Name: Steve Fennell
Employer: Lend Lease
Project: Central St Giles, Centre Point, London WC1
It’s all about – and always will be about – the team. And that is why Steve Fennell is an incontrovertible success, turning a disoriented group who were out of their depth into a happy, high-performing band.
There was a strong whiff of turmoil about the project he inherited, with frightening outturn cost projections and dismaying programme sequencing issues even as tendering began. Steve’s intervention was decisive.
He recognised that his team of very young construction professionals were too inexperienced, and needed the help of more seasoned managers. He accordingly brought in maturity, and restructured the team, establishing clarity on individual responsibilities and duties. He ensured all team members got the opportunity to have a voice and feel they could contribute, and promoted a ‘work hard, play hard’ environment. The effect was to turn the project into a positive place to be.
From his reconstruction of the team dynamic, everything else flowed. He ensured his team put the client’s needs at the forefront of decision-making and sought to add value through focused professionalism.
He himself seized the procurement initiative by separating the residential towers from the main commercial building. He balanced the bespoke design requirements with the financial pressures without compromising client value. His instigation of a cladding panel redesign reduced manufacturing wastage from 40% to 12%, and his review of basement services reduced rooftop plant requirements.
When cladding deliveries started to slip, he resequenced the fit-out, implementing temporary works that allowed it to continue, controlling the programme and preventing costs from escalating through delay and disruption.
He handed over this initially troubled project within the agreed time frame and under the cost plan while building excellent relationships with the professional team.