The Chartered Institute of Building was originally founded in 1834 and received its Royal Charter in 1980. From its very first foundations, the institute has continued to set and uphold standards for the construction industry, and its influence and impact continues to grow worldwide.
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) is the world’s largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership. Governed by a Royal Charter, the institute plays a key role in supporting management, leadership, education, and development across the built environment industry. CIOB supports the professional development needs of almost 47,000 members worldwide, works closely with construction policy makers, and upholds a strong commitment to creating an environment where the public can live and work safely, comfortably, and confidently.
In 2023, CIOB launched a new five-year Corporate Development Plan with modern professionalism at its heart. Digital capabilities will play a key role in supporting CIOB’s strategic mission to drive up professional standards, push forward innovation, influence political decisions, and strengthen talent across the CIOB global community.
In January 2022, Joanna Quirk became the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at CIOB, responsible for turning the institute’s forward strategy into effective delivery. “Having previously been Finance Director at CIOB, I was already very familiar with our organisational ecosystem,”she says. “We had many systems and teams that were delivering really well. But I also knew that we faced challenges concerning IT maturity, siloed functions, and legacy systems. We needed a technology strategy and roadmap to address these, support our Corporate Development Plan, grow our membership worldwide, and provide an excellent digital experience for those members and customers. I wanted an independent view on the scope of those challenges and how to address them. At the tender stage, I was impressed with Mason Advisory’s pragmatic, hands-on attitude, their clear communication, and their commitment to involving our stakeholders in the process. So, we engaged Mason Advisory in April 2022 to review our overall IT capability and help us to prioritise our focus and resources to achieve our ambitions and address our legacy issues.”
Mason Advisory allocated a small team of experts, led by Principal Consultant, Sean Hale. Our first engagement concentrated on a thorough, six-week review of CIOB’s IT maturity. We worked closely with Joanna and the senior technology leadership to assess the effectiveness of the institute’s IT architecture, operating model and ways of working, plus the suitability of the existing CRM system. “Sean and his team provided a clear plan of how they would approach the work,” Joanna explains. “They engaged pro-actively with our stakeholders, from the membership perspective through to staff, leadership, and our board of trustees. That ‘deep dive’ mindset generated valuable recommendations on where we could transform our digital approach to support our Corporate Development Plan and optimise our ways of working.”
Following the initial technology review, Mason Advisory supported Joanna and CIOB’s leadership to take key transformation decisions, before designing a forward Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) strategy and future operating model (FOM) to deliver on those. The key priorities were eliminating siloes by integrating three existing departments into a single DDaT function, solving CRM legacy issues by migrating to a new platform, and developing a formal information and cyber security framework and process. We then worked with Joanna, her departmental leaders, and multiple CIOB stakeholders including the trustees and leadership team, to develop a detailed roadmap supporting the strategy. We also provided practical support, technical expertise, and commercial assurance during the new CRM procurement and, more recently, migration.
“The whole process gave us confidence, and independent validation,” says Joanna. “With a relatively modest capacity (around 170 employees), we needed a clear direction to target our energies into the right areas. Sean and his team really immersed themselves in our organisation. They engaged with our people to understand our strengths and challenges, ensuring that Mason Advisory’s recommendations and roadmap were realistic. At every stage, they worked with us as a team, rather than simply telling us what to do and then leaving us to deliver. At an executive level, they provided a valuable external lens to support myself, senior leadership, and the board in making transformational decisions. Their strategy and future operating model articulated the impact of those decisions, and the roadmap clearly described the steps we needed to take to get there. During the CRM tender process, they used their commercial and technical expertise to help us move through procurement and migration with confidence. They provided active support as we began the transformation towards our new integrated DDaT model. They also engaged with the consultants who helped us to develop our Corporate Development Plan, to ensure that our technology strategy aligns to our overarching ambitions for the next five years.”
As of July 2023, CIOB is already starting to deliver on a DDaT strategy and roadmap that will underpin their capacity to deliver the Corporate Development Plan, grow global membership, and provide an excellent membership and customer service. “We are progressing through an ambitious technology transformation journey”” Joanna says. “Mason Advisory helped us to prioritise what we need to do to achieve our ambitions. They have been knowledgeable, pragmatic, and supportive while also challenging us to get the best outcomes for our stakeholders. I have found their honest, independent approach refreshing. Ultimately, the work has given us strong foundations from which to move forward as a team.”
“Mason Advisory helped us to prioritise what we need to do to achieve our ambitions. They have been knowledgeable, pragmatic, and supportive while also challenging us to get the best outcomes for our stakeholders. I have found their honest, independent approach refreshing. Ultimately, the work has given us strong foundations from which to move forward as a team.”
Joanna Quirk, Chief Operating Officer, CIOB