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ICE Strategy Session: A systems approach to infrastructure delivery

Event organised by ICE

15 December 2020

This event has now ended


The current approach to delivering complex infrastructure projects is facing obsolescence. The sector is struggling to deal with projects that require complex systems to be planned, delivered, and most importantly integrated to provide the mobility, energy, sanitation and other infrastructure services on which people depend. In these projects traditional civil engineering works, while still a large capital cost, exist to support a system that is made up of multiple physical, digital and human components.

But this is a huge opportunity for the infrastructure sector and its customers. Access to infrastructure services has never been more important. Delivering the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, executing the transition to a net zero economy, levelling up economic opportunity between countries and regions are all vital for our future.

ICE’s review team has found how other sectors have successfully modernised and transformed themselves, becoming much more efficient, productive, and responsive to their customer needs. The infrastructure sector can and must make the same transformation. This transformation will need fundamental changes to project management and engineering management practices so that they are fit for purpose for defining and integrating infrastructure systems. It entails a shift from product-centric to customer centric thinking that place operations and the services provided to customers at the heart of everything we do. It will be data driven, fully embracing the opportunities created by digital technology. It will understand that the digital deliverables are as important to owners and users as physical structures. It means a fundamental transformation of the leadership, culture and organisation of infrastructure projects to create a systems approach to infrastructure delivery.

In this Strategy Session review chair Andrew McNaughton will set out a model for a systems approach to infrastructure delivery that has been developed during a six month review involving 30 interviews with project practitioners from the infrastructure, aerospace, defence, oil & gas and tech sectors. Andrew will describe the eight guiding principles that can be used now to help projects set themselves up to deliver more effective systems integration and ultimately deliver better outcomes for infrastructure owners and users.

Andrew will be joined by infrastructure industry leaders and review steering group members including Head of Infrastructure Huda As’ad, Environment Agency chair Emma Howard-Boyd, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye and former Crown Estates chief executive Dame Alison Nimmo. They will endorse the principles and set out their views on how they should be adopted.

For more information please contact:

ICE Events Team