“Jon has run numerous workshops for my contracts. The subsequent schemes have all been very successful and it is obvious to me that Jon’s workshops have been a critical factor. ”

Donald Robinson
Environment Agency

Humber Package

The Challenge

Package facilitor helping to deliver seven flood alleviation projects for a 19% cost saving in an alliance type commercial arrangement.

The ‘Humber Package’ was originally six linked projects to reduce the risk of flooding in certain areas of the Humber Estuary. The Environment Agency (EA) was given overall responsibility for the project and chose Birse Civils for the civils work and Halcrow for the design, under an overall package agreement – a variation on a framework agreement, but for a defined scope of related projects as opposed to similar projects over a defined timescale.

For each project, the design was let as a separate contract with Halcrows and the construction with Birse Civils. The Environment Agency (EA) based the award of each contract upon performance both on proceeding projects and, in the case of construction contracts, satisfactory early contractor involvement in planning, buildability and stakeholder liaison as well as the agreement of a realistic target Prices.

Given the number of stakeholders involved Donald Robinson, the Project Team Manager for the Environment Agency recognised the need to unite everyone involved in the project, including the internal team at the EA.  


The Solution

Jon devised a series of project specific start up workshops for each project to get that team, including key stakeholders, working together from day 1.  He also ran a mid-package ‘lessons learnt’ workshop to capture what had been learnt both good and bad, which could be utilised for the remainder of the package or remedied.

At the close of the package, Jon also conducted a ‘final lessons learnt’ workshop, congratulating the package teams success. This also served to emphasize to the wider management the reasons for the package being such a success.

The Result

The Environment Agency scored their live projects using a system based on the Balanced Scorecard methodology. The projects were consistently the EA’ s top performing projects.

Whilst one project was taken out of the original six due to planning difficulties, two more were added in. On each contract, marginal savings were made on the target Prices. However, increases to the target prices for each contract were typically only 2 to 3%. This compares with traditional increases on civil engineering projects in their high teens, if not low twenties.

Overall cost savings on the whole package were 19% which, while adjusted for two extra projects added in and one taken out, was bid by Birse in competition and, at the time, considered quite optimistic. These savings were achieved both because of the contractors early input into the design etc. which reduced risk and cost and because of savings made across the package. For instance, one project needed earth removed while another needed additional earth, so they were run concurrently to avoid the need for paying for disposal and then paying for new earth. Because of these outstanding results, the team has won won multiple awards.

Donald Robinson, the Project Team Manager for the Environment Agency was more than willing to give the following recommendation :

“Jon has run numerous workshops for my contracts involving ourselves (the Environment Agency) and various project teams including Birse, Halcrow, BV and others. The subsequent schemes have all been very successful and it is obvious to me that Jon’s workshops have been a critical factor. These project start-up workshops have all been energising; get the team talking about what the project is about; understanding each others’ roles and objectives and how we are to work together. This has been augmented by follow up workshops to learn lessons and re-focus the team at key stages during the works. On any contract intended to be run in a collaborative manner, I have no hesitation in recommending Jon as the project facilitator.”