Kingsfield Academy: Energy Transition Leadership Course

Kingsfield Academy: Energy Transition Leadership Course

13 September @ 9:00 am – 12:30 pm BST

The Energy Transition Leadership program provides a basis from which project teams can explore and prepare for leading projects in new energy sectors.

With the drive towards Net Zero gathering pace, the need to develop requisite leadership skills for this energy transition environment has never been greater. The challenges that arise out of projects with “first of its kind” (FOIK) emerging technologies, in new markets, and with unfamiliar contracting arrangements require changes of mindset and, consequently, a greater emphasis on leadership at every level of the project organisation.

The Energy Transition Leadership program aims to address the key areas to be considered and managed in order to execute profitable projects for contractors and present viable capital investments for owners. The course involves 4 workshops, to view the dates, times and leaders of each, as well as price, take a look at the flyer.


  • Introduction & context of Energy Transition projects
  • Systems thinking for Energy Transition projects
  • Contracting & Commercial Leadership for Energy Transition projects
  • Project leadership for Energy Transition

More information can be found on the Kingsfield Academy website.

Successful Project Delivery- It’s Common Sense

In his blog ‘Net ZERO 2050 – Is it achievable or at risk?’ John Fotherby referred to modern tools, processes, and practices that, together, if used properly, can greatly assist project delivery teams to radically improve performance, but which are not being used universally on Engineering Construction projects.

Following this blog post, Fluor Corporation and Tecnimont (founder members of ECI and established AWP practitioner organisations) have produced a paper entitled ‘Successful Project Delivery- Its Common Sense’, which references the eight ECI ACTIVE Principles, and explores AWP.

These principles and practices will be investigated further in a joint series by ECI and Constructing Excellence, ‘Energy Transition Revolution – Powering the New Age of Project Delivery’. Whilst the recent white paper, ‘Successful Project Delivery- It’s Common Sense’, will form the basis for discussion at the first event in the series.

Net ZERO 2050 – Is it achievable or at risk?

“Net Zero ‘at risk” without tax breaks” (*Times, Business Section, 4 February 2023) reported that the CEOs of Renewables UK, Energy UK, The Nuclear Industry Association, Scottish Renewables and Solar Energy UK have written jointly to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer saying that tax breaks are needed to encourage investment in green energy.  As Chair of the European Construction Institute (ECI), I do not perceive this to be the problem.

Unequivocal and unremitting UK Government policy driving continued commitment to support green energy in the pursuit of Net Zero 2050 is essential if the UK is to keep up with, let alone lead, other countries across the globe in this existential challenge. I also do not doubt that tax breaks might be of help. But, neither of these considerations addresses and resolves the real impediment to achieving Net Zero. This is a problem with the engineering construction industry itself, not Government, and is not confined to the UK.

Many Energy Transition / Net Zero projects are ‘mega’ (exceeding USD 1bn) and are often complex, including those of lesser value. The industry has a legacy of only one in four mega projects meeting their business objectives – a failure rate of 75%. Typically, they are delivered significantly over budget and very late and, quite often, do not start up as intended. If this ‘performance’ continues, Net Zero 2050, and the intermediate carbon emission reduction steps leading to it, is unlikely to be achieved – by a long way.

Enlightened owner / investors, contractors and supply chains are beginning to consider and embark upon different contracting and working strategies geared to eliminating waste, significantly improving productivity, reducing costs, shortening delivering times, improving safety and quality and, above all, providing visibility on outturn cost and facility start up dates – just the requirements for investor commitments. However, so far, they are in a tiny minority, and the steps they are taking are hardly revolutionary.

Consider for a moment the way in which the shipbuilding, aerospace and automotive industries transformed themselves – years ago. What can engineering construction learn from such transformation? What prevents engineering construction from taking equally transformative actions, especially since this industry is the Net Zero 2050 delivery vehicle? But time is running out, whilst complacency is prevalent.

Today, there are modern tools, processes and practices that, together, if used properly, can greatly assist project delivery teams to radically improve performance, but are they being used universally? –     short answer, NO.


