Insights

Thursday, 14th March 2019

Innovative Collaboration to achieve Best Project Outcomes

Between 2011 and 2017, Temple Group was part of an unincorporated joint venture (ETM) with partners ERM and Mott MacDonald. ETM undertook the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for approximately 125 km of the HS2 Phase One route (over half of the overall route). This involved assessment across the full range of environmental topics, consultation with stakeholders and development of mitigation, all as part of the overall Parliamentary submission. ETM also provided all necessary support through the hybrid Bill process in Parliament.

Meeting the challenging programme was paramount for this nationally critical project. Together with the complex nature of the work and the considerable length of each route section, this demanded unparalleled levels of expertise and experienced EIA resources. Built-in resource resilience was also required to deal with the inevitable peaks in workload and unforeseen demands that arose in connection a project of this scale, importance and duration.

ETM’s innovative consultant teaming arrangements were an essential part of achieving the project’s demanding timescales and other constraints, combining our collective skills and experience to deliver on the client’s requirements.

This paper, presented to the 2018 Transport Practitioners Meeting in Oxford, sets out the approach ETM and the lessons others can draw from this. The important principles for good collaboration drawn from this experience include:

  • Setting the ground rules and establishing essential governance procedures upfront.
  • Leadership from individual organisations who can make decisions and deliver on commitments.
  • Setting aside enough time to properly establish the necessary arrangements for a sustainable working relationship, as well as learning how to make it work.
  • Transparency and flexibility in teaming arrangements, determined only by the needs of the project.
  • Ensuring levels of responsibility across the team equate to the experience of the individuals for efficient resource use and a focus on development of staff at more junior levels.
  • Commitment to a reasonable sharing of work consistent with fielding the best team available at any given time.
  • Maintaining an integrated, tightly-run collaborative team, identifying itself as ETM, rather than from individual firms to reinforce the brand.