Better Together

As time marches on, it’s clear that quality and quantity go hand in hand.
The industry is asking us to raise the bar on looking at corporate social responsibility and training, to support diversity and the communities in which we live and work. We also need to help create work opportunities in the way of apprenticeships.

So we have Customers, Contractors, Consultants and Collaboration. All of these make collaboration work, take one out and it wont be achieved.  I have spoken before about 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?

If 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?

As an example, 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.

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 connect from the word go and find ways of accommodating competing priorities.

Being able to have open conversations, sharing knowledge and intel and working hard to make collaboration work is essential and helps towards better outputs for our customers.

Mike Todd is Lead Business Development Manager for Infrastructure at Osborne.