Both the Government Construction Strategy and the IUK Cost Review have identified that efficiency savings could be delivered through reforming procurement practices and effecting behavioural and culture change.
The wider adoption of collaborative approaches and integrated team working has been supported by the Government and industry. Alliancing is one form of collaborative working that has been adopted successfully in the UK and other countries. The Alliancing Best Practice in Infrastructure Delivery (2014) and now this Alliancing in Infrastructure Delivery Code of Practice are products of the government working collaboratively with industry and academia through the Infrastructure Client Group.
The first notable alliances were in the delivery of investment in the North Sea oil fields during the 1990’s. Internationally, alliances have been used successfully in a range of circumstances, most notably in Australia where there are numerous examples of alliances effectively delivering infrastructure investment.
More recently a number of infrastructure clients in the UK have delivered improved performance through alliance arrangements. There are a range of UK case studies that show where effective alliances have been established long term performance improvement has been achieved. There is now an industry wide track record that supports the business case for alliances.
This document provides accessible and valuable support to those embarking on an alliance journey and those already developing an alliance. It draws on experience from many organisations; clients, delivery teams, consultants and academics to highlight:
- which aspects of alliance set up are most important,
- when they are most applicable,
- the building blocks that need to be in place to ensure the effective development of alliances.
Developing an affective alliance
The Code of Practice is structured around the four key themes evident in successful alliances:
- Leadership, and
These key themes are set out against the lifecycle phases of:
- Delivering, and
- Sustaining an alliance.
The Code of Practice has been compiled by reviewing best practice examples from across the infrastructure sector. The outcomes that have been achieved in effective alliances are set out against the matrix shown in figure.
The grid below provides access to indepth information about each these themes and lifecycle phases.
Using the Code of Practice as an Assessment tool
The Code of Practice can be used as a knowledge source, to informally gauge progress or to undertake a more formal assessment. Where a formal assessment is being made, observing the following principles will help to get most value from the process:
- An assessment against the Code of Practice is best done through a series of interviews with individuals or teams who have a direct knowledge of the alliance
- When planning assessment sessions consider attendance, duration, environment and facilitation.
- The best results will be achieved when teams involved directly in the alliance are able to openly compare their progress with the outcomes described in the Code of Practice.
- An understanding of the aims and structure of the Code of Practice will be required before the assessment is undertaken, either in advance of any assessment session or as an introductory presentation.
- The actual assessment of progress against the outcomes described in the Code of Practice should be made by facilitators or assessors who are not directly involved in the alliance.
There is a excel-based self-assessment tool too, to identify areas that need improvement when conducting an Alliance, either before or during the Alliance.
The following list of the case studies, provide real examples of alliancing in practice:
Questions and answers
Additional supporting resources
The Code of Practice can be used in conjunction with a suite of IUK and ICG resources:
Steering Group and Contributors
Alliance Reference Group
- David Holmes, Carillion
- Dale Evans, Anglian Water @one Alliance
- Mike Pollard, Network Rail
- Geoff Gilbert, Transport for London
- Jon Allan, UK Power Networks
- David O’ Neil, Highways Agency
- Simon Murray, Acumen7 Network
- Cabinet Office
- HM Treasury
- Charles Jensen, Institution of Civil Engineers
- John Grimm, Anglian Water, @one Alliance
- Neilan Perumal, Skanska, @one Alliance
- Simon Vaughan, Consultant JCP Consultancy
Community of Practice
There is an active online community for discussing alliancing, sharing best practice and working through issues that arise within an alliance.
Request to join and join in the discussion