There is a growing realisation among procurement teams that large and complex projects depend on collaborative working. No single contractor is likely to have all of the skills, knowledge, experience or capacity to deliver the entire project. Collaboration between contractors and throughout supply chains is essential if you want the best outcomes in terms of value, quality and reduced lifecycle costs.
Recognising the value of collaboration, many key clients including Highways England and Network Rail are pioneering new approaches through frameworks and alliances. These offer contractors and supply chain partners a longer-term line of sight on future work in return for acting collaboratively in the best interests of the project and the client.
Collaborative working is seen as a vital enabling mechanism for the greater adoption of BIM and digital sharing of asset and project data. It also helps promote innovation through greater sharing of knowledge and ideas.
What Do Clients Expect?
I can’t think of any contractor that wouldn’t grab the opportunity of having greater security over future projects and revenue. The financial stability this brings makes it easier to plan strategic investments in recruitment, training and new technology. It also keeps shareholders happy.
In return for this security clients are looking for more than words, mission statements and promises. They want to see evidence of how you interact with other organisations and your supply chain. They want to see the collaborative behaviours in action, to know that the results are measurable and that you are striving continually to improve these even further.
Behavioural assessment is becoming a highly significant feature of the tendering process. It’s increasingly common and rigorous, and collaborative behaviour is one of the most important aspects that gets put under the microscope.
This isn’t an environment where you can fake it or ’wing it’ on the day. It might mean you have to take a cold hard look at how your organisation collaborates with partners and the freedom you give to people to share information and expertise. This in turn might mean that you have to fundamentally ‘shift’ the culture and how things get done within your organisation so that you can demonstrate that you truly behave collaboratively.
It certainly means you need to prepare. Having experience of typical questions and exercises, and a better understanding of how these are designed to expose positive and negative behaviours, will help your team respond appropriately. Impartial and informed feedback in a less pressurised or high-stakes environment is also valuable.
Preparing for behavioural assessments takes time and commitment, but if the prize on offer is greater confidence over future work it’s surely well worth putting in the effort.
I have many years of senior sales and account management positions.
This experience taught me how to interpret exactly what clients are seeking, and what they need and expect to see and hear from the successful bidder. We draw on this experience to give your team an additional competitive advantage by building on their existing strengths while improving their team-working and self-awareness.