How to Collaborate

How to collaborate-a client advice note

Written By Elizabeth Kavanagh Head for HR and Founder of Behaviours4Collaboration


Consider why

We at Stride Treglown are committed to collaboration so we are delighted to include you in this our first collaboration advice note. Enclosed are just a few tips that might help you to decide whether collaboration is appropriate and whether you have the setup and process in place to achieve your collaborative aims.

Are you sure it is collaboration you want?

We all use the word collaboration but which of these definitions best reflects your aims?


· avoid gaps and overlap in team members work


· obtain mutual benefit by sharing work


· achieved results which could not be accomplished alone

Collaboration has become talked about as way of establishing innovation and achieving results which are quantitatively different to those achieved elsewhere.

If you still think collaboration is for you please read on…

Is this relationship suitable for collaboration?

Establishing collaboration relies on a longer term relationship which works on a framework or partnership basis rather than on a per project or cost focussed basis. This is because of the long term nature of the investment needed. If your project has a cost focus and short term timescales we would advise that a collaborative relationship is unsuitable.

How do I set up a collaboration?

Careful selection of your partner organisation and internal development or your team are both necessary to create the collaborative teams

Our clients are a key part of the team therefore the client body needs to ready itself for becoming an “intelligent client” which means role modelling the collaboration required by exhibiting these collaborative behaviours.

You may find this report useful in identifying and considering your own teams capability (flick to page 70 for more on the behaviours of an intelligent client.

In addition, it will be necessary to look at forms of contract which lend themselves to collaboration, at present we think that PPC2000 or the JCT suite are the closest forms until such times as the new forms of contract promised by the BIM Task group are delivered.

What else do I need?

A team with different backgrounds and characteristics will bring a variety of perspectives and creates the thought diversity required for collaboration. A team leader who is highly capable of reconciling different perspectives is necessary to ensure that all ideas are valued and the team moves forwards. It is also helpful to consider whether using the BS11000 collaboration standard could support your aims. Stride Treglown are happy to talk to you further about whether this is appropriate for you.

How do I choose a collaborative team?

For collaborative projects being undertaken within infrastructure at present those looking to collaborate are choosing their partners using behavioural assessment, they are weighting these assessments at between 25-75% of the scoring being allocated for demonstrating collaborative behaviours with as little as 10% for cost.

How do I maintain collaboration?

Carefully focus the relationship is required and this is something that the BS11000 framework encourages through the use of a behavioural charter which is essentially a set of things we agree to do which is revisited regularly. Surfacing and dealing with the inevitable conflicts is done early to ensure that the relationship flourishes rather than withers through neglect.

At Stride Treglown we set out on our collaborative journey with a wish to define what the collaborative behaviours are, our intention is to develop our own behaviours and to do this openly so that others can share this journey. To this end we have developed a Profession Map as part of a collaborative research group which you can use to develop your teams whether this is your internal capability or within your collaborative frameworks. This is free to use, although since it is at Beta Testing phased we ask that you get in touch for a copy so that we can find out how you found it. This can use used alongside the collaborative standard BS11000 and the Profession Map itself will become a British Standard by 2018.

For more information on the Profession Map or to discuss collaboration in more detail please get in touch with Elizabeth Kavanagh.

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