Building Remediation Delivery Planning: Insights from our House of Lords Presentation
By Abigail Blumzon
On September 26th, 2023, Abigail Blumzon and Lee Carroll had the privilege of addressing an audience of industry professionals at the House of Lords. We were invited to shed light on a topic that is not only our expertise but a matter of paramount importance – fire safety in building facades.
We were delighted to have been invited to speak at the Building Safety Forum by Intelligent FS for our expertise in building surveying and project management, specifically in helping clients navigate the complex world of building facade remediation.
Our talk revolved around three key pillars:
1. Understanding the Problem
We took a deep dive into the initial steps we undertake when a client approaches us with fire safety concerns. This often involves dealing with a lack of information, misaligned priorities, and commercial pressures. We discussed the importance of conducting thorough assessments to understand the scope and nature of the problem. This includes gap analyses, intrusive building surveys, and desktop research.
2. Developing the Delivery Plan
A pivotal part of our presentation was the illustration of how we develop a comprehensive project management delivery plan. Using a case study, we showcased the challenges we face, such as dealing with constrained sites, limited record information, and complex stakeholder landscapes. We emphasised the significance of developing a feasibility study and a project execution plan, addressing everything from design and procurement to quality control.
We also focused on the need to work collaboratively using both our soft skills (e.g., leadership and building robust teams) and hard skills (e.g., project management tools such as RACI matrices and communication plans). For sensitive projects such as these involving complex workflows, where maintaining a golden thread of data and change is vital, and where completing all tasks is mission-critical, we believe using a responsibility assignment chart (such as a RACI matrix) is key to good management. A chart such as the examples we showed in our presentation maps out every task, milestone, or key decision involved in completing a project and assigns which roles are responsible for each action item, which personnel are accountable, and, where appropriate, who needs to be consulted or informed.
3. Lessons Learned and Continuous Improvement
To wrap it up, we highlighted the importance of learning from our experiences. Lessons learned can make or break a project’s success, and we shared our approach to collecting valuable feedback and promoting a culture of continuous improvement. We firmly believe that curiosity, knowledge championing, and open communication are the keys to success in this regard.
What Happens Next?
With the Grenfell Inquiry still fresh in our minds, the industry is at a crossroads. We’re part of a journey toward change and cultural improvement. It’s crucial that we keep driving this change, ensuring that we never forget the lessons from the past.
Our talk at the House of Lords was more than just a presentation: it was an opportunity to share our insights and experiences with an audience that holds the power to shape the industry’s future. The significance of a comprehensive project management plan in addressing fire safety issues in building facades cannot be understated. We’re dedicated to continuing this conversation and driving positive change in the industry.