Thousands of words have been written over the last 20 years in numerous reports about how to improve productivity, value and quality in the construction sector. But has there been any lasting change?
The ‘Rethinking Construction’ Egan Report of 1998 said, “We are not inviting UK construction to look at what it does already and do it better, we are asking the industry and government to join with major clients to do it entirely differently.”
The report identified low productivity, margins too small to sustain healthy development, low investment and fragmentation as key issues. All still very familiar themes in the 21st century.
The 2009 ‘Never Waste a Good Crisis’ report by Andrew Wolstenholme of Balfour Beatty said, “Since 1998 we could have had a revolution and what we’ve achieved so far is a bit of improvement.” Egan scored the industry 4 out of 10 for progress.
In 2011 The Government Construction Strategy criticised lack of value, under performance, poor procurement and fragmentation.
The same themes are constant in other reports, including the 2016 Farmer Review and most recently the CLC Coronavirus Recovery Plan for Construction: Restart, Reset and Reinvent.
Surely it’s time to just do it?