Industry Interviews: Project Delivery and Bid Management

“Construction is 90% about people; build a culture that will support one another like a successful football team….”

Name: Howard Humffray

Length of Time in Industry:  40+ years


  • Project delivery experience in all aspects of multidisciplinary projects including roads, bridges, tunnels, rail, water and waste – water, power stations and pipelines.
  • Delivery of projects and management of bids throughout Australia, Asia and the Middle East in areas with  complex operational environments as well as to remote greenfield locations.
  • Project Director Melbourne CityLink ($1.3 billion 1996) and General Manager Construction on Melbourne’s EastLink Project ($2.5 billion 2005) which was the winner of the 2009 Construction Achievement Award.
  • Line management operations expertise with Tier 1 contractors.
  • Design & Construct Bid Director.  Projects include Peninsula Link in Melbourne ($2 billion) , two bids (net US$5 billion) for Doha Metro in Qatar, a Target Outturn Cost submission in Hong Kong to expand the Hong Kong Metro for MTR ($900 million AUD), the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnels and Stations bid ($6 billion), the successful WestConnex package 3A in Sydney ($3.3 billion) and the successful Mordialloc Freeway tender ($450 million) in Melbourne.

What I have Learnt:

  • Construction is 90% about people; build a culture that will support one another like a successful football team – culture is much more than “the way we do things around here” and in fact includes in excess of 30 separate factors.
  • If team members are struggling, encourage them to ask for help. Foster an environment where “I don’t know”, “I need help” and “I’ve made a mistake” is never seen as a  weakness. Typically, if  the problem is identified early enough, it can be addressed and mitigated.  Problems should not be driven underground due to “management by fear”.
  • Listen to the client early and try to clearly understand their drivers, needs and contract requirements.  It will avoid assumptions; going down the wrong rabbit hole, & help to build a healthy, long-term relationship because you will be building what they intended.

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