Using the Value Toolkit to gain a better understanding of drivers in decision-making.


GF Tomlinson volunteered to trial the Value Toolkit on a project to deliver a new operational base for Forestry England in Matlock, Derbyshire from April 2021 until late 2021.

Craig Stopper, Regional Construction Framework Manager shares their experience.

We wanted to use the Value Toolkit to gain a better understanding of the client team’s drivers in decision-making around project delivery, and use these value drivers to challenge the client to think about these decisions differently. The project is around £1.8m, so at the smaller end of the scale for which the toolkit is likely to be used, providing the Value Toolkit team with some useful information on how the toolkit can be applied to lower value projects.

What benefit or value have you derived from piloting the Value Toolkit?

The toolkit approach is a far more in-depth way of understanding what is driving a client to deliver a project and what importance those drivers have relative to each other. It has given us another tool to help with initial client communications and hopefully provides our clients with some reassurance that we take their aspirations and requirements seriously.

How will G F Tomlinson use the Value Toolkit in the future?

Being a pilot for such an important and innovative part of the industry shows our intention to do more with our clients by adding value to our relationships with them. We plan to offer the use of the toolkit on all projects procured with us on an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) type basis, ensuring clients get the most from engaging at an early stage. We will be an advocate for use of the toolkit on all projects procured with us on an ECI basis. The toolkit required a significant commitment from clients and stakeholders and we understand that for this reason some clients may be unable to commit to it on certain schemes.

What lessons have you learnt from the pilot that may help other organisations benefit from the Value Toolkit?

The project that we chose to trial the toolkit on had already reached RIBA stage 3 when we got involved. Although this is later than ideal for making the best use of the toolkit, its use still brought us and the client team considerable insight into what was important for them and the real reasons why their project was commissioned. This should be highlighted to others to encourage its use on more projects.