How would others describe you in ten words?
I hope they would say something like “Engaging consultant sharing the practical application of NEC3 contracts”.
How did you first get involved in NEC ?
Just being a user of the contracts as a main contractor. Prior to 2006, we had used NEC contracts across all of our projects for about 10 years, so I started doing training and consultancy on the back of that. I am an independent advocate of the NEC3 contracts rather than someone who is paid to say NEC3 contracts are great … which they are by the way !
What do you love about NEC3?
It is a proactive management tool rather than simply a claims tools : it’s a relatively clear set of words that both Parties should be doing anyway if they are managing a contract properly, but it formalises that as a contractual requirement.
Being a planner, I love the increased importance of the programme to one which is regularly revised and accepted, as well as the fact that change (compensation events) have to be identified and managed during the life of the project rather than saving everything until the end for a good old bunfight.
What do you hate most NEC3?
That more clients choose not to use it!
What’s the best war story you have that you think will be useful to our readers?
Following a difficult project with very few accepted programmes, I ran a joint session between that Employer and Contractor who were about to start a new project together. At the session, I emphasised the mutual benefit to both Parties to have an Accepted Programme every period and gave some tips for the team to achieve this. Six months later and there had been 9 Accepted Programmes in that period – when the contract data stated it only needed to be done every 4 weeks – with each programme jointly reviewed in a meeting and either accepted in that meeting or amended ‘live’ in the meeting to allow the Project Manager to subsequently accept it.
What would like to improve on your next NEC3 project?
It is still about education. I would make it compulsory to have a joint “NEC team building” workshop at the beginning of a contract to get everyone understanding the key processes and how the team is going to operate the contract. I would also ensure that everyone had access to eLearning - Built Intelligence have a free hour as well as their full NEC3 Academy - so that everyone is up to a minimum level of understanding and that is good !
Being contractual under NEC3 means doing good project management which is not a negative.
This question might lead on from that : how did you get involved in Built Intelligence ?
Chris Corr approached me to work with Jon Broome to write their NEC3 eLearning Academy. Both of us slowly got more involved and are now part-owners of the business.
What change would you most like to see in NEC4?
If I am allowed two changes, then please let’s firstly change the name of the “Risk Register” to an “Early Warning Register” and avoid the perpetual confusion about traditional “risk registers” which are used in the industry and the “Risk Register” within the contract.
My second would be for lawyers to be banned from writing ridiculous unnecessary and / or subjective Z clause amendments that alter the flow and culture of the contract and the associated risk profile.
What were the top challenges NEC3 users face to deliver projects on time and cost, and how do you think these challenge are best tackled?
It is the management of significant levels of change on large fast paced projects. The NEC3 contracts promote the active management of issues as the contract progresses, but these are words only – it has to be done by people. It is never going to be easy to do this, but I know it can be done and that having an up to date Accepted Programme is the foundation for doing this. Experience tells me that matters that are hard to agree now only get worse the longer you leave them, not better, when good old “hindsight” clouds peoples opinion of what the answer should have been.
Glenn Hide is long term advocate and practitioner of NEC3 and is especially known for his pre-eminence in programming under the NEC3 forms. As well as providing training and consultancy through his own company, he co-authored BuiltIntelligence's on-line NEC3 Academy and is Director i/c sales of BuiltIntelligence. He can be contacted on +44 (0) 7500 777 364, at firstname.lastname@example.org or via www.builtintelligence.com .