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  • Jess and Katrina

IDP: Breaking down design & innovation barriers

The Innovation Driven Procurement (IDP) programme aims to give an already very talented workforce the confidence and skills to get their voice heard. The programme aims to provide the participants with the opportunity and forum to capture, develop and potentially support their suggestions on increasing productivity and improving current onsite working practices.

The IDP training programme is a joint Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and Morgan Sindall Construction project funded by the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) commission to improve procurement practices for homebuilding and infrastructure projects.

Module 2 of the IDP, Collaborative Design and the Supply Chain, aims to investigate what the typical ‘Pre-Construction and Construction Design Process’ looks like in the construction industry and aims to interrogate the potential benefits of adopting a more collaborative design approach with the early engagement of the supply chain into the design team. Those who have already participated in the module are genuinely surprised how uneconomic, both financially and from a timing perspective, the current ‘Pre-Construction and Construction Design Process’ is.

The module then moves onto to identifying any potential blockers and barriers for collaboration and innovation that an individual may encounter or envisage, which could in turn deter them from speaking up and potentially stifle collaboration and innovation before it has even begun.

Empowering the workforce to believe that there is no such thing as a bad idea, that collaboration is the future change driver for the industry and that everyone has a voice to make a difference are the key underlying messages in this module, and the feedback from the initial sessions with Drywall Contractors Ltd (DCL), Imtech and Titan have further supported the successful delivery of the desired learning outcomes.

Some of the feedback received to date on the course so far includes:

“I will definitely try and collaborate with other trades on site, having seen the potential benefits in doing this on the course.”

“I never appreciated/understood the pre-construction element of a project before, this module has given me greater knowledge of the construction industry”

“I will definitely try and speak up more and get my opinion heard on site.”

The module delegates submerged themselves in the course content and thrived on the opportunity to ‘have their say’ but more importantly felt listened too and their opinions valued. We as an industry need to keep this momentum up and encourage productive conversations to ensure positive change continues to evolve.

The IDP training has been developed into short online modules and byte-sized through a purpose designed App for release in September 2022.

The IDP is one of four pilot projects which together received £3m in funding from the CITB and are expected to achieve £25m in savings. The procurement schemes involve 1,900 construction employers and will focus on collaboration to mitigate risk, and an emphasis on quality and whole life outcomes, not just time spent.

Over three years, the IDP will include a programme of 120 face to face training interactions, 165 virtual training interactions, 51 innovation projects facilitated and supported, and 48 innovation mentors trained.

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