How Can We Bring More Control and Accountability to our Projects?

In this industry, our projects are always complex, with many activities to coordinate and multiple dependencies to manage. There are numerous participants and stakeholders that all have to be aligned with common project goals.

With this complexity comes risk. Risks of a fragmented approach and lack of accountability that customers find frustrating, and which impact on project outcomes. Having a single and fully accountable team in charge of the entire project is the first step towards overcoming these challenges.

Historically, the industry hasn’t placed the same importance on competence in project management as it does on technical competence in various construction disciplines. This may be why projects overrun and failure to deliver key outcomes has become almost an expectation.

Osborne strives to be a progressive organisation. We recognise that effective project management is the route to becoming the best we can be in terms of quality, outcomes and customer experience.

We always ensure there is a single team in charge of the whole project. This team must retain accountability for delivering the agreed outcomes. Problems will crop up and unexpected events will occur, they always do. The team has the primary objective of ensuring that these events don’t throw the project off track or affect the quality or function of the asset being built.

A single team in charge of the project ensures that there is better coordination, leading to more effective and efficient ways of working. The team also assumes stewardship of the agreed goals and outcomes, making sure these don’t get lost among individual organisational or sub-project objectives.

Customers and other stakeholders, while being concerned with the overall outcome of the project, also have other priorities. The details of day-to-day issues and progress may be more than they need to know or have the capacity to deal with.

A key task for project management teams is to agree with all stakeholders what needs to be communicated and how this should happen. Not every event can be predicted at the start of the project, so the communication plan shouldn’t aim to be prescriptive. It’s also about ways of working and a commitment to openness – particularly with anything that increases risks of budget or timing overruns.

Our approach to project communication is driven by our core values of integrity (being honest, professional and straightforward), and openness (giving and taking constructive feedback and being open to different points of view). The single project team is central to our excellence model. Through this, we seek to ensure that projects proceed smoothly, deliver what’s expected, and provide a great customer experience.