There is empirical evidence indicating that collaborative working and contracting, in which risk is shared equitably, innovative practices are rewarded, and performance and delivery is incentivised and not penalised, leads to successful project outcomes, but is this approach being used universally? –     short answer, NO.


There seems to be industry consensus that early contractor and supply chain engagement, standardisation, and factory-thinking and modularisation can lead to far greater efficiency in design, work planning and execution, but are these being applied universally? –     short answer, NO.


In complex Energy Transition projects that may be based also on new or evolving technology and where uncertainty is prolific, then conventional contracting models, especially lump sum or lump sum turn-key and which anticipate and rely upon certainty, are inappropriate and indeed are a risk in themselves. Have such models been abandoned on projects of this kind –     apparently not.


Despite the need for radical change in the industry, it is not happening – why?

I suggest, there is an inherent resistance to change quickly or at all, a reluctance to leave comfort zones, and preference for the status quo. Engineering construction is a ‘people industry’ and it is stymied in its development universally by mindset and behaviours that rely upon completely outdated thinking and practice.

What is likely to cause change to occur? Answer – Owners’ recognition that to ensure that they receive the projects they want to invest in at a time when they need them and for an affordable price, there needs to be a radical change to the way projects are conceived and delivered. Where Owners lead, contractors and the supply chain will assuredly follow.

Recommendation: the authors of the letter to the Chancellor, and other existing and potential owner / investors also look to the engineering construction industry in the UK, take into account what enlightened owners and their contractors are currently doing to improve performance in the UK and elsewhere, consider how they might build on these present initiatives and set the UK industry upon a revolutionary track of change to secure achievement of Net Zero 2050.

Modern project management tools and processes are available – the missing element is the change in mindset and behaviours required to adopt these in a fundamental; shift in project delivery practice.

Throughout 2023 the ECI is hosting regular events: Energy Transition Revolution – Powering the new age of project delivery. The first event is on 14 March 2023 – come and join us.

John Fotherby – Chair – European Construction Institute / Partner – Kingsfield Academy

Developing an Energy Transition Community of Practice

Unlocking Productivity to Deliver the Infrastructure That Will Underpin Our Net Zero Future


Net Zero is perhaps the greatest challenge facing humanity. The need to transition from Hydrocarbon-based energy to renewable and sustainable sources is critical to the future survival of the planet. This has been accelerated by Geo-Political events that are highlighting the inherent supply risks around reliance on hydrocarbons and pushing governments across the world to speed up their net zero targets.

Net Zero is a grand challenge that requires a fundamental shift in the energy supply and demand mix. The energy transitions commission estimate that USD50 trillion in incremental investments is required by 2050 to transition the global economy and energy systems to net-zero emissions.


The Problem

Outdated, inefficient and unproductive delivery models are simply not going to enable this challenge to be met. In a world of constrained resources – skills, the current models are unable to deliver at the scale and pace required. We need to embrace all of the productivity enhancing tools and processes at our disposal to meet this unprecedented challenge. In 2004 it was reported that 57% of project resources are wasted. There has been little improvement since.  We simply cannot continue to waste precious resources on ineffective approaches to project delivery.



The Solution

The solutions are tried and tested – collaborative contracting, embracing technologies, employing manufacturing-based approaches, utilising effective tools and processes.  These are critical to improve productivity significantly, and free-off resources for deployment elsewhere.  These have been trialled extensively – so we know the potential – but we now need to move from the trial phase to the widespread implementation phase if we are to stand a chance of delivering Net Zero.

It’s often said that clients get the industry they deserve.  Traditional approaches of transferring risk down the supply chain is proven time and again to be ineffective and counter-productive. A different approach to risk distribution is essential.

In addition to energy transition project complexities, the scale and pace of change required is creating a VUCA environment with energy prices, material costs and government policies changing apace to meet the net zero challenges and keep the lights on in a changing energy environment. The only solution for the industry is to collaboratively embrace better ways of working.

About the community


Constructing Excellence and ECI have long been champions of collaborative working and contracting. We propose to establish a community of practice involving the broadest spectrum of Net Zero participating organisations focussing on driving continual productivity improvement in the delivery of energy transition projects.


