Acorn Coaching and Development

Improving business performance

Improving Project Performance through Collaboration

‘Collaboration is when individuals or groups work together, combining their strengths and negating weaknesses to accomplish a set of goals’

Collaboration in Project Performance

The concept of Collaboration is increasingly visible in the commercial world. In Frameworks and Joint Ventures, complex project teams and traditional contractor relationships, businesses increasingly wish to employ a collaborative approach to their project delivery as they witness the benefits of its genuine implementation in meeting key performance indicators. In addition, with the advent of BS11000 and other formal requirements for collaboration, there is increasingly a need to demonstrate proven capability in this area.

Companies stand to benefit commercially where an ability to genuinely pull together on core values and key processes delivers a measurable increase in the team’s ability to meet performance and delivery targets. Their ability to demonstrate proven competence in the area brings commercial advantage in bids and tenders.

A move towards a more collaborative culture requires a change of culture. At Acorn we have over 20 years’ experience of working within complex and challenging projects in the construction and infrastructure, engineering, nuclear, pharmaceutical and other key industry sectors.


We support our clients to create and embed a genuinely collaborative culture that delivers a unified vision and aligned process for the lifetime of a project team or framework agreement. A fully integrated team is better placed to deliver consistently to agreed targets, resolve problems, and make efficiency and cost-saving innovations.

The process involves working from the ‘top down’ from Board level to Supervisors, to engage those parties who have the greatest influence with the intent and strategy, and requires the on-going support and challenge of senior managers during the delivery of the project.

The Collaboration Questionnaire

Acorn’s Collaboration Questionnaire is a diagnostic tool to assist companies in increasing the level of collaboration occurring.

From our 20 years of experience in the area of collaboration we have identified nine key collaborative behaviours that we know result in accelerated project performance. The Collaboration Questionnaire measures those factors within a project team at a given point in time. It is used alongside other data to inform the team’s developmental strategy.

The Questionnaire can be used during any stage in the project lifecycle, and can be repeated at key points throughout the lifetime of the project, providing quantifiable data on key requirements much talked about but usually left unmeasured. The data is used to generate actions and resolutions, driving the project towards higher performance.

Collaboration in Action

Joint Ventures: Multiple companies with diverse cultures and processes are required to quickly come together to deliver effectively on the same piece of work, be it at bid-winning stage or project delivery. True collaboration avoids the tendency to adopt the dominant culture’s processes, which were not designed to meet the needs of the collective group.

Traditional ‘Contractor’ Relationships:Many main contractors now want to create framework agreements with suppliers, and work in a manner that is collaborative rather than adversarial, to iron out inefficiencies and solve problems to meet performance targets and deliver cost savings.

In-company Project Teams: These teams can benefit where collaboration between functions will resolve inefficiencies and frustrations in the project delivery, increasing the likelihood of delivering KPIs.

BS11000: 2010 saw the introduction of BS11000, the British Standard that ‘provides a framework specification for creating and managing collaborative business relationships’. This standard requirement in many big projects requires the ability to demonstrate proven competence in collaboration, and can deliver real competitive advantage in bid-winning scenarios.

Leadership Coaching

Acorn's approach is to gain an understanding of the business situation, experience and capability of the people requiring leadership development and accelerate their ability to achieve results through engaging people. We demystify the role of leaders, making the subject pertinent and accessible to all.

Team Coaching

Acorn's Team Coaching Model© distils accepted theories and studies on high-performing business teams into a formula which is tailored to your business needs using coaching tools.
Team Coaching accelerates team effectiveness.

Project Coaching

Project directors are fully aware of the importance of initiating effective collaborative behaviour on any project but never more so when the performance of the project is dependant upon multiple stakeholders. Acorn has developed a Project Team Coaching process which can be flexibly applied to a range of projects from bid stage to initiation, through to close.

Graduate Development
A2b module thumb

Acorn's Graduate / Apprentice Development modules guide new talent through the process of transition from university life, integrating into the team and accelerating their performance and contribution to the business.