During an internal investigation, it was found that the biggest challenge of contract and project management is collaboration. Unfortunately, there is no collaboration handbook and there are no tools that can guarantee good collaboration. This is because collaboration depends on many different factors, including objective and controllable processes, as well as less controllable processes such as behaviour and emotions.
However, it is possible to improve collaboration. Mr. Dean Kasiwaghi’s theory, called “the best value method,” provides a good basis for good collaboration between different parties. According to him, work should be outsourced to experts. Experts are professionals who can be distinguished from non-experts because they can easily explain their method, demonstrate the difference between previous projects and the current project, and can look into the future. This expert is the reason why you outsource your work because this person or company can do the work better than you can. If you don’t believe this, you would better do the work yourself.
However, it often happened that clients interfere too much in outsourced work. This can prevent the expert from exercising their expertise because they must take the client’s wishes into account. Clients tend to make decisions together with the contractor. They want to have a say in the matter. This often leads to project delays and cost overruns. However, this is not just the client’s fault. Contractors often involve clients in their projects because they want to do a good job for the client. As a result, the client gets too much say, which is bad for the project because clients are not experts.
Ideally, the client should only have a facilitating role. This company should provide the right information to the client so that they can exercise their expertise properly.
The project process also has a significant influence on collaboration. This is something that you need to agree on in advance by formulating objective, SMART goals on how you will collaborate. Goals that need to be set include communication, escalation procedures, requests for additional work, timeline, and milestone planning. By continually evaluating and improving this process, an optimal collaborative team will eventually emerge.
Unfortunately, there is also a factor that cannot be influenced, namely the emotions and characteristics of the individuals involved in collaboration. This can be well-coordinated in an internal project team, but you never know what kind of behaviour and characteristics another team possesses. Clashing characteristics can be disastrous for a project because social conflicts can arise, and collaboration can become unbalanced. Therefore, it is important that everyone fulfills the agreements made, so allergies will be minimized. It is also essential to be guided by as much objective information as possible to minimize the influence of emotions and characteristics.
In conclusion, the best collaboration is minimal collaboration. You should let the expert do their work without interfering. A rule of thumb to follow is the 20/80 rule, where the client provides 20% input in the form of the supply of the right information to the contractor who carries out 80% of the work. The contractor should not unnecessarily ask for the client’s opinion. This only disrupts the project. Additionally, the collaboration process must be optimized by setting objective goals and continuously evaluating them. Finally, characteristics and emotions must be taken into account because they are less controllable. If you know with what kind of person you prefer to work with, people can be matched to minimize potential irritations.
Basically, let the expert do the job!
You can contact us if you want to know more. We are happy to explain our method.