Rail Analysis India June Digital Magazine 2018 - Page 70

72 | Article Article | 71 Why do we need to collaborate? Partnership ( example Client - supplier A few of the reasons why high levels of collaboration are required in complex or large infrastructure projects are as follows: Alliance or better ) transactional relationship. • Select supplier on culture • Sign the contract and technical fit not cost • Leave the contractor to • • Develop charter • Aligned objectives and • Monitor milestones goals • Make payments • Mr. Clement Kwegyir • Afful BSc MSc MAPM CEng FICE Greater flexibility to accommodate changes in the project Greater energy to seek out threats and address them Greater energy to identify opportunities for the project • Colocation of team • Team approach to risk do their work management • Why is collaboration difficult? team • Two of the things, with one influencing the other, which makes collaboration difficult are: Collaboration- Overused or underused on large infrastructure projects Image Credits: KAPM Introduction Collaboration is a hot topic on every project these days. We were once asked by a supplier during the tender phase whether we wanted to enter into a ‘collaborative relationship’ or a ‘truly collaborative relationship’. The ‘truly collaborative relationship’ when we enquired was a higher price! Misconceptions about collaboration Article Source : KAPM not tackling underperformance nor being aggressive by both parties. Saying yes to everything, putting the contract documents in the drawer, being aggressive and not tackling underperformance is a recipe for a project going into crisis. What is Collaboration? I have held workshops for project teams where I have mentioned that we need to increase the levels of collaboration in our relationship to be high-performing. I normally will hear a few statements which raise alarm bells. Business dictionary define ‘collaboration’ as ‘a cooperative arrangement in which two or more parties (which may or may not have any previous relationship) work jointly towards a common goal’. Some will say, ‘We need to work in a way that the contract is put in the drawer and never looked at’. I, for one, don’t believe a project manager should run a project without understanding what is in the contract. If one takes into consideration this definition, then all infrastructure construction clients are in some form of a collaborative relationship with their suppliers. So probably what we should be discussing is the level of collaboration in the client-supplier relationship not whether you need to collaborate or not. Halfway through the workshop, the contractor may say, ‘If I put my contract hat on’. Yes — we never asked you to take it off. That would be unfair because we want you to deliver the scope. What collaboration is not! Collaboration is not saying ‘yes’ to everything asked for by either the client or the supplier. Collaboration is also neither www.railanalysis.com Effective collaboration Collaboration is about choosing a partner whose culture, processes, procedures and strengths complements yours so that together you become high-performing. You don’t want to choose a clone of yourself which is what you are naturally inclined to do. We are all comfortable with people just like us. • Large sums of money which influences behaviour • Dealing with humans is ‘difficult’ Challenges posed by a collaborative relationship High levels of collaboration apart from it being difficult also brings its own challenges. Some of these are: Joint Project Leadership Drive towards one team mentality • Consider adoption of lean Construction Further Information An excerpt of ‘Delivering Successful Megaprojects –key factors and toolkit for the project manager’ A few of the tools discussed in the book include the following: • Trying to overcome the different organisational cultures. • How to choose the right partner/supplier • Loss of clarity on roles and responsibilities. • The pillars for a successful client- supplier relationship • The factors to consider in choosing the right levels of collaboration for your project This brings me back to my title. Is collaboration overused or underused? Yes and No! The collaboration levels required for a project, just like every other project management principle, should be tailored for the project. • How to develop a robust but flexible contract for effective client-supplier relationship • The dos and don’ts for a successful collaboration True collaboration as our supplier indicated can be expensive. High levels of collaboration brings its own challenges and therefore the benefits should outweigh the disbenefits. • How to make your collaboration successful • The qualities you need as a project leader on a project requiring high levels of collaboration Is it a one size fits all? There are several factors that you need to consider before deciding on the level of collaboration to use for the project. However, the more complex a project is, the higher the levels of collaboration required to ensure its success. Increasing level of Complexity Highly complex project Non - Complex projects Increasing levels of collaboration (note that this is different from the skills required to lead your own organisation) And many more! Knowing the theory is good, however theory applied and knowing how to navigate around the issues they bring isGREAT! The book is about the practicality of applying all those project management, motivational and leadership theories to ensure that your complex or large infrastructure project is a success. www.railanalysis