The community will bring together existing approaches, signpost the great work being done by groups focussed on skills, technology and innovation and consider how these can be harnessed to unlock the productivity gains that are crucial to achieving Net Zero.


This is a great opportunity to bring together our members and stakeholders who are currently delivering in this area or are keen to apply their expertise building on the body of work in ECI, CE Nuclear and Hydrogen.  This is an opportunity to focus our existing activities in this space around a common, critical topic.

The community will focus on sharing best practice, experience, knowledge and insight on how to implement these solutions in project delivery. Participants will jointly explore how these solutions can be applied on Net Zero projects and how to convince sceptics to come on board in the making the transformational change to how projects are delivered.


******* Join us on 10th January to help us shape this community *******



Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) May Drop In – Value & Alignment


On 9th May, our AWP Europe Community of Practice May Drop In took place following the conference in April. Together with 15 participants, we reflected on what has progressed in the last 3 years and what needs to change to unlock AWP in Europe. 



Key Points:

  • The focus of projects is shifting more towards productivity and efficiency.
  • Homeworking has resulted in more efficient working patterns and allowed people to work in ways that suit them, leading to some productivity gains.
  • The increased use of online meetings has made it more efficient to progress projects as a team as the pace of meetings can be accelerated.


Dario Rigaud from Fluor is keen to raise awareness of the AWP Concierge by providing links to key AWP implementation problems and the RT-365 research conducted by the CII on promoting the use of AWP (see link below):



Alignment with existing processes

BIM – Exploring the alignment with ISO19650 would be a good way of communicating to stakeholders who are currently using BIM about how AWP aligns with and can help realise the project management aspects of BIM.

Lean & Association of Project Management – explore the linkages of how AWP can help project managers improve their projects, including with project controls.


Net Zero

We need to highlight the role that AWP plays in achieving Net Zero. The key message is: more effective site processes, eliminating waste, downtime management, and avoiding re-works which costs time, money and carbon. Also, delivering the Net Zero challenge at the scale and pace required needs a greater focus on productivity and AWP has a role to play.


Our next AWP Drop In will take place on 28th June, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Join our community to find out about all things AWP in Europe! 

Registration link:

AWP Europe Community of Practice June Drop In – Constructing Excellence

AWP Europe Community of Practice Drop Ins – May & June




The AWP Conference is powered by the Construction Industry Institute(CII), and supported by the European Construction Institute (ECI).

The AWP Conference connects thinkers and doers from the European construction industry for an exploration of how Advanced Work Packaging and related initiatives and technologies can improve project performance, construction productivity and environmental efficiency. Attendees of this online event will be leaders from across the built environment representing project owners, engineers, constructors, technology providers, implementation support experts, researchers and developers.


AWP Europe Community of Practice May Drop In:

9th May @ 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm UTC+0


AWP Europe Community of Practice June Drop In:

28th June @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm UTC+0

Advanced Work Packaging Europe Conference 2022

April 5-6, 2022 • 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day (BST)
Special networking reception from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on day one
ILEC Centre, London England

The AWP Conference connects thinkers and doers from the European construction industry for an exploration of how Advanced Work Packaging and related initiatives and technologies can improve project performance, construction productivity and environmental efficiency. This will bean information-packed two days of plenary and breakout sessions, keynote presentations, exhibits and networking events. Attendees of this event will be leaders from across the built environment representing project owners, engineers, constructors, technology providers, implementation support experts, researchers and developers.

The Advanced Work Packaging Conference is powered by the Construction Industry Institute(CII), and supported by the European Construction Institute (ECI). Since 2009, this has been the premiere forum for thought leadership in Advanced Work Packaging and WorkFace Planning.


