Presentation By: Chris Wade, P Eng. Finally … a best practice for selecting an engineering firm.
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Presentation By: Chris Wade, P Eng. Finally … a best practice for selecting an engineering firm
Page 2 Situation Growing infrastructure deficit Extent of the problem not understood Sustainable concept not clearly understood Frameworks evolving at all governing levels National Round Table: Economy & Environment National Round Table: Sustainable Infrastructure FCM National Guide to Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure Current management systems are not often well aligned with the real long term business needs. Eg; consultant engagement strategies.
Page 3 Major Issues Current consultant selection practices in most organizations are not well aligned with the real business needs. Focus on lowest fees Ignore total project life cycle cost implications Perception that QBS is not a competitive process Gives the consultants the impression quality doesn’t count Prematurely pre-establishes project scope & design solutions; creating potential for conflict about what is included in the fee. Losing knowledgeable in-house staff
Page 4 The Stakeholder Needs 1) The Public Value for their tax dollars Government is meeting their infrastructure needs Processes meet an acceptable level of public process Infrastructure meets good levels of health & safety. 2) Governing Bodies (Federal, Provincial, Municipal) Get value for money No complaints re: process No crises No negative media 3) Business Units Get the best consultants Concern about project cost Get the best projects Concern about lifecycle costs
Page 6 Stakeholder Needs - cont’d 6) Consultants Open, fair, transparent Workload distribution To be valued for expertise & added value; not fees. Don’t want to spend significant resources developing endless proposals To be valued in project development stage as they believe they can add significant value. 7) Contractors Open, fair, transparent Good contract documentation 8) General Total business perspective; Integrated Approaches Leverage Points & Decisions
Page 7 The Solution Develop a best practice through recognized public sector & industry associations. FCM National Guide to Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure Collaboration: Infrastructure Canada, NRC, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Canadian Public Works Associations Knowledgeable & committed practitioners volunteer Objective: Help solve the growing infrastructure deficit Create a resource to help public sector agencies make informed and smart decisions Build a strong knowledgeable consulting community Ensure decision making is lead by the right business drivers.
Page 8 The InfraGuide InfraGuide “Best practice for selecting a professional consultant” released June, 2006 Developed by Collaboration: Infrastructure Canada, NRC, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Canadian Public Works Associations and Knowledgeable & committed practitioners volunteer Supported by extensive research and interviews
Page 9 The InfraGuide cont’d Focuses on Selecting long term savings Consultant quality and level of service Encouraging innovation Increasing accountability Fees and scope that are mutually understood Reducing conflict
Page 10 How it works Qualification Based Selection (QBS): 1) Issue a request for qualifications: professionals compete based on qualifications & understanding of client needs 2) Client ranks proposals based on best service relative to project objectives. 3) Highest ranking firm is selected Detailed scope is established including deliverables aligned to client goals Appropriate fees and schedule that achieve client goals are agreed to 4) Encourage consultant participation as “trusted advisors” in best outcome for project. InfraGuide
Page 11 QBS – fills a need Previously - no consistent approaches Good team is key to project success Sound process helps ensure: Engagement of best qualified team Best value re: lower lifecycle costs & more sustainable projects Fair, open, transparent, understood and competitive public sector practices. Appropriate compensation of consultants Synergy develops in project approach Key performance criteria drive project decisions Reduces team conflict; encourages a “meeting of the minds” InfraGuide
Page 12 Enabling Best Practice: QBS Establish champions knowledgeable about both process and content Work with professional and technical associations Understand and use fee guidelines established by professional associations Get consultants on board early as part of integrated project teams to jointly develop scope (90/10 rule) QBS is best implemented in a well established framework InfraGuide
Page 13 Best Practice Implementation Framework Key Elements Include: High level mgmt committee Focus on proactively managing consultant relationships Assignment of knowledgeable “discipline champions” to assist in the relationships Ongoing stakeholder involvement System of checks and balances Competitive Qualification Based Process InfraGuide
Page 14 Best Practice Implementation Framework Key Elements … continued: Open and transparent process Annual public RFEI, RFQ & RFP’s Will include consultant performance evaluation process Getting consultants on board early & use an integrated design process Fees negotiated based on mutually accepted guidelines for recommended fees. InfraGuide
Page 15 Key Messages QBS is a key to “Best Practice for Selecting a Professional Consultant” Nationally and globally recognized Public sector supported solution. Qualifications Based Selection is: Fair, open, transparent & competitive process Well suited to public sector Gets the best people from the best organizations
Page 16 Key Messages Adoption of “best practice” will lead to more sustainable, cost effective projects Principles align to business performance drivers Framework implementation is a long term asset management/project management strategy Builds a strong team approach and free’s consultants to demonstrate how they can add value Saves time and Minimizes risk Focuses on best public value; not cheapest design.