firmly believe that as a society we cannot entertain any notion of building back better without a firmer grasp of value. While many would agree that we need to deliver on metrics that go beyond the purely financial, actually delivering on ideas around social benefit or environmental improvement is extremely difficult without a common approach, shared language or standardised metrics.
If we are to be entrusted to take decisions on infrastructure and construction projects that have a direct and real impact on the lives of people across the UK, then the Value Toolkit – a key component of the Construction Playbook launched earlier this week – will help put value at the heart of this decision-making process.
Our industry has historically struggled with this, especially when we are attempting to make the business case for many of these projects. However, the toolkit, a practical tool that brings high-level policy ambitions into the project decision-making and commercial process, will help us better articulate this.
We need to ingrain new definitions of value which better reflect the complexities of the world we’re now working in. We need to move beyond a singular focus on the balance sheet towards wider benefits for local communities and society. Only by doing so will we be able to effectively meet some of our biggest challenges – from levelling-up regions to climate change.
The Value Toolkit will help put value at the heart of this decision-making process. Hannah Vickers
This is why I am so excited by the potential of the toolkit which provides the industry with both the practical solutions it requires to bring about real change. At the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) we have been working in conjunction with the Construction Innovation Hub (CIH) to help develop the toolkit and I believe it has the power to both bring about a shift in how the industry works, how projects are conceptualised, as well as how they are delivered.
The toolkit has three core modules and we have been working on the development of the second of these, the client and market approach. This takes a conceptual idea and makes it possible for clients to build this into the proposed delivery model and commercial strategy for a project. With value at its core, the approach will embed, enhance and protect this profile throughout the delivery lifecycle of the project.
Both ACE and the CIH have involved industry along the way and we are shaping the toolkit around your input and feedback. As we move into 2021, the Value Toolkit will continue to rise in prominence ahead of its launch in the spring, where it will begin to be used in pilot projects across the country.
With the Value Toolkit slowly coming to life, a better, greener, and more prosperous, modern Britain is, quite possibly, just around the corner.
Hannah Vickers is chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE). This blog originally appeared as an article in Infrastructure Intelligence.