Highways England’s StART assessment is part of their supplier selection and development process and increasingly important for contractors wishing to tender for major projects on the strategic roads network. StART assessments are carried out every three years and provide Highways England with an in-depth assessment of a supplier’s alignment to their strategic direction and imperatives. Having originally gone through the process in 2011, a strategic decision was made by the Sir Robert McAlpine (SRM) Construction Board to apply for the 2017 cycle following the establishment of the new Civils Division. Applying to be assessed would not only signal to Highways England that SRM’s Civils Division was keen to deliver major projects, but a good score would position them well as part of the pre-qualification process.
While the biggest challenge was how to achieve a good score which truly demonstrated SRM’s capability to deliver major highways projects, one of the main challenges was the limited resources available to pull together all the information from across the SRM business and develop a submission that was both relevant to the new Civils Division and demonstrated strategic alignment to Highways England.
EiB Approach & Involvement
EiB’s Strategic Work Winning team was commissioned to support SRM in preparing the written submission, develop the presentation and prepare the team for the assessment day. Our support included:
- Meeting the client to discuss and develop a strategy and plan for developing the company overview, the 2-page submission against each of the six StART principles in line with the indicative timetable
- Facilitating a series of storyboarding sessions with key ‘subject specialists’ from across SRM to develop outline content
- Identifying appropriate ‘evidence’ and agreeing the process for gathering this from the various parts of the business
- Producing 1st draft responses for review by SRM ‘subject specialists’
- Working closely with SRM colleagues to challenge/improve, redraft and finalise the overview and individual principle submissions; ultimately agreeing who would lead and support the presentations as part of the Highways England on-site assessment day
- Developing the initial presentations, based on the written submissions and facilitating a workshop for all presenters to assign ownership of their respective principles
- Facilitating several mock presentations and Q&A sessions and supporting individuals through 1:1 coaching
- Providing support to the presentation teams on the day of the Highways England assessment day.
“It’s been great working with you on our 2017 StART assessment. You have been a massive help throughout the whole process over the last few months. We now await the outcome in September.”
Success & Outcomes
Working collaboratively with a number of key players within the Civils Division and the wider business, we successfully produced the company overview and 12-page submission against the Highways England areas of alignment. We also successfully produced the six presentations and fully prepared the SRM team to deliver their elements of the presentation and respond effectively as ‘One Team’ to the Highways England question and answer session which followed.