Engineers Australia

Collaboration, A Journey From Isolation To Co-Creation “The 5 C’s Journey”

Sam Mirlatifi and Helen Barbour-Bourne


In the midst of major challenges in the construction industry, this paper outlines a model for collaboration and attempts to define important differences between “collaboration” and “coordination” in the context of large multidisciplinary infrastructure projects. The cultural transformation and the fundamental steps needed to move from “Isolation” (i.e. no collaboration) to “Full Collaboration” are presented in this paper, as a road map referred to as the “The 5 C’s Journey”. The barriers and opportunities to improve collaboration are also discussed with some suggestions and ideas to improve collaboration among geo-professionals across the industry. As geotechnical risks are frequently among the most significant risks for large infrastructure projects, there is a unique opportunity for geo-professionals who work within a wide range of disciplines, spanning full project life cycles, it is important that geo-professionals at all levels be front and centre, leading discussion across the industry to improve collaboration and productivity on the coming large projects across Australia.