The construction industry has inherent problems due to its structure and fragmentation.
Its poor performance has been challenged by its client base and it has been forced to
seek ways to deliver improved performance. This project was initiated as a response to
this challenge and represents one organisation’s attempt to deliver improvements. This
organisation provides both design and construction solutions, offering ‘total life of asset
support’ from business consultancy through to decommissioning, in a neutral
contractual environment. Initial investigations of the integration of design and
construction and of the use of the EFQM Excellence Model concluded that a holistic
view of the organisation’s performance was needed. Most organisations use traditional,
easily quantifiable measures, such as time and cost, whilst neglecting the softer cultural
issues, as a way of assessing overall business performance. This prompted further
research into the use of performance measurement and also a review of the culture that
existed within the organisation. It became clear that many performance initiatives failed
because of the lack of ‘Change Action driven by Results (CAR)’. The failure to initiate
change or implement action based on the results achieved, means that performance
measures are not being integrated into the management systems of the organisations.
Based on the conclusions of this work, this project has developed and implemented the
Integrated Business Improvement System (IBIS) within the primary case study unit and
also two other organisations, all of which are part of AMEC Plc. The project details the
barriers that were experienced during the development and implementation of the
system and concludes that it is the human component that is critical for the successful
implementation and use of any improvement system. The findings of this work have
been presented in five peer- reviewed papers.
A dissertation thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of
the degree of Doctor of Engineering (EngD), at Loughborough University.