The Cabinet Office has published the Construction Playbook. This cross-sector guide builds upon the excellent principles established by the Outsourcing Playbook. Delivered with the involvement of the Construction Leadership Council and the Construction Innovation Hub, this  the key start point for any public sector construction project.

The principles that the Construction Playbook outlines will enable public projects to:

• Set clear and appropriate outcome-based specifications that are designed with the input of industry to ensure we drive continuous improvement and innovation. 

• Favour longer term contracting across portfolios, where it is appropriate. We will develop long-term plans for key asset types and programmes to drive greater value through public spending. 

• Standardise designs, components and interfaces as much as is possible. 

Drive innovation and Modern Methods of Construction, through standardisation and aggregation of demand, increased client capability and setting clear requirements of suppliers. 

• Create sustainable, win-win contracting arrangements that incentivise better outcomes, improve risk management and promote the general financial health of the sector. 

• Strengthen financial assessment of suppliers and prepare for the rare occasions when things go wrong, with the introduction of resolution planning information requirements into critical contracts.

This is a huge boost to optimising modern methods of construction ; starting with the essential time taken to establish outcome based specifications, well before a procurement is launched. Collaboration across the public sector and with the market will be a new way of working. 

The big challenge for the public sector will be not the will to do things differently, but a move to a fiscal environment in which the annual capital budget is not a determining factor of a rush to spend before the required outcome has been properly established.