Framework for the integration of the project delivery team
The challenge to the construction industry in the United Kingdom (UK) to improve its performance in the delivery of projects to levels more acceptable to clients continues to receive attention from both industry and academia. This is because recommendations of past industry reports and research have not been able to address the fragmented approach to project delivery, often cited as the primary cause of the industry's poor performance, and the resulting unreliable delivery times and cost overruns. Effective integration of the delivery team could improve team cultures and attitudes, and encourage the collaborative working necessary for improved project delivery performance. This research aims to develop a framework for improving the integration of the project delivery team necessary for a more effective teamwork environment. The thesis begins with a review of the literature on project delivery and the concepts of team, teamwork and integration for performance improvement in multi-disciplinary environments. It explores, through interviews, how leading construction project managers have engendered and managed the integration of teams in large projects. A framework of working practices for improving the integration is developed from three live case studies. The framework is validated through industry-based workshops. Exploratory interviews, conducted in the first phase of the research process provided empirical evidence of how integration could act as a means of improving teamwork. The results highlighted that parties that make up the delivery team operated within organisationally defined boundaries but acknowledged that working together would yield better results. The extent of their integration was influenced by team practices and the procurement approach. The Design and Build system provided the most conducive environment for team integration. Case studies, conducted in the second phase of the research, concluded that integration was more effective within individual organisations and was influenced within the project delivery team by its structure and processes, work environment and culture. These issues had received attention individually, but this research established that they were interrelated. It proposes the comprehensive and structured approach to ensure effective integration. The framework developed within the research provides project leaders with a holistic and structured approach for achieving efficient teamwork through the appropriate integration of the project delivery team throughout the construction period. Such knowledge is necessary for achieving any meaningful improvements in how the project delivery team works together as a single unit.