Construction industry calls for no-blame culture

ACE suggests horizontal approach to project management will reduce risks

A lack of partnerships between construction parties in the region is causing risks to be cascaded down the management line, according to the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) CEO Nelson Ogunshakin.

He said industry professionals in the Middle East construction sector often took a “vertical approach” to the construction and delivery of projects.

“An integrated team is the key word when it comes to managing risk and removing the blame culture,” he asserted. “Forming partnerships means working together with trust, cooperation and sharing risk across the team, which prevents disputes.”

Ogunshakin suggested that successful partnerships relied on good client relations, the early engagement of the supply chain, a collaborative procurement framework, selections based on value above cost, commitment to measure and benchmark performance, and trust and respect among parties.

However, he said often collaborations fail due to a “blame culture” in the management of projects, a lack of leadership, an adversarial approach and ‘risk dumping’.

“When successful, total construction partnerships result in less waste and duplication, more innovation, better design integration, staff satisfaction and time and cost predictability,” added Ogunshakin, speaking during a conference at The Big 5.

He cited the successful delivery of London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Five as a good example of such partnerships.

“British Airports Authority (BAA) took on the financial and operational risks of construction, and the agreement between BAA and key suppliers was collaborative, resulting in the project being to budget and on time.”


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