Precision matters

In our industry, precision matters.

Numbers, calculations and measurements are the foundation of what we do.

Most of us have seen the iconic photograph of the two sides of the Sydney Harbour Bridge being joined and can only image the nervousness of the surveyors and engineers.  A small error anywhere in the process would have meant we would have remembered JJC Bradfield for all the wrong reasons.

Fortunately, automation has removed some of the human risk in measuring. Nevertheless, our precision ensures that our projects are robust.

What’s measured gets done, and what’s measured gets done correctly.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s the same approach our industry takes to public policy.

The City Deals that we have long advocated links targets, outcomes and incentive payments to local government. If a community delivers on new housing or on new jobs or on any other agreed measure, then it is rewarded.

Likewise, our industry is leading the world in its efforts to reduce emissions in the built environment and in becoming an industry that is truly sustainable. International targets and our domestic standards and obligations are critical drivers of that progress.

In this issue, Bruce Precious reminds us that our industry’s success internationally with sustainability is because we pursue ‘evidence-based sustainability’ that delivers quantifiable outcomes – like less waste, lower energy costs, and fewer emissions (and yes, with all of this, greater returns).

As well, we know that measurement and targets are also a way of driving internal accountability.  Sara Prendergast from Downer points to how ‘cascading reporting’ can ensure that all parts of an organisation have responsibility to deliver on agreed shared outcomes. In Downer’s case, it’s been a real driver of delivering increased female participation in their workforce.

Precision, measurement, targets and accountability aren’t just integral to delivering projects on-time and on-budget, they are also essential to delivering on what we value as well.