Soft Elements in Collaborative Project Delivery Methods

Atle Engebø1, Åsmund Skatvedt2 & Olav Torp3

1PhD Candidate, NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, +47 90571902,
2Msc. Civil Engineering, Aase Prosjekt., Oslo, Norway,
3Associate Professor, NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway,


Lean construction seeks to improve project performance through maximizing value and reducing waste. As a way of improving project performance, collaborative project delivery methods have been presented as a potential solution. The foundation of collaborative PDM is that they seek to align all participants to well understood and agreed on project goals. However, collaborative PDM is more person-dependent than traditional delivery methods. Hence, this paper aims to increase this understanding of soft elements in collaborative PDMs. A qualitative case study was chosen for exploring the phenomena of soft elements in collaborative PDMs. The combination of literature, documents, and interviews was selected as the basis for data collection. The study has identified that collaborative PDM imposes specific demands upon project managers and owner’s representatives and that formal elements have a significant impact on the soft elements in the project. Soft elements need to be viewed in light of the delivery method, and as indicators of the continuous relationship between members of the project organisation. Therefore, soft elements such as Top management support, Trust, Shared goals and motivation, Attaining the right people, Openness/transparency were all identified as necessary for such an approach to be successful. A critical success factor for soft elements lies in whether the management has enough resources to continuously follow-up. Especially in regards to which elements being implemented and nourished.


Lean construction, culture & people, soft elements, collaboration, project delivery methods



Engebø, A. , Skatvedt, Å. & Torp, O. 2019, 'Soft Elements in Collaborative Project Delivery Methods' In:, Proc. 27th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC). Dublin, Ireland, 3-5 Jul 2019. pp 773-784

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