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Feature JCP CONSULTANCY A MATCH MADE IN


THE DOS AND DON’TS OF EFFECTIVE ALLIANCING


C


ollaborative working has helped the nuclear industry move from heavily bureaucratic cost-plus contracting arrangements to cost- effective commercial arrangements more in keeping with the competitive market and the changing shape of its client organisations. The rewards of successful collaboration can be great, and people and organisations in the industry are keen to grasp them, but there are a number of dos and don’ts that can help when trying to make collaboration work for you.


Be 100% clear on the business benefits of collaboration


People often believe that collaboration will solve all their problems. The reality is that while collaboration works, it is hard work, and needs to be underpinned by a strong focus on the bottom line of any business. There have to be clear business drivers to collaborate as well as a clear vision, developed with partners and stakeholders, of what success looks like. If you consider Sellafield’s Over Arching Acquisition Strategy, there is a very clear vision of what they consider collaboration can achieve for them: improved quality, efficiency and safety – and crucially these are all measurable aspirations.


30 NuclearCONNECT


National Grid, a long-time proponent of collaborative delivery models, established five ‘golden rules’ of alliancing to determine if collaboration was the right model for them:


• Client maturity – is the client leadership, project and support staff able to operate in an integrated manner with the appropriate behaviours?


• Supply chain maturity – is the supply chain developed sufficiently to operate alongside the client, understand and price the different risk profile, and have the balance sheet strength to take the good and the bad times?


• Sufficiency of duration – is the contract of sufficient length to recover start-up costs and lost productivity during mobilisation and establishment?


• Sufficiency of turnover – is there enough turnover through the contract to recover the overhead intensive nature of the alliance arrangement?


• …. and finally, can your business objectives be achieved by any other method? If so you need to ask yourself if you should embark on the risk of putting an alliance into play.


While collaboration works, it is hard work, and needs to be


underpinned by a strong focus on the bottom line of any business.


Have a strategy for implementing collaboration


Effective collaboration needs planning at a strategic level. All too often people throughout an organisation do not understand what the aims are for a particular collaborative initiative and how these aims are going to be achieved. Lack of a plan leads to a lack of engagement and hence collaboration becomes the preserve of leaders while other team members begin to view it as something that is done to them rather than something they are engaged in. Adoption of a framework such as BS11000 (the British Standard for collaborative working) can help with developing a collaborative strategy. Network Rail, for example, is going down the BS11000 route.


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