ITcon Vol. 6, pg. 1-16,

Monitoring Communication in Partnering Projects

submitted:February 2001
revised:May 2001
published:September 2001
editor(s):B-C Björk
authors:Rob Howard, Professor
Technical University of Denmark

Ernst Petersen, Research assistant
Technical University of Denmark
summary:This report is a summary of a two year research project carried out by the IT byg group at BYG. DTU for the Danish government agencies Erhvervsfremmestyrelsen and By- og Bolig-ministeriet. The objectives were to collect data on the use of IT by the PPB housing consortia, a development project to test out various innovations, to map communications between the partners, and compare IT usage with their original proposals. Data was collected on communications in housing projects in the period June 1999- Aug 2000. The original PPB proposals were made in 1994/5 but there have been breaks in the flow of projects, and information technology has gone through much change since then. Use of Email has taken over from post and fax, and Project Webs have been developed in most consortia. Consortium members' policies have dominated the choice of management and logistics software, restricted compatibility in the consortia, and limited willingness to share data. Greater involvement by the client, and more sharing of equity, would have encouraged adoption of common IT systems and created more trust for data sharing between partners. PPB projects have allowed consortium members to test out new technologies but, in general, the IT systems used have been similar to those which the larger firms use elsewhere. Vertical integration has been limited by lack of experience and technology in smaller firms. In future, access to Project Webs from mobile devices should help use by all partners from any location. In all the projects studied, and in spite of the introduction of Email and Project Webs, the ratio of non-IT communications to IT varied from 0.8 to 4.6. When problems need to be solved rapidly there appears to be a tendency to revert to traditional means of communication - meetings, telephone and fax. 
keywords:communications, partnering, project web, social network analysis, housing
full text: (PDF file, 0.575 MB)
citation:Howard R and Petersen E (2001). Monitoring Communication in Partnering Projects, ITcon Vol. 6, pg. 1-16,