Collaboration between people is what makes your projects succeed. Or Fail.

How do you establish and maintain this collaboration?


  • MCO is the management system enabling the purposeful and structured management of collaborative relationships in B2B projects.
  • MCO is to improve the odds of success for clients and suppliers in developing high-value solutions.
  • MCO proceeds from whole system strategies, to realize optimally integrated solutions.
  • MCO is about learning how to respect and communicate between participants.
  • MCO meetings have energy and create high-quality communication.
  • MCO is about creating a team focused on the same objectives and unleashing trust between stakeholders.
  • MCO is a framework for planning and making informed decisions.
  • MCO is the ethical and sustainable way of doing business in projects.

The Managed Collaboration (MCO) Approach

MCO draws on the knowledge and expertise of multiple professional disciplines, such as Project Management, Systems Engineering, Value Management, Collaborative Business Relationship Management.

These disciplines are widely recognized and used as standards, each in their specific field of application.

Managed Collaboration is founded on five key elements known as the “Commons” of collaboration in Projects:

  • The Common Structure
  • The Common Activities
  • The Common Values
  • The Common Objectives
  • The Common Governance

Successful collaborations are built upon these 5 “Commons”: they are the five principles, or “keys”, enabling to open up, steer, drive, and maintain Collaboration and to achieve success in Projects.

Managed Collaboration (MCO)
1. Common Structure:

Establishing a shared framework and organizational structure ensures clarity and consistency in decision-making, roles, and responsibilities. This common structure provides a solid foundation for effective collaboration.

2. Common Activities:

Engaging in shared activities and tasks promotes synergy and alignment among stakeholders. By collaborating on common initiatives, the project benefits from collective effort, expertise, and resources, enhancing the overall outcome.

3. Common Values:

Building agreements based on shared values fosters trust, respect, and a sense of purpose among stakeholders. These common values serve as guiding principles, ensuring ethical behavior, and maintaining a unified approach to project implementation.

4. Common Objectives:

Defining and pursuing common objectives aligns the efforts of all parties involved. Clear and mutually agreed-upon goals provide a collective direction, driving collaboration towards achieving shared success.

5. Common Governance:

Establishing a collaborative governance structure facilitates decision-making, conflict resolution, and accountability. Through collaborative governance, stakeholders collectively address challenges, monitor progress, and ensure that the project remains on track.

By embracing these five “Commons” of collaboration, stakeholders can foster a collaborative environment that promotes cooperation, maximizes synergies, and leads to successful project outcomes.

Managed Collaboration is of interest to organizations and their professionals involved in B2B Projects and Solutions, such as Executives, Sales, Procurement, Project Management, Technicians.

Managed Collaboration


IIntegrityOVERHidden agendas
IIA joint-development of the solutionOVERSilo-based
IIIA whole-system approach to the solutionOVERFragmented, piecemeal approach
IVA rational decision-making processOVERMyopic, emotional decision-making
VA common collaborative mindsetOVERSelf-interest
VISuperior communicationOVERFear and defensiveness
VIICreating a best value solutionOVERLowest price
VIIIHaving a great experience togetherOVERShort-lived, low-quality relationships

The practice of MCO and its framework is described in our book A practical manual for MANAGED COLLABORATION: How to build collaborative client-supplier relationships in B2B Projects and Solutions, published in 2022.