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Getting to yes

There is an old saying that a stitch in time saves nine, a variant on that, which highlights the consequences of failing to act is the proverb “for the want of a nail”. In the proverb each failure to act gives rise to more serious (and less foreseeable) consequences, culminating in the loss of the kingdom. 

In the context of disputes between parties the important essence is that a problem that is solvable if tackled early can become intractable if left to fester. So much so obvious, the real problem is finding a methodology that can consistently isolate future problems while they are inchoate. In the construction context the problem is magnified because of the numbers of individuals in the construction teams and the lack of access to all data.  This can mean it is akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

Smart technology is however beginning to ride to our rescue in that applications are being developed that can analyse large bodies of documentation detecting changes of tone in correspondence between parties that presage underlying problems, allowing early isolation of and concentration on those projects. Hence techniques first used in the marketing context to analyse consumers’ likes and dislikes are starting to be used to establish the degree of contentment of members of the project team, which can be an indicator of problems and delays starting to occur on the building. Once these problems are identified, effort can be directed to bringing the parties together, solving their problems and bringing the project to a successful conclusion.


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