Joint Construction Projects – Sharing Risks and Accountability

Joint Construction Projects – Sharing Risks and Accountability

29th December 2016

A couple of weeks ago we told our readers about how important collaboration is likely to be for construction company owners and workers in the future.  With so many improvements planned for our infrastructure, we’re likely to see some fairly large construction projects being undertaken in the coming years and this is the shape of things to come – large infrastructure projects that will require collaboration from a number of construction companies.  These joint ventures are likely to demand skilled professionals and this type of project really is too large for a single company to take on.   This means that we need to be ready to establish collaborative working relationships to share the risks.  As an important online resource for readers in both the construction and safety fields, we’ve decided to gather together some advice that will make collaboration a little easier for construction company owners and managers so, last week, we covered the issue of shared ownership and control.   Today, we’re going to take a look at best practice when it comes to establishing how to build accountability into the processes involved on a large construction project of this type.

When working on smaller, less complex projects, the primary contractor take responsibility for setting the expectations and deciding on the best way forward when it comes to approaching the project.  When it comes to some of the large projects we’re seeing nowadays, it is the norm for the design, construction and financing of a project to be shared among a number of parties.  This means that it’s vital to establish common processes and workflows for each team member so that the project is delivered within deadline and within budget.

If a project is to be successful, it’s essential to build accountability into the processes right from the start.  This will include establishing roles, responsibilities and milestones before the project begins and then enforcing these across the project team so that day to day work runs smoothly.   We advised you last week of the benefits of using a shared cloud platform to control these processes and provide a structured method of communication among all the stakeholders involved in the project.  These standard processes for information and document review and approval can be enforced with automated workflows which means that every action or decision is captured by an audit trail.  This audit trail allows the project oversight necessary for checking the status of any process or document generated by any of the parties engaged in the project. 

Establishing a single process for a team will enable the project to run smoothly which may even lead to the project’s timeline being reduced as delays will be minimised.  A reduction in the timeline of the project will save money for the contractors involved and enable the owner of the project to benefit financially, a win-win situation for everybody involved. 

Next week, we’re going to take a look at how to ensure compliance on these large, shared projects – an issue that is taking on more importance, especially when bidding on centrally procured projects now that the government has made BIM Level 2 compliance a prerequisite.