Collaboration in construction is key
Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Managing relationships between all the different consultants, engineers, suppliers and contractors can be overwhelming and all-consuming. Break downs in these relationships, or not forging strong enough bonds at the outset, can fundamentally impact on the success of a project resulting in a significant financial or reputational loss.
At RK Signature Living we know that no two design and build projects are the same, but we approach each project with the same methodology. Our long trading history has meant that over the years we have been able to develop a robust framework enabling us to champion collaborative working with our clients and partners. This is the methodology that we adopt.
Anyone who has worked on a construction project will know that integrating the diverse disciplines that are involved in any design and build project is always a challenge. We have found that overcoming this challenge is the key to our success.
The collaborative approach we take ensures that whatever the complexities of the project we have solid processes in place ensuring that all of our project professionals work together as a team rather than alongside each other in silos.
What processes do we have in place and how do these help?
From the project outset, we know that it's important to work with our client to establish a detailed plan. The devil is definitely in the detail. Capturing as much information upfront saves time in the long run and allows us to kickstart the procurement stage of the project with a clear pathway.
We include as much of this detail as possible in all of our procurement documentation, from contracts to tender forms. Planning a schedule of consultation meetings for robust pre-start-up and pre-contract discussions to delve into this detail is essential.
We often set up partnerships with other project professional bodies on our commissions. Partnerships, confirmed through contracts, allow us to really cement relationships. As partners we know we can depend on each other to deliver the best possible outcome whether that be financial or a design scheme that we can all be really proud of.
Organisation is everything
We use a large number of tools and techniques to organise our operational processes, but our single most effective tool is clear communication.
Setting up clear channels of communication and maintaining those channels throughout the project is vital. We've found that holding regular project team meetings at pre-defined intervals ensures we have the opportunity to review, recognise, and where appropriate, reward everyone's part in the process. This definitely helps to maintain the level of commitment from all parties during the project.
Setting clear KPIs, assessments and targets at the beginning of the project will give you the framework to be able to challenge and motivate the whole team. Everyone will benefit from being on and following the same page.
We're realists, not everything always goes to plan. Therefore, having systems in place to identify issues early on, flag breaches and reach resolutions collaboratively ensure projects run as smoothly as possible.
We adopt an open and honest culture at RK Signature Living and we insist that our contractors, partners and supply chain do the same. This integrity undeniably strengthens our relationships, with us all working together for a common goal with the same values and avoiding any conflict.
Roles and responsibilities
Defining clear roles and responsibilities at the start of a project is fundamental.
As a Main Contractor, we pride ourselves on our project planning and modelling. We take the project plan, break it down and build it up again identifying the individual roles required and implementing them. Every role has a clear purpose and set of accountabilities.
Our Project Managers set the standard and lead our projects whilst fostering collaboration between the full project team. They are the benchmark.
Technological advances have undoubtedly had a huge impact on collaborative working practices and here at RK Signature Living, we are early adopters of innovation.
We have been using Builder Trend project management system since 2013. This system allows us to update the complete team in real time and ensure that all communications filter down the chain almost instantaneously.
We also use a number of mobile applications for our site teams which help to eliminate delays and speed up decision-making processes.
Construction will always be a challenging industry, but we are continually seeing the benefits of working collaboratively. Our clients and team see it too. We wouldn’t want to and couldn’t work in any other way.
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success” – Henry Ford