Success in 2020 means better construction collaboration

Success in 2020 means better construction collaboration

Better construction collaboration to bring success

Collaboration is essential to the success of construction projects; the project participants are realising that sharing of knowledge and information is one of the key elements of a successful contractual relationship. There appears to be no clear guide on the process of collaboration between main contractor and subcontractor; therefore making it difficult to effectively interact and achieve a common project goals within the bounds of cost, quality and time.

Project structures have evolved from straight-forward client-consultant-contractor relationships to more integrated structures with complex financing arrangements, early engagement of the supply chain and the introduction of sub-contractor and supplier design.

Organisational working practices that encourage collaboration in 2020, need to set out clear guidelines and expectations. To help here is a list of considerations you should include:

  • Evaluation of the behaviours and collaborative competence of individuals in teams during the procurement process
  • Clear lines of communication and authority
  • Protocols for the preparation and dissemination of information
  • Co-location of team members
  • Financial motivation (such as tying the consultant team and the contractor into a common target cost for which there is joint 'pain' or 'gain')
  • Rewarding initiative. Recognising the work individuals put into a project and rewarding them for this is important if they are to remain committed
  • Regular workshops and team meetings
  • Problem resolution procedures, which should be based on solutions, not blame
  • Procedures to ensure continuous improvement. This might require continual benchmarking, target setting, assessment, feeding back and adaptation
  • Early warning procedures
  • Adopting new technologies

Standardisation procedures should also apply to the production of other forms of project documentation. Creation of a document matrix outlining key documents that will be required in the development of the project, their format and distribution.

A common data environment (CDE), within which the creation of information such as drawings can be shared between the consulting team can improve efficiency, avoid duplication and enhance co-ordination.

New technology and ways of working are helping to break down barriers between the different players in the construction process. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), which advocates the collective harnessing of all project participants' talents and insights, is one approach that many in the industry think can make the process more collaborative in the years ahead.


Gleave QS