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ICMSC Member invites DCS Chair to 2021 AGM

That the entire construction eco-system is experiencing significant economic, cultural and structural transformation presents yet more evidence that Industry 4.0 is clearly upon us and Industry 5.0 not too far behind. But what does this era of immense disruption and stealth technological development mean for current and future industry trends? In a VUCA world governed by one’s own ability to access, restructure and both interpret and (re)share critical data sets, everything that the traditional Quantity Surveyor held dear, is now at risk of seismic change. The future Cost Manager [#PQS2030] will have to unlearn and re-skill, not only to stay ahead in and relevant to the Client’s needs in a ‘common date environment’, but more importantly, in pursuit of a new, agile and 'dynamic business model' that is proactive rather than reactive, collaborative as opposed to guarded. It has often been affirmed, that in times of immense uncertainty and chaos, pockets of opportunity begin to emerge, well that time is now. What is needed from industry and in particular, the Cost Management profession, is decisive and tangible leadership, shaped and positively influenced by demonstrable solutions to practical issues and other emerging challenges.

As discussed earlier this year at a virtual meeting [held on 16.02.21], constructively arranged by our Country Lead, fellow Chartered Surveyor Sheila Kaijuka FRICS; the evolving conversation of partnership with the Institution of Surveyors of Uganda ‘ISU’ progressed to an ensemble of positive actions, scheduled for 2021.

During the multi-faceted conversation, key issues of professional standards, ethics, and the future of the Surveying profession arose. There were many areas of common interest with a general theme beginning to emerge, predicated on the pursuit of excellence for members. As stated in an earlier post [referring to the African market and wider developmental / commercial opportunities for the Commonwealth Nations; January 2021], it was abundantly clear that the synergies for a future strategic partnership between DCS and the Institution of Surveyors of Uganda 'ISU', could be easily and quickly established.

With many of the current contingent of DCS members, hailing from either the African Continent and/or the Caribbean, amidst the wider Commonwealth footprint, it was an obvious aspiration to develop wider and more meaningful conversations, founded on a common interest of ‘knowledge sharing and retained IP’. Such an effort has simply been turbo-charged by the global pandemic, culminating in a progressive virtual engagement, a direct consequence of the COVID lockdown(s), which have required most Surveyors to continue working from home, now almost a year later.

Credit: RICS

One of the first agreed actions, was to honour the kind invitation proffered by incumbent President [2018-2021] Ronald Ssengendo, PhD (RSU, FISU) to attend their imminent, virtual AGM in April 2021. Last month, a formal invitation was extended to and accepted by our Founder and Chairman, Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS to speak at the event on a theme that would be co-designed to, at the very least provoke a wider discussion on the future of the Cost Management profession [aka Quantity Surveying]. Working closely with long-standing colleagues at the RICS [specifically Alan Muse FRICS], has conveniently afforded a platform opportunity to further develop ‘the conversation’ that has pretty much been dominated with a focus, to date, on the UK market.

Credit: ISU

Without hesitation, Bola reached out to industry heavyweight and fellow Liveryman, Justin Sullivan FRICS, who as a fellow PQS, is also the Chair of International Construction Measurement Standards Coalition (ICMSC). As the current Deputy Chair of the Construction Industry Council, Justin has a strong and somewhat unique perspective on the future of the Cost Management profession and firmly agrees that, moving forward, technology has a critical role to play.

“Since publication of the first edition in July 2017, the International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) have provided a single methodology for reporting, grouping and classifying construction project costs.

In response to industry feedback following the publication of the first edition of ICMS, the ICMS Coalition updated the standard to incorporate life-cycle costs. International Construction Measurement Standards 2nd Edition enables practitioners to classify costs across the whole project life cycle, eliminating inconsistencies and discrepancies when accounting, comparing and predicting project finances.”

Credit: RICS

Chaired by Justin Sullivan FRICS, the International Construction Measurement Standards Coalition (ICMSC) is a growing group of more than 40 professional and not-for-profit organisations from around the world, working together to develop and implement international standards for benchmarking, measuring and reporting construction project cost. The ICMSC Standards Setting Committee comprises 27 independent experts from 17 countries. They were appointed by the coalition to draft, consult and produce the new International Construction Measurement Standards.

Now in its 2nd Edition the key differences between the first and second editions are detailed in the table below:

“The concept of using data to revolutionise business progress is happening across almost all industries. Its value lies in its potential to enable us to discover insights into ways of doing things better that fundamentally improve the world around us.

The opportunities for the built and natural environment sectors which have flourished for hundreds of years on finding innovative ways to foster communities, manage land and resources, and build successful clusters of towns and cities, are vast.”

Credit: ICMS / RICS

The role of the Cost Manager [in light of and with specific reference to the traditional role of the P/QS] is being challenged to evolve, and presents a constant, critical and unrelenting threat that has repeated emerged many times in the past. If we [as Cost Managers] are to succeed in this endeavour – as was discussed at a recent webinar on the new RICS Cost Prediction Professional Statement [chaired by Alan Muse last month, 02.03.21] then amongst other things, the culture of the profession must also remain on the table for discussion. For those that were unable to make the event hosted by RICS last month, you can observe the entire ‘live discussion’ here.

Credit: CDBB

We look forward to joining and supporting ISU members on the 16th April 2021 to positively contribute to further industry insights and much needed (global) perspective via a thought provoking discussion; one that transcends global borders and will undoubtedly impact upon EVERY construction project, across the globe, over the coming years.


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