Collaborative contracting - and how this organization got it so very right!

Published: 24 Jul 2014 Average Rating: 2.5 / 5 Print
This article appeared in Contracting Excellence magazine on 24 Jul 2014 view edition

Author: Jim Bergman, Regional VP, Asia Pacific and Middle East, IACCM

Better collaboration with customers or suppliers is high on executive agendas - but how many manage to bridge the gap between concept and reality? Many contracts and legal professionals struggle with the practical implications of 'collaborative' contracting, negotiations and relationships.

One high profile organization experienced extraordinary results using a new relational contracting model.

Find out how the Australian Defence Department worked with IACCM to establish a relational contract - a key area of support that IACCM provides1. Details appear in a case study now on the IACCM website.  The study will be of wide interest to those who want to raise their profile as a source of collaborative working.

What they did – case study summarized…

A relational contracting team process seeded by IACCM has achieved spectacular success with the undocking of Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS ANZAC on July 3 following its major upgrade. What did it take to move this massive project across the finish line?

Outstanding commitment of Team ANZAC Alliance (BAE and Saab) was key to completing this 18-month journey with the G3 Group Maintenance Contract with NSM (under the Babcock and UGL joint venture) providing maintenance.  The team will grow in size as the project moves into the test and trials period.

The highly complex and demanding Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade saw this lead ship of the ANZAC class frigates fitted with world-class radar and combat system technology and the latest engineering changes. IACCM partnered with the team by providing original blueprint and concepts, three workshops and remote interim coaching.

“The outcome achieved by the ANZAC Alliance and NSM has been truly ground breaking and sets a new standard in project co-operation,” said Captain RAN Wendy Malcolm, Director ANZAC Systems Program Office. “My congratulations to the ANZAC Alliance (BAE and Saab), the extraordinary team at CEA Technologies, Frigate Group and all those who have supported us on this journey – with thanks to Commodore Michael Houghton and Commodore Mead for their ongoing support and leadership despite all the challenges we threw at them along the way!”

At the beginning of the journey, IACCM led the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and the contractor alliance through a two-day kick-off workshop, during which the customer and contractor agreed to implement and measure their Relational Contracting process, focusing on eight Relational Contracting enablers. The DMO/contractor relationship team established eight sub-teams to more clearly define and facilitate each enabler.

IACCM returned to lead the DMO/contractor relationship team through additional one-day workshops - to examine results, share successes and review the opportunities to improve. 

Bruce McLennan, Director, MSS Strategic Supplier Management Cell summarized the effort. “The seeds of the relational journey that IACCM helped to sow remain fertile and healthy, and there are many within Team ANZAC who continue to work hard to ensure that the lessons are not forgotten.”

Achieving good outcomes from contracts is increasingly on the executive agenda. The costs of poor contracting - both financial and reputational - are becoming far too evident.

Development of IACCM's model for relational contracting has been one of its key initiatives.  News of the exceptional success achieved by the DMO - one of the early adopters - is welcome endorsement of its effectiveness.

HMAS ANZAC arriving at Oxley Wharf, Fleet Base West, Garden Island, Western Australia, 3 July 2014

Team ANZAC (from left to right) Able Seaman Elyssia Shearman, Mr Chris Stoll (Commonwealth Representative), Commander Cass Ryan (ASMD Program Manager), Chief Petty Officer Nick Ryan (Ship Agent), and Petty Officer Shane Bannister (Assistant Commonwealth Representative)



1 Collaborative Contracting articles on the IACCM website:


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