Working Together to Achieve a Single Goal
“Let’s talk about Clients, Contractors, Consultants and Collaboration. All of these make collaboration work, take one out and it’s not worth it. The key to collaboration is trust. All four of these groups have different objectives but a single goal.
If we work together and share resources, share skills and intelligence we can deliver the finished product. Trust is the magic ingredient. The inherent, historic problem is that the client is wary of being undermined, this loses trust. The consultant is in the middle, trying to earn the trust. The contractor has all the answers.
The question is- Does everyone have the same objective? Is it clearly defined from the outset?
We all want a quality product at the right price. Something that is known as the Ronseal moment- “it does what it says on the tin.” Clients need consultants and contractors help, but we need to learn that we should use all the skills to help reach the objectives.
When we look at Highways, we know that collaboration helps with the integration of work and delivering projects to time and budget. We all talk about Early Contractor Engagement – but do we actually do it? Do we engage early enough to understand the need and the risks? What we do all understand is that we have to make money, but how do we share in this success? Current procurement processes can be isolating but if we brought trust and collaboration right to the forefront, so we have a shared common goal, could we alleviate risks for all?
On our Network Rail IP Southern Framework, we co-locate and work as one team with common goals, incentivised through an annual pain/gain share. In an alternative approach on a Property Services framework, a rolling 5 year contract is extended annually based upon performance measures. Rather than be issued with a completed design, we want to input to the design and be able to say; “yes that is efficient and we can do it”.
We want to meet the customer’s needs in an affordable way, and avoid unnecessary redesign costs by ensuring we are meet all end-outputs as the design develops. We ensure all stakeholders are on board with the design as early as possible. It is important we bind together from the word go and find ways of accommodating competing priorities.”
Mike Todd is Lead Business Development Manager for Infrastructure at Osborne.