Project Alliancing – The Process Architecture of a Relationship Based Project Delivery System for Complex Infrastructure Projects

31 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2011 Last revised: 13 Jan 2016

Date Written: March 11, 2009


Project Alliancing is a relationship based project delivery system designed for complex infrastructure projects.

A unique feature of its process architecture is that all parties including the owner expressly agree to resolve all conflict internally, on the spot and without recourse to litigation or arbitration. Its foundations are built on selecting people who have the ability to develop a robust working relationship and who can thrive in a no blame integrated team culture.

Project Alliancing is something more than just a new approach to delivering complex infrastructure projects. It is a reflection of our changing society and the need to find drivers and processes that are compatible with the complexity of life in the 21st Century. It is also recognition that technology alone will not be sufficient, of itself, to guide, commerce, politics and society through the challenges and complexities of modern commercial activity.

Project Alliancing also challenges the 20th century approach to competition. It is not a rejection of competition per se but a re-direction of the power of competition. It removes it from between the owner and the non- owner parties and places it between the Alliance as a whole and whatever the key performance indicators, including price and timing, that the owner believes will add value to the project.

Successful Project Alliances have resulted in project savings exceeding 20% of the estimated gross budget. It is a project delivery system that is compatible with and reflective of the emerging commercial, political and social dynamics of the 21st Century.

The following are examples of the core principles incorporated into most project alliances: • a change in culture from a ‘master-servant’ to a peer relationship. • all risks and rewards are shared on an agreed equitable basis- sharing the pain and the gain. • outcomes where all parties either win or lose. • a collective responsibility for the project. • all parties have an equal say and all decisions must be ones that are the best for the project. • a ‘no-blame’ integrated team culture. • full access to the resources, skills and expertise of all parties. • a philosophy of delivering optimum commercial benefits and outstanding outcomes to all parties. • a high performance culture with encouragement for innovative thinking. • open and honest communication with no hidden agendas. • support rather than blame and the honouring of all commitments made. • an express commitment to resolve all issues within the alliance without recourse to litigation except in the case of wilful default. • all transactions to be fully open book. • unconditional and visible support from the top level of the participating organisations.

Keywords: Project Alliancing, Relationship Contracting, Infrastructure Projects, Complex Projects, Value for Money

Suggested Citation

Rooney, Greg, Project Alliancing – The Process Architecture of a Relationship Based Project Delivery System for Complex Infrastructure Projects (March 11, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

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