on a cross-party basis so that project timetables are not disrupted and you catch any potential for relationship breakdown early.

How are you managing conflict?

Anyone who has been involved with long-term projects knows that whilst it’s impossible to avoid conflict, it matters how you manage it.

Using an Alliance to drive your programme doesn’t remove all conflict, but it does embed behaviours and a commitment to processes that detect the conflict as early as possible and gives you access to the tools to resolve that conflict before it causes damage to the project.

Conflict can occur at any point in the programme, and between any groups of people.

With often thousands of people with different skills, experience and attitude, it’s obvious that conflict will occur. You don’t have to think about this as something negative, though:

  • Disagreement and conflict show that your people care about the project and how it is managed.
  • Healthy, respectful debates mean people are not afraid to voice valuable opinions.
  • The ability and space to disagree can result in innovative ideas and a better understanding of the issues.
  • Recognising areas of conflict and encouraging a collaborative approach to finding solutions results in a better atmosphere, improved trust and a more positive platform for the next stage.

You can use our tool to see if you are still in a collaborative frame of mind, have the right behaviours focused on delivering superior performance or whether this is a good time in your AMP6 programme to access some expert help and support to embed a more mature set of alliancing attitudes and behaviours, refresh existing principles and behaviours, or reinforce expectations and commitments and address areas of conflict.

How are you planning ahead for AMP7?

Companies are already planning their approach to the next set of regulatory requirements. Increasingly, behaviour is a defining factor for those awarding or bidding for contracts, so whether your role in an AMP6 programme is coming to an end and you need to re-bid, or you are creating tender packages for new programmes, the approach to alliancing and collaboration is vitally important.

The work you are doing now may influence how third parties view your potential contribution to the next stage, so if you are delivering measurable project results now as a result of your collaborative behaviour, you are paving the way for a positive role in AMP7 and beyond.

For More Information Contact:

JCP Press Office on: 01252 711025
JCP Website: http://www.jcpconsultancy.com

Notes to Editor:

JCP Consultancy Ltd was born out of John Carlisle Partnerships in 2002 with original board members and shareholders being: David Curtis, David Maxwell, Diarmid de Burgh Milne, Malcolm Newman and Simon Vaughan. Over the coming years both David Curtis and Malcolm retired from the business and in 2014 Diarmid left JCP to pursue new opportunities. For more information on the JCP board members and the company associates, click here.

JCP specialises in helping major clients, contractors and their supply chains realise the benefits of reduced cost, speedier delivery, increased profit and improved relationships from working collaboratively with each other. They have a 91% success rate in helping clients win work. The company has worked with leading names including Network Rail, National Grid, Highways Agency, Welsh Water, London Underground and Thames Water and with Central Government including DfT, BIS, and HMT Infrastructure UK.

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