Senior partner Rob Smith says it will approach schemes holistically, rather than concentrate on specific services.
Davis Langdon is to overhaul the way it approaches work on projects in the wake of its Scottish Parliament experience, reports Building's new sister publication QS News. The company was part of the team that built the troubled £430m Holyrood building.
It has launched a new 12-step process, called DLivering Success, for its 1,300 UK staff to adhere to while working on schemes. The approach looks at schemes as a whole, rather than just the specific services Davis Langdon offers, such as QS-ing or project management.
Davis Langdon’s consultancy group developed the system over the past year. The new system is being tested on live projects, and it was launched in front of a group of 60 key clients at its central London headquarters last week.
Senior partner Rob Smith said the firm had learnt lessons from the Scottish Parliament. He said: “The experience of that job and others got us to stand back and think about what the factors are that make a successful project.”
Smith said they had realised that offering services such as traditional QS-ing on schemes was not sufficient for a successful project.
He said: “You have to have proper definition. Holyrood was only finally defined virtually as it was finished. You might be the best QS on the planet, but if the job has gone haywire, then clients will only remember the problems.”
Smith said the process would ensure more consistency of working. He said: “We have to be more consistent about everything. If we do not [ensure] the rigour of the process, we are in danger of resting on previous achievements.”
Smith said the firm had also learnt to voice its opinions more strongly in future and, if necessary changes were not made, it would walk away from schemes. He said: “The next time we are in that position, we would be more forceful and forthright, in a constructive way.
“There have been big schemes that have been even worse than Holyrood in terms of clients changing themselves or the strategy. We have to be brave enough to say this project is not for us.”
Davis Langdon’s move came as the inquiry into the Scottish Parliament building was closed by Lord Fraser, seven months after delivering the verdict on what went wrong during construction. Fraser had been waiting to see unbroadcast interviews with the scheme’s late architect Enric Miralles and the late First Minister Donald Dewar for a BBC documentary before finally closing his investigation.