Sesitwa Mohlala is a Senior Cost Manager at professional services company Turner & Townsend and a member of the Mayors Young Professional Panel. He says now is the time for government to step up its support for value-based decision making.
The government has signalled in many ways its desire for the construction sector to shift its focus away from making decisions based largely on cost and time. The ‘green book’, which describes how major public sector investment projects are assessed, is one of many valuable mechanisms through which the government is making this clear.
The construction sector has already picked up on much of this signalling. The recent release of the Value Toolkit marks significant progress in the shift towards value-based decision making.
It contains a suite of tools that enable stakeholders from all parts of the construction sector to make decisions based on the social, environmental, and economic factors underlying projects and programmes, improving industry’s impact on both current and future generations.
As industry starts to address the opportunities opened up by the Toolkit, now is the time for the government to establish more drivers to enhance the uptake of value-based decision making.
That may take the form of a policy that government would bring to the forefront. There are opportunities to investigate options around taxation and other areas. Whichever mechanisms are selected, we need government to take a stance and lead the way for industry.
I have seen first-hand how industry has picked up on the ideas and benefits of using value-based decision making. In 2020 I was seconded to Constructing Excellence from Turner & Townsend to work on developing the Value Toolkit. I was part of the Core Market Enablers Response Team engaging with the industry.
Turner & Townsend has also piloted the Value Toolkit on two major programmes: for a utility and rail client respectively. For the programmes, which run for five to ten years each, we used the Toolkit’s value definition module to help quantify the value from each client’s deliverables.
I know that, if government can get to a point where they can really support and push the Value Toolkit, many more people and organisations will benefit from value-based decision making.”