This page is part of our decommissioning toolkit.

  • Clear boundaries of authority
  • Involve teams in joint working early
  • Fully integrate leadership and organisation structure
  • Build appropriate behaviours through all training e.g, safety training

Integration of organisation and management structure were important levers on several projects i.e. selecting the right people for jobs regardless of their parent organisations and position in the hierarchy and avoiding man marking (pairing of client and contractor roles where the client oversees the work of the contractor).

The creation of this kind of fully integrated team is strongly linked to other factors especially alignment of goals in mission and strategy – once the delivery imperative is shared it becomes easier to put aside hierarchy and status in forming a new organisation.

  • Terra Nova – Senior positions were shared with no man marking.
  • Illustrious – Ship’s crew integrated into project management team.
  • Britannia – Contractor personnel on the leadership team with senior client staff reporting from them.

The impact of this intervention is strong – it translates the commitment to common goals into a joined-up vehicle for their delivery and does away with the need for the type of dysfunctional position-protecting behaviour that can sap considerable project resource.

A natural sequel of this approach is the early involvement of teams in working together to set up the teams, processes, and develop the relationships they need to work together.

  • ETAP -Two oversize modules needed to be built and hooked up at sea – the early integration of project teams linking of design teams, integration of IT resources and early focus on downstream design issues was key to making a complex project a success.

It was significant that many of the projects suffered from a lack of the skills required to develop effective collaborative relationships. Which call for attitude and behaviour shift more than knowledge acquisition and so it is not surprising that efforts to build these skills were often made alongside culture development and teambuilding investment.

One project – Terra Nova linked investment in training to cost savings to make its strategic value clear. One strand of learning from our own research is the value of using all training – not just behavioural skills training – to build relationships and develop behaviours.

A particular implication for the MoD is the issue, raised by contractors working on MoD projects, that the frequency of staff changes was unhelpful in establishing a close working relationship.

Table of contents

Decommissioning toolkit: Table of contents