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Learning the lessons of a challenging major project

MEP subcontractor
Quantity surveying
East Anglia, England
£30m subcontract

We were commissioned by a market leading mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) specialist engineering subcontractor to carry out a ‘lessons to be learnt’ report on a major project that had significantly underperformed resulting in a financial loss.

The purpose of the review was to give independent confidence to the Board of Directors that there was a full understanding of the issues and preventative measures had been, or would be, implemented.

The approach

As we were working with the audit and assurance team, we recognised that we had complimentary skills which would be needed to deliver the desired outcome. We brought project financial experience and know-how, and the audit and assurance team understood the requirements of the business stakeholders and brought a robust process to achieving that outcome.

We knew that quickly building rapport was important, so we outlined an approach of co-locating, held regular progress meetings to stay on track, and established efficient ways of sharing large volumes of information and data.

The method

We took both a qualitative and quantitative approach to gathering information.

The qualitative element involved undertaking many interviews with staff who had been directly involved in the project from the various stages including work winning, tendering, pre-construction, delivery, and completion. This provided us with an end-to-end view of what happened on the project, obtaining a clearer picture of the project issues, and testing views that conflicted.

The quantitative element involved gathering and analysing a large amount of financial data. We worked through a large volume of files, which were unstructured and had different naming protocols, to obtain the data we needed to analyse financial performance over time. We used our expertise to sift through, interpret, merge, and ultimately present the data in way that demonstrated discrepancies in the data and key events and decisions made during the life of the project.

The outcome

We worked with the Head of Audit and Assurance to prepare a series of reports that provided key lessons to be learnt. We did this in a way that gave the Board of Directors high-level information, but this was underpinned by more detailed information that the senior leadership team received.

This information allowed those stakeholders to test whether they had already implemented preventative measures to address the issue, or whether further action was required. This provided those stakeholders with confidence and certainty that another financial loss was unlikely to occur, or if there were risks, then actions that could be taken to mitigate the risk of reoccurrence.

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What our client said...

“Quantik provide services that are significantly more tailored to our business and industry than more traditional firms”.

“Having Quantik present, who understood the realities of project management first hand made the discussions much more productive and gave me the confidence to deliver the messages as our co-source partner to the business.”

Head of Audit and Assurance