Author Helps Infrastructure Sector 'Crack the VfM Code' in Collaborative Contracting
Author Helps Public Infrastructure Sector ‘Crack the VfM Code™’ in Collaborative Contracting
A trio of books has been released by Australasian-basedcollaborative contracting commentator and bid strategist, Jordan Kelly. The books are intended to help all sectors of the public infrastructure industry achieve genuine value for money in the delivery of major projects.
Collaborative contracting – a formal framework for “relationship contracting” – has, over the past decade and a half, emerged to become one of the most significant formats for the delivery of major public infrastructure. In Australia, more than 500 major projects have been delivered via alliancing or other form of collaborative contract since 1996.
Examples of high-profile Australian alliances include those responsible for projects such as the National Museum of Australia in Canberra; the NSW Road & Transport Authority’s innovative (“Seacliff Bridge”) Lawrence Hargrave Drive; Sydney Water’s Northside Storage Tunnel; the Queensland Department of Transport & Main Roads’ Inner Northern Busway; VicRoads’ Middleborough Road Rail Grade Separation, and Main Roads Western Australia’s Roe 7 Highway Upgrade. Other forms of alliance have included Queensland Rail’s TrackStar and Horizon Program Alliances, along with (throughout Australasia) a variety of infrastructure services alliances in the oil, gas and steel-making industries.
Meantime, infrastructure agencies such as the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) have delivered, as alliances, high-profile projects like Auckland’s Grafton Gully, the city’s State Highway One Northern Gateway Project, its Newmarket Viaduct Reconstruction on State Highway One, and Manukau Harbour Crossing Duplication.
Auckland’s $1+ billion Waterview Alliance and Greater Wellington’s Kapiti Roads Alliance – current megaprojects in New Zealand’s Roads of National Significance program – are being delivered under this contracting methodology. The five-year rebuild of Christchurch’s horizontal infrastructure is also being conducted under project alliancing arrangements.
In the past three to four years, the number of major projects delivered under forms of collaborative contract other than alliancing has been increasing steadily. Many infrastructure agencies are broadening the range of contractual options they employ to include such formats as Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) and Early Tenderer Involvement (ETI).
‘Value for Money’ Now the Primary Pursuit
“Value for money” in the delivery of major public infrastructure projects has, since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, been the subject of intensified focus both on the part of Government delivery agencies as well as on the part of the industry’s commercial interests.
In Australia particularly, the post-GFC era coincides with the end of a 15-year public infrastructure frenzy. Combined, these two factors have resulted in an increased degree of scrutiny from central funding bodies such as State Treasuries. This pressure on all sectors of the industry to stretch the budgetary dollar further has seen new versions of collaborative contracting introduced at a rate that agencies, as well as contractors and designers, are struggling to cope with.
To help the industry respond to this rapidly evolving contracting landscape, author Jordan Kelly has harvested and distilled the experience and wisdom of a broad range of thought leaders, combining this with her own expertise. In the resultant series of books, she provides guidance to infrastructure agencies in areas such as articulation of their value for money (“VfM”) requirements, and offers practical solutions to constructors and designers attempting to deliver upon these objectives.
Specifically, the first book in her trio – Cracking the VfM Code™: How to Identify & Deliver Genuine Value for Money in Collaborative Contracting– provides robust debate into controversial topics such as whether or not total out-turn costs of project alliances represent value for money, and whether broader benefits accruing to delivery teams and to impacted communities should be calculated in final analyses of “VfM”.
This book also provides detailed commentary and clarification for the industry on the flood of collaborative contracting hybrids, a development spawned by the recent and controversial re-introduction of price-based tendering into an increasing number of these contract formats.
The second book in the trio – Cracking the VfM Code™in Collaborative Contract Bidding: Value for Money . . . Understanding It & Articulating Your Ability to Deliver It– is designed to help industry understand the project owner’s needs in the level of detail that, Kelly claims, is essential for optimising the success of large, high-profile, complex, and often risk-ridden public infrastructure projects.
With consortia’s bidding costs running into the millions of dollars, Kelly says it is incumbent upon bidders to build the deepest possible understanding of the projects for which they answer Expressions of Interest (EOIs) and Requests for Proposal (RFPs). She also points out that it’s equally important for Government agencies to articulate their requirements and expectations in the clearest, best thought-out manner possible.
Red Zone: Christchurch Seeks VfM in Rebuild
Kelly’s third production is Red Zone: Destruction, Survival & Collaboration . . . A True Story. An e-book she’s offering free of charge, Red Zone supplements the special Christchurch rebuild chapter in Cracking the VfM Code™: How to Identify & Deliver Genuine Value for Money in Collaborative Contracting.
The e-book provides detailed commentary on the plans of the Stronger ChristchurchInfrastructure RebuildTeam (SCIRT) Alliance for ensuring value for money from the combined efforts of alliance partners Christchurch City Council, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) and NZTA, and constructors, City Care Limited, Fletcher Construction, MacConnell Dowell, Downer EDI and Fulton Hogan.
Red Zonealso tells the broader story of the city’s devastating series of earthquakes and provides a window into emerging plans for the Christchurch of the future. It is written to be of specific interest to the engineering fraternity.
Two Years in the Making
Although a 100% independently researched and written production, the first book in the trio, Cracking the VfM Code™: How to Identify & Deliver Genuine Value for Money in Collaborative Contracting, received support from the Queensland Major Contractors Association and tier one constructor, Abigroup Contractors, along with in-principle support from the Alliancing Association of Australasia.
The second book in the trio, Cracking the VfM Code™in Collaborative Contract Bidding: Value for Money . . . Understanding It & Articulating Your Ability to Deliver It, is based entirely on author Jordan Kelly’s own intellectual property, and her experience as a bid strategist, writer and coachfor the public infrastructure industry.
The image-filled Red Zone: Destruction, Survival & Collaboration . . . A True Story was written in close collaboration with senior engineers from Christchurch City Council, along with a strong contingent of internationally-renowned specialist earthquake engineers. It also contains commentary from those involved in the coalface aspects of the emergency, and details the response of the various agencies.
Collectively, the books are the product of more than two years’ research, interviewing and analysisby Jordan Kelly. They are available at www.bidstrategist.com
“She (Jordan Kelly) illuminates – in a way that no-one before her has – the subject of VfM. Cracking the VfM Code™: How to Identify & Deliver Genuine Value for Money in Collaborative Contracting is a book that is as timely as it is timeless, both in its perspectives and in its content.”
“She offers a fascinating perspective on Australasia’s public infrastructure sector, the collaborative contracting movement, and our ongoing quest to truly nail the ‘Value for Money’ challenge. In that challenge, she has done us proud . . .”
Steve Abson, President (2009-2011), Queensland Major Contractors Association