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BS11000 – has the bubble burst?

white-paper-bs1100BS11000 has been with us since its publication in October 2010. During this time we have seen some ups and down in its uptake but it has always been felt that this was mostly a reaction to the recession.

As champions of collaborative working we’ve always seen BS11000 as a great tool for an organisation that will help to drive a positive change within its culture and lead to a better way of doing things.

BS11000 outlines a framework to manage the whole lifecycle of a relationship from start to finish. It recognises that there are potentially four types of relationship for any particular business; firstly with the customer, secondly internally (important in JV situations or where two divisions are working together), thirdly with other stakeholders (e.g. regulators) and finally, of course, the supply chain.

Since the economic upturn collaborative working and BS1100 have been integral to many conversations we’ve had with prospective clients. Many conversation started with:

  • What is BS11000?
  • What does it mean for us?
  • Why make the effort to gain accreditation under the standard?

The answer for the most part is that, if implemented well, the benefits are manifest. Business cases can be transformed and value delivered throughout your organisation.

But recently these conversations seem to have died down.

Reflecting upon this we sat and wondered what could the reasons for this be?

We considered the fact that the market was saturated and people had heard enough, were well informed or didn’t want to talk about BS11000.

But this didn’t seem to make sense. As good as the uptake has been there is still plenty of work to be done to embed the collaborative culture within our industry and plenty more organisations who haven’t been through the process.

The evolution of the standard

We then considered the impending ISO11000.

The fact that BS11000 is progressing to an international standard is great news. It demonstrates that collaborative working is seen as a clear market requirement and that BS11000, in establishing that framework, was seen as a success.

But if it is a success why aren’t we talking about it more?

We questioned among ourselves if organisations were holding off awaiting formal publication of the ISO before engaging in the process.

We hope this isn’t the case, as the need to work collaboratively will not pause and wait for the ISO.

We shouldn’t forget that BS 11000 is still valid and will continue to be for a period of time following the publication of the ISO.

The transition period will be advised once the publication date is confirmed, but it is expected to be two years. So the impending arrival of the ISO isn’t that impending!

At Invennt we believe that collaborative relationships are central to successful businesses, successful projects and sustainable growth and profit.

We believe greatly in the benefits that adopting the BS11000 framework can bring to your organisation and strongly advise that you look to adopt it as soon as possible.

If you are interested in discussing how BS11000 can support your organisation and how Invennt can help you achieve this please get in touch at or 07816 514505



Brendan Morahan

Brendan Morahan is an experienced construction project and business leader.

He has led teams delivering annual turnover of £400m, and led business growth during economic downturns.

As Executive Board Director at Taylor Woodrow Construction, Brendan led a focus on value as opposed to volume, helping the company win BAA’s 10-year £6.9bn capital framework, as well as managing the successful integration of acquisitions into the group.

An experienced and committed proponent of collaborative working and long-term commercial relationships, he knows what can make – or break – the fortunes of a successful business.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Hi Brendan. Given your wealth of experience in the Construction sector you must be aware of the lack of skills at Senior Mgr level to constructivey challenge & influence for improved behaviours (especially across JVs). I believe thats why ‘ queries’ have died down. Also they are playing lip-service to collaborative working. Take, for example, Directors/senior engineers on the level you have operated at, collaborating on tackling the issue of man-marking with their customers/clients. They dont have the level/range of soft skills to achieve their desired outcomes. It is still an us/them situation, at middle manager level, in spite of your stirling efforts and substantial achievements in the Major Infrastructure area. Lack of effective Collaborative Working is a real live issue especially with clients, but there is a worrying amount of denial at very senior level This issue I am reliably informed is costing the sector£500m per £3.6bn of investment. A substantial sum which I am trying to tackle thro BS11000, amongst other ways. I hope you continue to drive BS11000 as Rome wasn’t built in a day ( neither was Cross Rail for that matter). Neither will HS2/3 or TT !
    I have raised this issue to a Public Accounts body. However the only really effective way, I believe, is at the sharp end where the pain is most, and most visible. Once senior managers stop working purely towards accreditation, and have the vision, as Leaders, to appreciate the benefits of what you, personally, have to offer then you might be inundated. Hang on in there. Imminent is actually today. Geoff

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