Value of Collaboration on Construction Projects


We are at a crossroads in industry improvement, and an era of relative austerity and serious pressures on client budgets remains ahead of us.
Collaborative working has never been more important to eliminate wasteful processes and deliver value in the built environment. It is seen as key in the Government Construction Strategy 2016–2020 and in its latest Industrial Strategy with the Construction Leadership Council. Infrastructure clients, in particular, have become more mature in their understanding of risk, and recognise that, in making “high risk, high value” investments, they are responding with collaborative approaches, e.g. alliancing and the BS 11000 (now ISO 44001) Standard.
Collaborative working requires improving trust while eliminating adversarial relationships, as well as ensuring the early involvement of supply chain partners. Procurement for value, digital tools such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and aligning commercial arrangements with procurement all contribute to success.
The Government Construction Strategy identifies three new models of construction procurement: two-stage open book; cost-led procurement; integrated project insurance. These all aim to facilitate collaboration. The Cabinet Office’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) recommends these approaches for the public sector, and guidance and case studies are available on the IPA and Constructing Excellence websites.
However, procurement for collaboration is not enough. Too many projects ignore collaboration after contracts are awarded, and are not managed in such a way to achieve the savings and other benefits on offer. Collaboration must take place through the supply chain to the links where most cost is incurred – the potential for innovation here is high, yet the friction with immediate customers is also at its most intense.
Above all, clients of our industry seek value in the use of a facility. The construction project is a means to the end, a necessary intervention to achieve the quality facility they need for their core purpose. The education, healthcare or transport customer wants better education, health or travel outcomes for their users, yet too often we focus on the initial capital cost rather than this whole-life value.
This webinar will focus on the real value of collaboration, and its numerous advantages to the construction industry, not least savings and reduction of risks and re-working.

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