Joint Ventures

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Construction projects used to be simple. The client would engage an architect to turn an idea into a vision, add some consultants to make it work and hire a builder through a tender process to turn it into reality.


Then along came joint ventures and client side project management companies.

I am not going into the reasons for the so called development but rather look at my own personal experience. Every time I have been involved in a joint venture it has started off all sweetness and light and degenerated into all out conflict. Usually the guys on the front line are not to blame, they just want to deliver a project, it is the senior management or as recently described to me “the shiny bums”. It is those in senior management whose annual performance bonuses who tend to cause the rifts between JV partners. In the end it is and always will be about the dollars.

In the interim the worldly wise, downtrodden project manager just gets on with the job, he has difficulty in finding resources for the project as each side of the JV don’t want to spend money, he finds he has two masters. A recipe for disaster.

So the project team tries its best, the architect is no longer consider, but the head office commercial number crunchers are the ones that pull the strings.

Imagine building some of the iconic projects of the past this way. Go back a couple of centuries and the architect designed and engineered the structure, sought finances and stood on the job every day and ran it. Now we have taken the JV model into the mining sector and as the clients have deep pockets they are paying through the nose for this set up and the flames are fanned by having client side project managers justifying there tenuous position.

I might go back to building industrial sheds. Me the client and his architect. are you reading this one Dante???????

Published by

Gerry Keating

Construction Professional

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