Writing a methodology for a construction or engineering bid in the UK
Most construction industry professionals generally agree that the price and methodology are both critical factors for writing a successful bid, tender or proposal and securing major contracts. In order to put together an effective methodology statement, you need to incorporate the input of a range of different stakeholders including the programmer, safety officer, environmental officer, proposed site manager and your marketing / bid team. Generally speaking, the programmer/planner will have significant involvement, however, it’s important to draw upon the input of your safety and marketing team to submit a quality proposed methodology. Here are some strategies to develop a compelling methodology statement:
Align with the program
It is generally best to finalise the majority of your program before writing the methodology. The methodology needs to expand on, detail and describe every line item in your program. The term expand on is important. That’s because in the methodology, you can provide some explanation as to why some line items in the program are there and what the advantage is in conducting the works in that order. Explain the reasons for adopting processes, and flesh out the inter-dependencies. The program should tell the story in a visual sense, and the methodology should tell the story in a written form. The innovative aspects of your proposed program need to be clearly explained in the methodology.
Incorporate safety, the environment and other factors not covered in the program
The methodology generally needs to into consideration and explain items that are not comprehensively covered in the program. Let’s take safety for example. In thinking about your approach to the project, there would be a broad range of safety considerations you would have discussed internally and addressed. In your methodology, you need to incorporate and discuss a range of considerations for the project including, for example safety considerations.
It is a good idea to explain the different safety issues that may arise across the course of the project and the measures you have put in place to address them. For example:
- Are you going to have ad-hoc internal safety audits on a regular basis?
- Have you allocated an additional supervisor to supervise night works – if so, is that to address any potential safety issues of working at night?
- Do you propose to deploy any specialist equipment to deliver different aspects of the project – if so, have you incorporated any safety considerations as part of your thinking?
- What special site specific safety challenges have you identified and how have these been mitigated? For example, if you are working on a hospital project that is a renovation and refitting project, dust suppression would be critical. Any interruption to power supply would also need advanced coordination and planning. Both of these issues would need to be incorporated into your methodology and also explained.
Other areas of the bid or tender that may be addressed and covered in the methodology include the environment, quality assurance, community and proposed team. Again, ensues that these are incorporated and covered through the methodology so that you methodology is just a summary of the proposed program in words, but a more thought out and considered methodology to deliver the project.
Add in context – show appreciation for the project
A program will often start with a line item regarding site establishment. However, delivering a large scale infrastructure or building project involves a lot more than that. The methodology needs to firstly establish and demonstrate context.
- What is the nature of the proposed project?
- Will the project be located near any critical community infrastructure (for example, a school)? If so, what measures have you put in place to minimize any impact (for example, ensuring truck arrival and departures are outside school hours)?
- What are some of the main considerations and challenges for the project and how does the methodology address those challenges? – For example, does the project have a major traffic impact issue?
Go into detail
Where your methodology proposes a new, innovative or unique solution it is important to go into detail to explain it. You need to include your reasoning for adopting the innovative approach, a step by step practical application, and how each step in the process will integrate the various stakeholders and sub-contractors on the project. The level of detail in your methodology can set your bid or proposal apart from your competition. Government and private procurers want to know the project is well thought out and your methodology must reflect that.
Some people only assess two factors in a tender – the methodology and the price. Allocate the internal resources to develop a compelling methodology which covers all aspects of the bid, not just construction and you will be well on your way to securing your next contract.
For assistance with your next construction or engineering bid feel free to give us a call or email. We have two members of our team who are highly experienced in writing construction bids including the methodology (and also pricing and other key areas). We have helped companies across the UK to write compelling bids and tenders and secure government and private sector contracts. We service all of the UK including in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Canterbury, Chester, Glasgow and Manchester.