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This case study explains how Network Rail assessed tenderers (companies and individuals) in the Wessex Capacity Programme to select for appropriate collaborative behaviour when forming an alliance.
By focusing on collaborative behaviours, Network rail was able to benefit from better preparation, attendance and adding the best people.
This case study is one of a number of real life demonstrations of the Alliancing Code of Best Practice for Infrastructure Alliancing.
Without doubt, the most important step for the client in the journey to a successful alliance outcome is to choose the right participants in the first instance. There were different opinions inside the Network Rail team regarding the merits of preformed Alliances, however, given the very short timeframe that was available for the tender process (6 months), it was agreed to request suppliers to preform and tender.
From the outset there was a strong emphasis put on creating and sustaining the behaviours recognised as the core of successful alliances. The selection process was designed to develop client awareness of appropriate collaborative behaviour and to assess the behaviour of the tenderers at both company and individual level.
Below is an overview of:
The alliance consultant, PTP Associates, made a strong case to the Network Rail team about understanding WHY? It was important that everyone on the client team understood why we were using the alliance model, our purpose. Why behaviour was important in the relational form of contract. Why behaviour is a major influence on the level of collective and individual trust in the alliance. Why trust is the cornerstone of the alliance model.
All of the Network Rail team were clear on the reasons we were using the alliance model for an important programme of projects. Engineering construction projects have traditionally been delivered through contracts that were often adversarial with outcomes that were often disappointing. The Wessex Capacity Programme, being undertaken in one of the busiest stations in Europe, could not afford to waste energy on adversarial relationships. It required people joined in common business outputs, with a solutions focused culture built on collaborative behaviours.
It was therefore essential that the selection process selected companies and individuals who could operate effectively in the alliance environment. This meant that the selection process needed to include tools that allowed behaviour to be assessed at an individual and company level. The overall aim of the process was for the client’s people to observe and experience what it would be like to work with the people they will finally select to alliance with.
Note: The highest scoring under ‘collaboration’ sub-criteria won the contract not the cheapest tender.
The Alliancing Code of Practice outlines the information needed at different stages within an alliance. It 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:
Find out more about the Alliancing Code of Practice
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