ORGANIZING COLLABORATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS – FORMAL
Paper in proceedings, 2011
There is a call for new project management approaches that are able to deal with increased flexibility and put people aspects more in focus. In construction projects, formal models for relationship management are increasingly being used. Based on a case study of a Swedish hospital partnering project, this paper discusses how project managers approach this new challenge of integrating systems for relationship management with core project processes, and if the partnering systems are effective in supporting collaboration and knowledge integration in a multiparty partnering environment. The findings indicate that partnering processes influence project processes in a favourable way, but that project managers also rely strongly on their personal experience in managing collaborative processes. The practices they introduce are often successful, but also tend to be patchy and related to collaboration problems in traditional contracts. The formal partnering processes, on the other hand, seem to be important in providing a basic structure for collaboration and to communicate collaborative intents, but are too general and infrequent to address more specific and pressing problems of process design and organization. Bringing in professional behavioural knowledge may be needed to achieve a more consistent and adequate relationship management that makes use of both formal partnering processes and core project processes.