Jacobs with United Utilities

Jacobs was commissioned by United Utilities (UU) after they identified a need to develop their programme management processes and integrate these into their culture. Jacobs identified a best in class Value Management (VM) process, implemented it and worked with UU in a “One Team” approach to transform capital delivery within the organisation. This resulted in it being embraced throughout UU and becoming a new “business as usual” standard.  

Substantial efficiency savings have been actualised so far, with value management studies completed on projects totalling £1 billion. UU have now adopted the VM process as their standard operating model for the next capital investment cycle Asset Management Plan 7 (AMP7) between 2020 and 2025. The success of the process during AMP6 has led to a further project being commissioned; this is already providing added value by challenging and identifying areas where reduced or increased investment may maximise benefits.  

In addition to the significant financial savings, UU has greatly benefited in several more intangible ways. A “Value Culture” was successfully developed across the delivery programme, project teams were working more collaboratively and ensuring that the End User (Operator), Senior Directors, Asset Manager, Engineer, Consultant and Contractor are all involved in the development of information and identification of opportunities to add value. This has enabled the “right thing at the right time” mentality across capital projects.  

The VM process provided a robust framework for the transfer and management of information within project teams. Evidence is stored within corporate systems for future reference and VM reports, having been signed off by the appropriate team members, provide a detailed account of the challenges and issues facing the project team at the time of solution design. Clear actions and accountabilities for non-project related issues were identified which provides a means for other areas of concern to be recorded and addressed.  

This project would not have achieved the success it has had it not been for the excellent relationship between Jacobs and United Utilities — the determination to act as “One Team” meant that Jacobs was able to fully immerse within UU, its culture and operating systems. The achievements of this project are a credit to all of the team members from both organisations.