Fast-Acting Collaborative Working Brings Sustainable Results for Costain/CH2M Joint Venture and East Sussex County Council | Case Studies

Fast-Acting Collaborative Working Brings Sustainable Results for Costain/CH2M Joint Venture and East Sussex County Council

Merging and uniting teams, particularly during challenging times, is critical if projects are to mobilise successfully. Often JCP is asked to find ways to ‘fast-track’ team cohesion in order to keep projects on track, with successful project management identified as the key objective. In fact, JCP brings long-established techniques and skills to bring about sustainable and transformative collaborative working across busy organisations and industries, and within tight timescales, effectively achieving both aims.

Times of Change in East Sussex County Council

Following a successful tender, a joint venture of Costain and CH2M was procured for a large highways maintenance framework for East Sussex County Council (ESCC). The Costain/CH2M JV had won the contract from existing incumbents and therefore the first task was to transfer, via Tupe regulations, existing staff from the incumbent organisation (and some from ESCC) into the new JV team.

Merging teams, bringing together professionals with different values, skills and hierarchy, naturally raises many questions and at times fear and anxiety for what the future holds. With 4 months to go until go-live of the first project mobilisation, Costain/CH2M JV looked to JCP for an enlightened - and speedy - solution.

Cooperation and Beyond for Long-Lasting and Grounded Business Results

Unless and until a united direction and shared objectives were agreed by all parties, not just the new leading organisation, any collaboration was unlikely to be sustainable. JCP called on techniques and skills from the renowned Cooperation and Beyond workshop, to quickly deliver a proven framework of tools and processes, helping the new leadership to draw out mutual and realistic win themes and shared values over a two-day workshop.

Cooperation and Beyond is a primary tool in JCP’s armoury. Originally researched and develop by JCP, it provides busy project managers and leaders the skills and support they need to deliver a greater level of performance, which is particularly important when building new and important relationships.

Click here for more on JCP’s Cooperation and Beyond.

Reaching the Parts : Creative Tools to Cascade Across The Organisation

Having established the direction and objectives of the new organisation, JCP supported the leadership firstly to begin to penetrate the shared values and goals further into the organisation but also to better understand the experiences and behavioural maturity and preferences of the entire organisation. With better understanding, the absorption and buy-in of the collaborative working practices would be more sustainable.

JCP incorporated Measured, a bespoke on-line tool adopted by many organisations to help deliver behavioural change. It was mapped to the JV’s own behavioural priorities to enable fast and consistent analysis through many layers of the organisation, identifying and measuring how far the organisation is doing against leading 8 behavioural criteria.

Together with FIRO B, a commercial tool which reveals how interpersonal needs can drive people’s behaviour and shape their ability to build trust, influence others, and create productive relationships, JCP trained associates were able to capture and understand group and personal feedback against behavioural preferences.

With this level of feedback and alignment, a realistic action plan was devised, with JCP helping to train up internal facilitators to share the plan and the results of the Measured analysis. After just a few months, the JV team was self-sufficient to deliver on their action plan, trained and capable to share Measured results and outcomes among their peers, and able to repeat and run surveys and workshops as necessary to reach the whole organisation.

Results for the Long-Term:

JCP has long worked with Costain who are at the fore-front of behavioural change. However some within ESCC were less sure of the tangible results it could bring. JCP associates were delighted to hear that, as a result of the speed and power of their work together, leaders within ESCC admitted to being ‘completely bowled over’ by the results.

Fast, realistic and precise objectives were identified meaning:

  • Understanding of the targets was quickly understood by everyone in the organisation
  • Preparation to meet the targets was faster
  • Performance against the targets was faster

JCP delivered within an 8-week period, ensuring fast mobilisation and, critically, better performance against targets. Initially the client had concerns about the cost to support the collaborative approach but confirmed, very quickly, that the return on investment was outstanding against the potential problems that were looming as a result of anxiety and conflicting values and goals at a very challenging time.


Why is collaboration so effective?

Positive attitude and behaviour is vital to the success of long-term projects. Defining acceptable behaviours for your project, selecting suppliers consistently and developing, motivating and measuring those behaviours during mobilisation and delivery can transform the way you, your partners and other stakeholders perceive your success.

"The integrated delivery model involves representatives from the key partners working together as one team to achieve common project goals. This has fostered a highly collaborative organisational culture which has been driven through behaviours, cross-functional interaction and shared core values. An essential component is this integrated way of working was extended to our supply chain partners. It is imperative for the success of the project that the supply chain partners selected share the same philosophy and align with the desired culture and values."

Highways England

Partnerships & Memberships

Major Projects Association
Crown Commercial Service Supplier
Institute of Civil Engineers