Construction Partnering Has Become The Critical First Step For Large Building Projects

We all know that every building begins with a solid foundation. On today’s large building projects teams draw from firms of architects, designers, general contractors and other construction specialists – all slated to be working together. A new trend has emerged within the industry whereby these teams are relying on first building a solid human foundation of collaboration, trust and enhanced team skills well before ground breaking. This process is Construction Partnering.
Starting Off Right
Construction Partnering is the critical first step; the building of a firm, solid foundation. It’s the forming of a high performance team from a collection of talented individuals. Partnering is the special establishment of critical and important relationships. It’s the agreement to work in a keen collaboration, in harmony, minimizing conflict while maximizing extraordinary effectiveness.
Construction partnering workshops facilitate the forming of high performance teams and preparing them for their biggest of games. The sought-after goal is to build sustainable partnerships, save time and money, build beautiful buildings and do it all as smoothly as possible.
With today’s modern building technologies taking exciting different approaches including Building Information Modeling (BIM), the notion of creating vital working agreements, as a unified team, becomes even more important.
Partnering workshops create a process necessary to contribute to critical and important working relationships.
A� Identify key milestones to build accountability to on time delivery
A� Get all stakeholders on the same page with respect to implementation challenges
A� Ensure a higher quality project
A� Building a shared vision and team goals
A� Agree to identifiable methods to ease and settle disputes
Partnering workshops create the unique opportunity to arrive at key working agreements, goals, expectations and strategies to work better together minimizing conflict while maximizing extraordinary effectiveness and efficiencies.
Partnering Workshops are not meetings to deal with day-to-day issues. Instead, the workshop is totally focused on the newly assembled team and its requirement for rowing in the same direction; team building. The initial task is to reach a level of understanding that can result in the development, refinement and maintenance of a special group, committed to take on a smooth running project.
A partnering workshop is more than a one-time event. Workshops create a culture of ongoing awareness and activity that focuses and fuels attention towards working better as a well-oiled unit. Though the initial workshop might take just a day, the partnering process is revisited regularly by successful teams as they continually adjust to the specific issues that arise in a complex building project.
The format of initial partnering workshops may vary, but in most cases the team will be exposed to these 6 core objectives:
1) Using experiential activity to discover for themselves the strengths and working styles of the individual members of the group.
2) Work together to articulate the various sub groups’ expectations, needs and goals.
3) Define measurable targets.
4) Work together to architect a compelling vision statement that actively serves and inspires them as they work together to complete the project.
5) To establish a working culture of exceptional, high performance collaboration.
6) Establish methods for smoothly resolving problems and conflicts.
When Do Partnering Workshops Take Place?
Because it’s the building before the building, experience suggests that it is best to have a team forming partnering workshop as soon as possible after the team has been selected.
Because the workshop will be setting the foundations on which the team is built, it should be as inclusive as possible, with as many of the key players attending as possible. There ought to be a balance between “as soon as possible” and “as inclusive as possible”.
Many large projects continue to schedule ongoing partnering workshops at regular intervals to re-energize team focus and evaluate objectives.
A good number of proactive teams opt for a finishing workshop after completion to debrief how the project went, to share lessons learned and even to do a little celebrating!
Who Should Attend Partnering Workshops?
Naturally, all the key players should be involved and able to attend. Workshops should strive to be inclusive, including those people that have direct impact on the project. The goal is to create a working group that is truly connected and aligned with the project’s overall objectives.
Common sense should prevail. It is probably not effective to send an executive from a company who may never actually be present on the jobsite. On the other hand, it is highly desirable to include those company leaders who have an active day to day role both with the project and with the other team members.
Where possible, the workshop should include:
External facilitation team
Client representative(s)
End user representative(s)
Facilities manager(s)
Lead and specialist architects and designers
Engineers
General contractor
Construction manager(s)
Specialist sub contractors and trades
Key materials suppliers
Health and safety/human resources specialists.
With enough advance planning and coordination there ought to be adequate representation from all parties involved. Casting an even wider net may also prove to be effective if other parties have a stake in the construction. Some workshops include community and business leaders that may have more of a tangential stake in the project but can be instrumental in the overall success of the endeavor.
Who Should Facilitate Partnering Workshops?
The facilitator is an independent professional individual (or perhaps a facilitation team), trained in coaching and facilitating high performance team activities while also being well skilled at conducting interactive and engaging group discussion meetings. To remain fair, unbiased and of maximum service to the newly formed team, the facilitator definitely ought not be a member of the partnering team.
The Nuts & Bolts of Successful Workshops
There are other issues that add to the success of a partnering workshop and taking the first steps towards creating an ongoing partnering culture on the jobsite.
Getting alignment well ahead of time on the agenda items of the program is obviously a key component. But even choosing the proper venue and taking care of the logistical details Adair Homes North Bend Oregon like food, beverage and amenities may seem trifling at first but, taken together, can make help bring about a successful and worthwhile experience for all involved.
Building a Strong Human Foundation
It is all about building a strong human foundation. Landscape Design For Small Spaces Partnering is as much a critical element to the success of the project as is all the steel, concrete and glass that rises together to form a new building – a beautiful monument to what we can achieve by working better together.

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