‘UPA will help us win the right projects’

Isabelle Dumon

My name is Isabelle Dumon, I work as a design and tender manager for BAM Contractors in Belgium. My work involves tendering for large design and build projects as well as for residential projects of our own developing company Kaïros.

The importance of planning and knowing the process

After my education as an architectural engineer I worked for two years on turnkey projects for a Belgian contractor before my husband and I moved to Africa, where we have lived and worked for 15 years. In Africa I have learned the importance of planning and of knowing the details of your project inside out. You’ll often work in very different circumstances, which could mean for instance that there is simply no way to quickly compensate for shortages in materials.

For the first seven years in Africa I worked in Tanzania, with a building company from Norway. Projects I worked on included a brewery, the American embassy and the presidential palace. This company’s project approach was very thorough: processes were laid down in a manual and the first assignment for any newly recruited employee was to spend a few days studying this manual.

Contribution to UPA through a live project

Back in Belgium I wanted to work for a building company where I could learn more about digital construction. BAM Contractors gave me that opportunity, and additionally I took a postgraduate course that brought me up to speed. In my new job I was able to contribute to the establishment of the design team.

As tender manager for the new building of Belgian broadcaster VRT I have also been able to play my part in the development of UPA, the uniform project approach. This tender was one of the pilot projects. We helped with the description of steps in the processes, and we have been able to field test the templates and documents and give our feedback.

A framework to do projects better

I firmly believe that UPA is the framework that will help us do our projects better. Processes are much clearer now at the tender stage and all following stages of the project. I’m also very pleased to see that the introduction of UPA will go hand in hand with thorough training for employees. With UPA, we will improve our ability to win the right projects and achieve healthy profits.