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The past number of years has witnessed a major shift towards integrated alliance relationships, with a significant improvement in performance. 

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Over the past couple of decades, there has been a significant shift towards collaboration and alliance partnerships, which is starting to be the backbone of local economic development.  Approximately 15 years ago, Herman Potgieter, who headed up the supply chain and performance improvement functions of various regional and global organisations, started with an initiative to move towards a common and open framework to improve alignment, especially within the infrastructure environment.  The underlying issue is that infrastructure programmes are highly dependant on various organisations' maturity to collaborate and to optimise the value-add process across these organisations.


The use of a common language and approach leads to a significant improvement in collaboration, productivity and local economic development.  There has also been a significant learning curve across numerous sectors that pointed towards the phased introduction of better practices.   It simply means that organisations cannot run until they can walk, but we can significantly speed up the process by working together.

This phased approach to accelerate performance has been tested and refined across hundreds of organisations.  The development of the solution-set was done on a highly collaborative basis with several global and local organisations who contributed their experience to ensure focus on the 20% of practices and activities that delivers 80% of the result.  These include infrastructure owner organisations, contractors, various universities, other sectors in the supply chain, and global consulting firms.

A major complement of the development team was when the United Nations set up a global expert team who evaluated the various solution-sets that maximise infrastructure development's economic and wellbeing impact.  After a detailed evaluation, Lumus was selected as the leading solution, which then served as the basis of approximately $80 billion infrastructure development programmes to drive this outcome.

Yet, we needed to go through a significant learning curve while implementing the solution-set.  Our experience includes conducting approximately 40 000 assessments and helping organisations formulate appropriate development plans.  Much of this was done with our partner organisations like EY, CIPS, Ford and international development organisations.  


The following are some of the key lessons learned over the past number of years:

  • We increasingly focused on the infrastructure sector, where alignment and partnerships are major drivers of success.  It not only has a significant impact on participating construction firms but also on the economic wellbeing of local communities;

  • It became clear that those organisations who deeply cared for their people and the environment outperform the rest of their sector.  Sustainability and wellbeing, therefore, became major drivers, which was integrated into the overall solution set. This was continually refined in organisations like Rio Tinto and major infrastructure firms.

  • Based on its wellbeing and innovation culture, Herman Potgieter decided to migrate the solution-set to New Zealand, where it has been tested and refined over the past three years with organisations like Fulton Hogan and other such players. This was done with the participation of Deloitte, who can also provide resources to deliver the solution-set within larger organisations.   The NZ pilots confirmed the international experience that we can typically gain a 20% improvement in labour productivity, which has a significant impact on profitability, employee satisfaction and the wellbeing of local communities.

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