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The Construction Industry Collaboration Initiative (CICI)


In partnership with

Launching April 2023


Collaboration in the workplace between organisations has been a long-standing challenge. The Construction sector is no exception with its use in the sector having been at best patchy despite Construction Excellence having long advocated its benefits. 

The need for collaboration to improve contract delivery and projects through the supply chain has never been more important given the post-Covid climate that is today characterised by recession, inflation, economic contraction, labour and skill shortages, as well as supply chain issues problems further exacerbated in the sector by a lack of investment in Digitisation. 

As the ‘The Construction Playbook’ points out there is a long way to go if the sector is to see ‘measurable improvement in project outcomes…the development of longterm, strategic collaborative relationships…[that] supports the aims of improving the performance, profitability, and sustainability of the sector.’

Unfortunately, many leaders in the sector freely talk of and use the word ‘collaboration’ yet it remains one of the least understood words in the lexicon of business.  Many people across the sector do not believe in it with the ‘forces against’ for its adoption far outweighing the ‘forces for it’

What is Collaboration?

For clarity, Construction Excellence defines Collaboration as:

‘Bringing together everyone involved in the delivery of a project so that they work in unison towards a common goal. When problems occur, people come together to find a solution rather than splitting up to look for their contract.’

Why this Initiative?

A failure to effectively collaborate in a project, a venture, or in a partnership creates ‘non-value adding activities’ (NVA) that not only do not contribute to the achievement of the purpose, mission, or goals but add costs e.g. disputes, error, mis-communications etc., that reduces margins.  

NVA across UK business sectors averages around 30% of gross revenues. In a sector that operates on low margins, working collaboratively offers a huge opportunity to reduce NVA and thus not just maintain but increase margin but also importantly deliver and enhance quality. 

If the sector is to aim for and achieve ‘measurable improvement in project outcomes’ the evidence points to the need for people to receive training in ‘Collaboration and Working Collaboratively’, a feature that was pointed out by Constructing Excellence in a paper published in 2009. This ‘Survival Guide: Working out of an industry downturn. Which way will your organisation go?’ was very clear in saying that: 

‘Collaborative Working enables you and your partners to create more value by being more efficient and effective without the need to reduce profit margins, increase payment periods or look for claims. It does this because collaborative behaviours are all about working together earlier and smarter for mutual benefit. By eliminating waste and inefficiency in methods, processes and transactions between you, your clients and your suppliers, risks can be reduced (or eliminated) whilst predictability and suitability of outcomes are significantly increased.

Some 13 years on the words are both still fresh and pertinent but the talk must stop and change begin with this initiative.  

Constructing Excellence South West and LeadersMeets have come together to partner in the promotion, administration and delivery of CICI with the Constructing Excellence Gloucester Club being the CICI Founding Member. 

Results from a recent survey into ‘Collaboration and Working Collaboratively in Construction

74% chose to score the importance of collaboration as 10 on a scale of 1 low to 10 high with 100% scoring 7 and above.

94% of respondents said that ‘in their daily work that they collaborate with people from other organisations in delivering a contract or project.’ 

60% of respondents said that they had ‘never had any training in collaboration and working collaboratively’. 

Only some 25% had received more than 5 hours or more of ‘training in collaboration and Working Collaboratively in delivering contracts or project’ and so 75% of respondents had less than 4 hours or none. 

Link to Research

Aims of the Initiative

The aim of this initiative is to meet the following goals:

  • Improve understanding of what effective Collaboration is and why Collaboration is important for the Construction Sector;
  • Change negative beliefs and attitudes about Collaboration;
  • Create a culture across the Construction sector and between parties where Collaboration and Collaborative thinking and behaviour can flourish;
  • Motivate leaders to establish and lead Collaborative contracts, projects, and joint ventures;
  • Engage all stakeholders in thinking and behaving Collaboratively at every opportunity;
  • Share knowledge, learning, and experience about Collaboration and how it can be fostered and best built;
  • Continually work to improve Collaboration skills across the Construction sector.

Goals of the Initiative

  • Deliver and facilitate a Certificate training programme based upon the Collaboration Research
  • Carry out and publish continuing research into Collaboration to ascertain if behaviours are changing that currently prevent Collaboration effectively working in the sector;
  • Act as a resource as well as a focus point for the promotion of Collaboration in the Construction sector;
  • Continue to develop potential further Collaboration training to support the certificate programme e.g. Leadership for Collaboration;
  • Provide members with online quarterly workshops for members;
  • Maintain and action a continuous awareness campaign to change beliefs and attitudes about Collaboration and promote its benefits across the Construction sector;
  • Employ existing and develop new tools and instruments to help members and organisations to improve all facets of Collaboration;
  • Provide opportunities via a platform to share learning, experience, and knowledge of Collaboration and Collaborative working;

The Investment

The proposed cost per person to attend the CICI Certificate programme comprised of 5 one-hour sessions is £400 per person either online or face-to-face (cost of a venue, travel etc for face-to-face delivery excluded) 

CESW members would receive discount on the basis of their membership e.g. for Gold 20% and Silver 10%. Other CE regional and national CE members as well as non-member organisation can join CICI for a fee of £400 that will give them membership that qualifies them to receive 20% discount of all people they send on the training programme; 4 Workshops a year with 2 free places; and receive all latest Research Reports.  

When Will the CICI Start?

The aim is to run the first training programme in late April 2023

To learn more please join our webinar at Noon on the 18th April.

Register for webinar