Collaborate to avoid disputes, says BuildOnline

According to a 5 July news item on BuildingTalk, "18 per cent of projects result in serious disputes, which can delay projects and destroy client/contractor relations."

This is apparently the conclusion of research from BuildOnline.

"Poor document management is to blame for creating major lags, with employees wasting over two hours per week searching for documents. 63 per cent of workers also have problems when sharing project plans or drawings with contractors, as they do not work from the most up-to-date versions. This results in major breakdowns in communications and – in many cases – legal proceedings."

Inevitably perhaps, BO believe this justifies greater use of online collaboration tools. Bob Godfrey, managing director, northern Europe BuildOnline says:

"Based on this research, it’s hardly surprising that so many projects are delayed and miss deadlines, such as the Wembley stadium project…. Until organisations embrace collaboration and provide a company culture in support of this, we will continue to see disputes, delays and disappointments."

I looked for further information about the research on BO’s website today, but there’s currently no sign of it (the only other reference I could find was on the website of BuildOnline’s PR consultant: Lewis PR). As a former researcher, freelance-journalist and PR consultant, I want to know more about who did the research, when and where, the methodology, sample, etc (what if a journalist wanted to know more about the research, Lewis?).

Update 17 July 2006: The story was reported by QS News (sister publication of Construction News), here.

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