Collaboration: Key to breaking down silos and ensuring success

As an industry, we struggle to consistently deliver truly successful projects and, sometimes, failure stems from poor planning and the inability of all the teams invested in the development to work well together.

At Osborne, we pride ourselves in working collaboratively with our customers, and design teams to ensure a successful project delivery and leave behind a positive lasting legacy.  We put this in practice at a recent Collaboration Workshop with our customer, Westminster City Council (WCC) and key partners.

Since becoming the preferred bidder on the Ashmill, Ashbridge and Cosway projects for WCC, we have instigated and independently facilitated a Collaborative Planning Workshop to ensure that everyone works together for the benefit of the project and its stakeholders.

Paul Choat, Head of Construction at WCC, said: “These [Ashmill, Ashbridge and Cosway] projects drive WCC’s ambition to deliver better housing, more effectively and will set the benchmark for the future within Westminster.”

We brought together key people from WCC, David Miller Architects, Robert Bird Group, Potter Raper Partnership, CBG Consultants, Amos & Amos, Playle and Partners, Peter Brett Associates, and Knight Frank to discuss and agree the best approach and engender a collaborative ethos from the start. This ‘one team’ approach began with ironing out pinch points, identifying governance procedures and exploring risks and opportunities.

Graham Soars, Senior Construction Manager at WCC, said: “By recognising the complexity, importance and challenges of this scheme, at an early stage with Osborne, we have been able to fully understand the many issues that we need to overcome in a timely and efficient manner. The Collaborative Planning Workshop was really productive as it highlighted the benefit of the whole team coming together to work through issues that are ‘part and parcel’ of complicated schemes and encourage us not to work in isolation from each other. We are using this approach with Osborne on another WCC scheme, Parsons North, to ensure that we work collaboratively towards our shared ambitions of a successful project delivery.”

Colin Eke, Preconstruction Director at Osborne, said: “We wanted to break down the silos between the teams involved. By bringing people together early in the project process to talk honestly about their concerns and issues has helped develop a mutual understandings of everyone’s needs and requirements to ensure accurate, timely and high quality project delivery. At the end we left the room feeling energised and passionate and looking forward to being a part of this significant scheme with WCC.”