How (not) to sell infrastructure projects
What do we mean by Infrastructure?
Infrastructure – roads, rail, sewerage, airports are often big projects which offer benefits for future generations. But infrastructure projects also often have big implications – including big disruption for the residents who have to contend with the traffic diversions, noise and change.
OK, give me some examples…
Red Potato have been involved in the project specification for minor road changes which will offer business benefits to those most disrupted. The projects will help make it easier for businesses to get to, and from a business park. Why is this important? Because it directly effects business performance. For instance, the ability to attract high quality employees. If potential employees are faced with choosing to sit in traffic for upwards of an hour to travel a couple of miles or take a job somewhere else; it is an easy choice. Most employees want quality of life, to be home in time to go the gym or read the bedtime story. Not be sitting in a traffic jam. So infrastructure projects are important and can deliver real benefits.
So what needs to change?
If infrastructure is so important, why are we so bad at demonstrating the benefits? Too often projects are into the mechanics of delivery and they loose focus on what problems they are seeking to solve. So here is the plea…keep the focus on the what drives the project. Without this focus we loose sight of the project objectives and ultimately that infrastructure, roads, rail, airports must be able to show clear benefits. And those benefits should include how communities improve not just some Treasury statistics.