CHAIR’S CORNER – Collaborative Working
by Denise Clements
Some of our members have requested meetings/topics that focus on communications, teamwork, and problem‑solving tools. I’d like to discuss some activities from the ISO 44001 Collaborative Working standard that may help with communication and teamwork. This standard is all about communication to build strong team working relationships for successful project execution.
Some keys to a collaborative working approach are:
· Develop a plan for collaborative working (communication plan) in your proposal phase
· Identify a Collaboration Manager (point of contact) and Senior Executive sponsor for each company
· Define measurable objectives for collaborative working and provide status to a Joint Management Team (JMT) meeting ‑ with performance indicator targets set to enhance value creation and challenge the status quo, pushing for greater value; this includes a focus on performance, cost, and time drivers
· Schedule monthly JMT meetings (or more often, as needed) to review objective status and discuss any issues that could jeopardize the collaborative relationship
· Hold each project team member responsible for notifying others as soon as they are aware of any matter adversely affecting or threatening the project or quality
· Identify and document mitigation actions for risks to collaboration
· Document meeting minutes with actions, due dates, and responsible parties assigned
· Issues arising are not considered negative but instead as drivers for innovation and opportunities to demonstrate the strength of the collaborative relationship
· Promote an integrated delivery type of relationship with clients that focuses on ‘One Team’ rather than a ‘master‑servant’ approach
· Incorporate lessons learned to achieve continual development and improvement of the relationship and excellence in integrated delivery. Such programs are most effective when they consist of a joint initiative involving all parties bringing together experiences from the life of the project and learning from similar projects within the partner organizations
For more information on ISO 44001 Collaborative Working, this is a good overview video on the standard. Think about some or all of these approaches the next time you start a new project.