Nine of the 24 award categories require submission of a written entry that will be judged; 14 categories will continue to involve online voting; and a final category is the Construction Computing magazine editor’s choice.
Shortlists will be announced on 10 September with online voting opening for eight weeks up to 6 November. The awards event will be held at the Hotel Russell in London on 19 November.
I been a somewhat sceptical observer of this event since its inception (in 2007 I had a particularly acrimonious exchange with one of the former event organisers), criticising, among other things, its lack of transparency (the figures from the online voting have never been shared, something I again urged in 2009). In common with many industry awards events, participants can therefore sometimes suspect that sponsoring the awards and/or taking a table at the event increases a business’s chances of winning an award.
Such suspicions can be allayed by greater clarity on the criteria for inclusion and shortlisting in a category, and by making the judging process as transparent and objective as possible. In the past year, for example, I have participated in panels judging the Bentley Year in Infrastructure Awards, the CIPR Excellence Awards, and the IBP Communication and PR awards – my involvement is public knowledge, and the provision of detailed guidance to entrants and to the judges reviewing their entries and interviewing shortlisted teams helps ensure clarity, rigour and independence.*
I mentioned ‘clarity’. Both judging awards and online voting is also easier if you are clear about the category and have some knowledge of the candidates’ strengths in that field. Since their inception in 2006, the vagueness of some of the Hammers categories has allowed some software products to be nominated in multiple categories (in 2012, Asite was shortlisted for 10 awards) – and sometimes to win seemingly inappropriate categories (also in 2012, the contract administration application Sypro was, I think, a somewhat bemused winner in the project planning category – see comments on this post).
(* I understand judges for this year’s Hammers include “Construction Computing” magazine editor David Chadwick and industry consultant Mervyn Richards – if you are interested in judging the 2015 awards, email event director Josh Boulton).