21 AUG 2019


Arup has published new practical guidance for infrastructure owners looking to apply the principles of Project 13 - the industry-led response to improve the delivery and management of high-performing infrastructure.

The Applying Project 13: Reimagining value creation in capital projects white paper offers new guidance for infrastructure owners and their supply chains, grouping advice and recommendations into three core areas: Outcomes, Digital and Capability and Collaboration.

“Change in the UK’s delivery of infrastructure is overdue,” said Matthew Walker, strategy and insights lead at Arup. “Despite many successes, we are experiencing the same issues. We need to redouble our efforts to ensure that there is increased focus on the total value and outcomes that infrastructure can deliver for society and shareholders. The sector urgently needs to transform itself and turn principles for high-performing infrastructure into practical actions that will improve outcomes, reduce risk, and deliver what’s required.”

Key points from the new Arup paper include:

Outcomes: Incentivise outcomes and avoid the low-margin trap

  • Focus on what benefactors (society and shareholders) want and value, and reward contributions that achieve these outcomes;
  • Price contracts transparently, leaving headroom for outperformance and reward parties for managing risk well;
  • Appoint integrators to coordinate, evaluate and maximise value from integration across projects; 

Digital: Invest in data literacy, embrace data collaboration and ‘bytes not bricks.’

  • Build-in ‘discovery’ time at the start of a project to best share data across entities, to unlock insights and value;
  • Venture with third parties, including start-ups, to build data literacy and digital capabilities;

Capability and Collaboration: Build trust and develop leadership to match aspirations:

  • Broaden the pool of trusted talent to lead major projects. Appoint and promote a new generation of leaders – that come from and combine different learning disciplines – based on the outcomes they have achieved.
  • Invest more time and focus on understanding a delivery team’s personal and corporate agendas, ambitions and capabilities, to establish a true common purpose. 

“Infrastructure owners are best-placed to make the first move to transform the sector by turning Project 13’s principles into reality. But it’s not all down to owners. All of us in the industry – advisors, investors and suppliers – need to recognise when an organisation is striving to do things differently and support them. We should all be ready and willing to embed this approach in our sector,” said Walker. 

Click here to download Arup’s report Applying Project 13: Reimagining value creation in capital projects.




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