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The Kier Group Delivers Textbook Performance Using Asta Powerproject

Asta Powerproject®

UK construction company Kier used Asta Powerproject planning and project management software to deliver a textbook construction programme for Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tan-y-lan School on behalf of Swansea Council, Wales.

Asta Powerproject enabled The Kier Group to:

  • Complete construction of Tan-y-lan School 8 weeks ahead of schedule
  • Achieve 10/10 client satisfaction scores at precontract, mid-term and completion stages
  • Win gold at the 2022 CIOB Construction Manager of the Year Awards

Developing a robust client programme

Delivering to a fixed deadline like the new school term is always challenging. Now imagine being tasked with this on your first sole responsibility project. That’s exactly the scenario The Kier Group’s Project Manager, Amy Griffiths, faced when her company won Swansea Council’s contract to build Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tan-y-lan school.

Griffiths began work in June 2020 and needed to complete the contract by December 2021, ready for students to move into the building in January 2022. Meeting this deadline required precision planning and an adaptable schedule, and Powerproject proved ideal for meeting the challenge.

Griffiths had already used Asta Powerproject to create short-term programmes for previous projects. Tan-y-lan gave her an opportunity to scale this knowledge and create full contract programmes to share with subcontractors and her client.

“We used Asta Powerproject to develop a robust client programme featuring all our key dates, then we used the resource loading capabilities to plan our contractor requirements. This gave me a good idea of how many people I could expect on-site at any one time, and we could colour code each trade to easily differentiate them.”

Asta Powerproject was central to helping Griffiths and her team build strong and productive client relationships. With the programme mapped out, she shared a list of key dates on which the client and school representatives would be required to provide project information. This high level of visibility and advanced coordination helped Kier to achieve 10/10 client satisfaction scores throughout the build – from pre-contract through to completion.

“The school staff were grateful to be given a list of milestones so they could find out the information we needed in advance. We didn’t have to ask them questions mid-project or stop due to lack of information.”

Making smart choices for an efficient schedule

Asta Powerproject empowered Griffiths to make early strategic decisions that created time efficiencies. For example, she prioritised landscaping work at the start of the project. This enabled the building perimeter to be tarmacked and the car park installed at the earliest opportunity, closing the site boundary and keeping the site as clean and secure as possible.

The team then turned their attention to the external works, starting with the enabling groundworks before erecting the structural steel framing system, curtain walling and brickwork from a clean and level surface.

To ensure the programme ran smoothly, Amy used Asta Powerproject to model several scenarios, including a ‘best case scenario’ if everything went according to plan. She identified a three-week window for completing the ground floor slab ahead of the steel frame, which kept the project on schedule.

“Asta Powerproject enabled us to be more intelligent with our decision making. The more information we put into it, the better it became. It was a really beneficial tool in driving us towards our best case programme.”

Adapting to new working conditions

While detailed planning enabled Griffiths and her team to hit key milestones mapped in advance, there were some unforeseen obstacles that they needed to navigate during the course of the project.

For example, construction took place when pandemic restrictions were still in place, which limited how many people could work in each area at any one time. Using Asta Powerproject, the team planned how many canteen and toilet facilities would be needed on site to enable social distancing, and used Asta Powerproject to maintain visibility over their total headcount. They also used the software to split breaks, staying compliant with the latest guidelines.

While the site itself was covid-safe, contractor illness and homeschooling commitments meant drylining resources were very changeable day-to-day. To minimise time loss, Griffiths created a top ten priorities list, using Powerproject to redeploy resources to the most urgent tasks when numbers were depleted.

“At every point we were being adaptive, reacting to changes and opportunities. Asta Powerproject allowed us to ask, ‘where does this leave us?’ ‘What does moving this element mean for the client?’, and have subcontractors feed into the discussions. As a result, we maintained our critical path and smooth workflow between trades.”

Delivering an award-winning building

Meticulous planning and rapid reactions enabled Kier Group to move forward at pace, even in challenging circumstances. They achieved their best-case scenario, finishing the build eight weeks ahead of schedule.

Griffiths took a rigorous soft landings approach to completion, leaving a dedicated member of the Kier team on site between finishing the build in October 2021 and completing the contract in December 2021. During this time, the school caretaker called in for weekly checks and to familiarise themselves with the new building.

The efficiency of this project caught the attention of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), which awarded Amy Griffiths gold in the Junior and Primary Schools category at the 2022 Construction Manager of the Year Awards. The judges were also impressed by the high-quality build and high level of client satisfaction.

There’s been little time to celebrate this win, however, as Griffiths has already taken her skills forward into new projects. In particular, she has been using Asta Powerproject to map inputs and baselines, seeing where items should be completed versus actual progress to ensure other programmes run as tightly as Tan-y-lan School.

“The more you use Asta Powerproject, the better you become at using it and the more you get out of it. I’m looking forward to incorporating the best practices I’ve developed building Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tan-y-lan into future construction projects.”

The power behind successful projects: book a free demo to explore Asta Powerproject.

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