Australia’s skills shortage is no hidden secret.

Across the country, we have seen companies suffer from dwindling numbers of skilled workers, which has hindered their ability to operate and service their customers efficiently and effectively.

It could be time to reshape how we view this skills shortage endemic as the issue seems imminent and unlikely to change in the immediate future. Embracing the opportunity to operate within a lean environment and encouraging focus on spending time and effort on the right activities, will become welcomed benefits passed onto customers and clients.

Instead of throwing more people and more money at your projects, is it time to acknowledge that sometimes, less truly is more?. Fewer people working intelligently and more efficiently in an integrated manner, would produce a more stable yet flexible, and sustainable resourcing approach. We could start to see better integration within businesses and project teams, with improved clarity in roles and responsibilities and ideally quicker results given removal of unnecessary effort.

So, let’s embrace the opportunity to be lean and reassess our strategies to deliver capital programs and enable our teams to spend time on producing meaningful outcomes for our stakeholders and clients.

Staying realistic and humble is a concept not far removed from successful companies and something employers and businesspeople should absolutely be focusing their attention on. Taking the emphasis away from a ‘five-year plan’, and instead, focusing on twelve months at a time, enables companies to feel better prepared, agile, and present, with a better chance of meeting their targets.  Over 90% of multiyear capital plans fail to be delivered, attributable to companies planning too far ahead and losing sight of what is happening in the present. Ultimately, as soon as you start aiming for too much in the future, nothing ends up happening in the present, a trap many companies have fallen into.

Helping businesses understand this concept will be the next challenge, while the skills shortage may support a shift to this new way of thinking, with the inability to plan skills requirements over a longer term.  The right advisory services can help companies connect back to their brand values and empower them to take on only the projects they feel can be effectively managed and fulfilled, yielding the greatest benefits with reduced risk and headaches along the way.

So maybe adopting an efficiency mindset lets us better embrace a shortage of skills, consider new and innovative ways of operating and begin to achieve immediate capital plan obligations. A more realistic plan with better chance of success. WT’s Portfolio and Program Advisory service is an excellent example of how we are embracing the opportunity to harnesses a simplified approach, enabling clients to ‘do the minimum to achieve the benefit’, making quick and informed decisions and avoiding the risks of overcommitting or losing sight of what is important.


Adam Robinson, WT Director – Portfolio and Program Advisory bio:

Adam leads WT’s Portfolio and Program Advisory service, which aims to improve organisational maturity, establish the right approach to effectively manage portfolios and programs, enable organisations to make informed decisions and to mitigate project and business risk.

Adam has an in depth understanding of what really matters to capital program stakeholders and is experienced in establishing the right levels of assurance and capability directly supporting organisational objectives.