In a piece of action research, Constructing Excellence’s collaborative working champions (CWCs – I have been a CWC for 10+ years) recently collaborated on some future-gazing, developing two differing views of the state of collaborative working in ten years time.
Building a discussion
At a 10 September meeting, we used the UK government/ industry strategy Construction 2025 (downloadable here) to provide some context. Broadly, this sets three strategic aims:
- Smart construction and digital design.
- Low carbon and sustainable construction.
- Improved trade performance
… and suggests six drivers of change:
- Improved image of the industry [again].
- Increased capability in the workforce.
- A clear view of future work opportunities.
- Improvement in client capability and procurement.
- A strong and resilient supply chain.
- Effective research and innovation.
The CWCs extended their discussion via a series of questions shared on Twitter, with the resulting ‘tweetchat’ captured in Storify. With Martin Brown, I then sketched out two contrasting scenarios which we posted on Google Docs for comment. We got some feedback, and tabled updated versions at Constructing Excellence’s members’ forum on 14 October.
Currently, use/misuse of terms such as ‘collaboration’ and ‘sustainability’ feature strongly; the optimistists considered ‘whole life costing’ and social cohesion, but pessimists feared continuation of short-termist, lowest price, adversarial approaches, partly because clients rarely measure value other than financially. From a technology point of view, BIM gets a grudging mention in the pessimistic forecast, while the optimistic view sees data (not files) as core to how we work….
We are now opening up the conversation even wider. You can either:
- post comments on the Google Doc, or
- download the PDF (The “Collaboration 2025” scenarios) and then share your views in this discussion started on LinkedIn.
Depending on the scenario, please be as appropriately pessimistic or optimistic as you can. The CWCs will be meeting again in early December, so we will review the responses then.