Opinion

Video: Mark Southwood - shared learning key to delivery success

Mark Southwood, Temple Group
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8My9Lpq1RDE

Why keeping a consistent team involved throughout the project lifecycle can prevent problems in delivery. Temple Group chief executive Mark Southwood explains. 

UK infrastructure is certainly doing a better job with getting projects through planning and into delivery, says Temple Group chief executive Mark Southwood. 

However, speaking at the recent Tomorrow’s Rail event he added that while the industry was moving forward, the whole question of shared learning across project teams still needed to be taken on board more actively across the whole supply chain.

"Projects like Crossrail and the Thameslink programme have driven standards up a further level. It is very important that these projects are seen to leave an environmental legacy and play a greater role in the broader community.”

Mark Southwood, chief executive, Temple Group.

“It’s very important to be involved in all parts of the project lifecycle, in order to understand what all the issues are in terms of delivery as well as the front end,” he said. “It’s about continuity through the point of planning approval and into delivery. Changing teams from the one stage to the next can create problems.”

Two of the key improvements to have become embedded in planning and design in recent times are the environmental rigour applied to the option selection and development process and the notion of environmental minimum requirements for the development stage. The latter was introduced during development of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link – or High Speed One as it’s now known.

“At the time it was a real wake up call for industry, the realisation of the need to take environmental planning a lot more seriously. Now, projects like Crossrail and the Thameslink programme have driven standards up a further level. It is very important that these projects are seen to leave an environmental legacy and play a greater role in the broader community,” says Southwood.

Temple has recently announced plans for its next phase of growth to achieve its 2020 vision. It is looking to bring a fresh, holistic perspective to infrastructure-enabled housing development and regeneration. , Southwood says. “We’ve always been strong on rail and transport, but it’s this broader role in regeneration that we see as a very important part of our growth strategy,” he adds.

“As a successful SME we can bring in important learning and helping with shared learning, such as through the academy that we want to develop. It’s a broader cohort around the table that the industry needs to achieve more.”