No one wants to be seen to be criticising the movement in public, but firms are privately disappointed with the lack of communication and information on running demonstration projects.
A source close to the movement board complained that project sponsors are becoming frustrated. "Everyone wants to get going, but some of them have only received a couple of non-specific letters," he said. "They need to be told what to measure, how to record the data and how it will be collected."
An architect who submitted a project for consideration as a demonstration project last September said: "It's February now and the project is nearly finished. I've had one letter and now there's nothing left to demonstrate."
A client regarded as a leading innovator also complained. "I sent a letter offering my project last year and I've heard nothing back," he said.
Alan Crane, chairman of the movement, rejected accusations of lack of communication: "Everyone who submitted a project was contacted in November. In December, they were sent questionnaires asking them to justify their application. In January, we contacted everyone to tell them whether they were successful or not."
Some critics have feared that the industry-led movement would not judge demonstration project applications rigorously enough. Crane rejects this notion: "Projects must demonstrate at least one of the four Ps [product improvement, production of components, partnering or supply-chain management and process improvement]. We've rejected five so far." Fifty-six demonstration projects have passed.
Insiders also talk of tension between the movement and the DETR, which is providing the board's secretariat. Crane denied this but admitted that the DETR had found it hard to get used to the paperwork involved in communicating with the project sponsors and the members of the movement's seven working groups. "It has taken them longer to get to grips with it than we would have liked," he said.
Crane acknowledged that there was a need for speedy implementation to keep everyone enthusiastic. But, he warned: "There is a balance between speed and authority. This is a radical change and we have had just three months working at it. We can't afford to rush something out that is flawed."
The movement's board is meeting today and is expected to rubber-stamp proposals to apply for funding in May. Crane said an 18-month plan for the future of the movement would be ready by May. He added that the movement will be announcing details of how key performance indicators will work in June.