This page is part of our decommissioning toolkit.

  • Link between corporate and project governance
  • Leaders strength of belief in collaborative working
  • Leaders role model climate of challenge, bo-blame and trust

Every case study ranked leadership as the most important factor in developing collaborative relationships. The research has showed that leaders can act, or fail to act, in areas that make an enormous difference to the success of the relationship and hence project performance.

That a leader must have a firm belief in collaboration, as a way of doing better business and of making increased profit for their organisations in the long term, was expressed by all interviewed. Some leaders were ahead of their time in that their personal passion for this type of relationship, no matter the project, exceeded that of others in their organisation.

Others were more driven by a recognition that it was the only way to make the project they were leading profitable or feasible even (Clair and Terra Nova are good examples).

All respondents pointed to the need for leaders to role model behaviour if other staff on the project were to take working in new more collaborative ways seriously.

For example, if leaders talk about a no-blame, high challenge culture, they must behave accordingly, because people need encouragement to change behaviours in the face of well-established, adversarial ways of working. What was also important was the level of support from corporate levels above the project which was strongly linked to achieving full alignment on project and corporate goals.

It was sometimes seen as easier to get the level of support required from smaller organisations in the Alliance than larger organisations.

  • Britannia – Strong leadership emphasis on results and behaviours combined
  • Terra Nova – Leaders set climate e.g. by removing checks and balances – even though the project was fixed price.
  • Clair – Leaders championed new behaviours at performance reviews.
  • Coryton – Leaders championed issue sharing workshops.
  • Andrew – Removed leaders who persistently exhibited out of step behaviour.

The “Gold Standard” enabler of maintaining a strong link between corporate and project governance was reinforced and our research suggests that, if anything the critical role of leadership needs to be further reinforced in the “Gold Standard”.

Table of contents

Decommissioning toolkit: Table of contents