Construction projects in particular require multi-disciplinary teams to enable the delivery of the end product.
Each team member often works for a different company and has different responsibilities and different demands from their team member counterparts. The respective company each team member is representing will almost always have quoted fees for the project based on a scope, program and hours.
When projects become problematic; scope, timescales or budgets are changed, tensions can rise. This rising tension often leads to non-productive ‘blaming’ behaviour or personal tension and stress. This in turn leads to a loss in productivity, an increase in the cost of delivery, as well as a reduction in over all quality as the focus on solution based outcomes reduces.
Successful projects do not happen by chance…They are delivered through project governance that recognises the causes of delivery failure and actively seeks to avoid these causes, as well as through the provision of high quality decision making, flexibility and dynamism.
Other key aspects include;
- Ensuring tendering processes assess behaviour of the individual team members, not just past company performance or price.
- Early contractor involvement, to avoid the ‘them and us’ mentality between the design team and the delivery contractor.
- Inclusion of key suppliers and subcontractors in the same procurement practices.
- Facilitated workshops to ensure that all parties understand the goals and objectives; risks, scope, time, cost and quality
expectations, leaving no ambiguity of roles, responsibility or accountability. This is where developing trust between team
- Generate and live a ‘one team’ ethos and values for the
project, irrespective of individual companies.
- Identify challenging behaviours or areas where team members consistently fail to deliver their priority tasks. Work through the cause and effect and collectively agree and enact solutions.
- Ideally use forms of contract that support collaboration.
As collaboration is ultimately about working with others to
produce an end result, facilitating collaborative behaviour through contracts which enable team members to successfully work with one another is vital.
- Clear delivery metrics so that the team can learn to self
monitor and self regulate.
- Project based assessment tools developed and managed by
facilitators. This can often include a 360-degree evaluation of the project at key milestones with feedback sessions to identify behaviours and build on those that are positive and productive.
A UK Cabinet Office case study identified the following benefits:
- Agreement of up to 15% post tender cost savings
- Improved whole life value, including enhanced warranty provisions
- Improved quality control through joint risk assessments
and integrated team management of risk
- Improved commitment to training and apprenticeships
- Lean programming of individual tasks, leading to overall time savings
- Innovation through collaborative working, specifically recycling and waste reduction