Last edited 20 Nov 2020

Rethinking Construction 2002: Achievements, Next Steps, Getting Involved

Rethinking Construction 2002: Achievements, Next Steps, Getting Involved was prepared by the Rethinking Construction Group Ltd, chaired by Alan Crane, and was published in 2002. It was initiated by the 1998 Egan Report ‘Rethinking Construction’ prepared by the Construction Task Force, chaired by Sir John Egan.

Rethinking Construction, expressed a deep concern that the industry as a whole was under-achieving and proposed five key drivers of change: committed leadership, a focus on the customer, integrated processes and teams, a quality driven agenda and commitment to people. It projected annual reductions of 10% in construction cost and construction time and proposed that defects in projects should be reduced by 20% per year with a goal of zero defects (at handover) within five years. See Rethinking Construction for more information.

Rethinking Construction 2002: Achievements, Next Steps, Getting Involved, offered an update on progress as well as outlining a strategy for the following two years.

It proposed 4 key objectives:

  • Proving and selling the business case for change.
  • Engage clients in driving change.
  • Involve all aspects of the industry.
  • Create a self-sustaining framework for change.

Its activities were supported by the Housing Forum, the Movement for Innovation, the Local Government Taskforce and the Construction Best Practice Programme.

The report suggested that ‘ is quite incredible to see how much progress we have already made in implementing the recommendations for radical change set out in Sir John Egan’s “Rethinking Constructionreport. The scale and results of our current work programmes are truly impressive.’ Activities included a number of demonstration projects and regional ‘cluster groups’, the creation of tools to improve performance and involvement in conferences.

A number of groups were established following the Egan Report and its predecessor the Latham Report:

In 2003, these groups were united as Constructing Excellence which continues to pursue some of the activities of the Rethinking Construction Group today.

Despite this, in May 2008, ten years after publication of Rethinking Construction, Sir John Egan stated that ‘we have to say we’ve got pretty patchy results. And certainly nowhere near the improvement we could have achieved, or that I expected to achieve…..I guess if I were giving marks out of 10 after 10 years I’d probably only give the industry about four out of 10’ ref Egan: I’d give construction about 4 of 10.

In 2009, 'Never Waste A Good Crisis' - A Challenge To The UK Construction Industry was written by by Andrew Wolstenholme of Balfour Beatty Management for Constructing Excellence. It was intended to assess the progress that the industry has made since Rethinking Construction and concluded that, ‘Since 1998 we could have had a revolution and what we've achieved so far is a bit of improvement.’

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