For more information, please see: Advanced Work Packaging Conference 2022: Europe — Group ASI | Advanced Work Packaging Events

Event brochure:


Changing the course of engineering construction

n a recent post, it has been suggested that the barrier to the uptake of Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) is that decision-makers need to be persuaded as to the ROI on AWP. Assuming that they are neither accountants nor newspaper editors, my view is that they are asking the wrong question. Some say the definition of insanity is continuing to do exactly the same thing (badly) but expecting to achieve improved results. It is no secret that reports by well-informed industry practitioners, observers and commentators reveal that the ROI on engineering construction is, in the main, not sufficient for a sustainable industry. Would you invest your own money in engineering construction? I have not and I have no intention of doing so until the engineering construction industry makes fundamental changes to reverse the progressive decline in ROI that has occurred over the last fifty years, compared to other industries that have reinvented themselves in the way they organise and conduct business – one must presume that insanity did not prevail here.

If the decision to adopt AWP turns on the ROI that can be generated by it, that suggests a certain expectation of AWP in the context of improved project performance that single-handedly reverses the decline in the industry ROI and a level of investment that needs to be made in AWP – neither of which appear to be realistic or relevant. AWP is a tool, and as with all tools, the benefit is derived from the way they are applied and used – enter the human element! Some say a fool with a tool is still a fool. Make no mistake, all the indications are that AWP is a very good tool that can contribute considerably to improved project performance provided it is used to its maximum potential, but no tool, no matter how well used, can single-handily reverse the trend in declining engineering construction industry ROI. Reversing that decline requires a fundamental re-think by the industry about how projects are conceived and delivered. This is about mindset and behaviours. There are indications that a re-think is taking place – it’s about time! The benefits of real collaborative working are beginning to surface and hopefully will soon start to hold the middle ground and substantially replace what has become accepted practices that thrive on a concept of winner-takes-all and the race to the bottom in contracting arrangements.

Collaborative working practices are enablers to maximise the benefit that can be achieved from AWP used in conjunction with other existing and developing interventions and tools such as Lean, Last Planner, Digitalisation, Standardisation, BIM, Factory Thinking, Pre-assembly, Digital Twin, etc.

Therefore, in my view, the question that decision-makers in engineering construction need to ask is:

Do we want to enjoy the level of ROI achieved by comparable industries and if so are we prepared to fundamentally change the way engineering construction projects are conceived and delivered?

This is not a question about the cost and benefits of individual improvement initiatives and tools, it is about determining and taking actions needed to assure the long term survival and prosperity of the engineering construction industry, globally. AWP and other initiatives and tools are a positive step in the right direction, but we must go much further and faster as an industry. We are now entering a phase of significant technological change with decarbonisation, energy transition etc, so surely this is time and provides the opportunity to coincide technological developments with the fundamental shift in how engineering construction projects are conceived and delivered. To the decisions makers, I refer them to some well-known sayings,

You can look before you leap if you want to, but ultimately you will have to leap … and remember, he who hesitates is lost.

ECI leads on European Community of Practice on AWP

On 19 March we launched the European Community of Practice on AWP. It is part of a global network of communities run in partnership with Group ASI which aim to increase the uptake of Advanced Work Packaging. Advanced Work Packaging is an approach whereby the entire project lifecycle is divided into manageable packages – the focus is on having the end in mind at the beginning of each package.

The Community aims to support and accelerate the uptake of AWP across Europe. The key principles are a safe, collaborative, technology agnostic, non-commercial environment to explore the key factors impacting the implementation of AWP. An online LinkedIn group has been established to support this

We will be holding online drop ins every six weeks with the agenda set by participants. The first meeting will take place on Friday 30th April.

Click here to download the presentations.


Collaborative Working Mentors – Project Collaboration Toolkit, March 2021

Join in the Constructing Excellence Collaborative Working Mentors joint meeting with Engineering Construction Institute (ECI) on 19 March 2021 @ 10am – 12pm GMT to look at ECITB’s Project Collaboration Toolkit and the associated Project Collaboration Agreement that ECI is developing to support this.

John Fotherby, Kingsfield Consulting and Chair of ECI along with Tony Maplesden of ECITB will present the latest achievements and challenges in the development and implementation process of the Toolkit. This will offer an opportunity to delve into how the Engineering Construction sector is approaching collaboration as a means of delivering better outcomes and the practical tools that are being developed to support this. There will be lots of opportunities for discussion and understanding how the two communities can learn from joint approaches.