Partnering Magazine Fall 2019

Page 1

Issue 29 Fall 2019

PROFILES IN PARTNERING A Year of Partnering Success from Experts in the Field

INSIDE: page 8

page 12

Profiles in Partnering

Small Project Partnering

Airports Hospitals Office Buildings Maintenance Facilities

TRUE PARTNERSHIPS BUILD LANDMARK PROJECTS Data Centers Courthouses Universities Hotels

Interim Facility Six Gates Mineta San Jose International Airport

Learn more at

CONTENTS INTERNATIONAL PARTNERING INSTITUTE IPI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that is funded by our members and supporters who wish to change the culture of construction from combative to collaborative. Phone: (925) 447-9100


Features Fall 2019 Profiles in Partnering

Ivar Satero, President of the Board, San Francisco International Airport Jim Pappas, Vice President of the Board, Hensel Phelps Construction Company


David Thorman, Secretary of the Board, CA Division of the State Architect (Ret.) Len Vetrone, Treasurer of the Board, GCC LLC Pierre Bigras, PG&E

Profiles in Partnering Q&A about the Interim

Roddy Boggus, RS&H, Inc. Pat Crosby, The Crosby Group

Facilities project at Mineta San

Pete Davos, DeSilva Gates Construction

Jose International (SJC) Airport

Larry Eisenberg, Ovus Partners 360 Rachel Falsetti, Caltrans John Fisher, WSP Michael Ghilotti, Ghilotti Bros, Inc. Richard Grabinski, Flatiron West, Inc. Randall Iwasaki, Contra Costa Trans. Authority Jeanne Kuttel, CA Dept. of Water Resources Geoff Neumayr, San Francisco International Airport Stuart Seiden, Avila & Seiden Architects Thomas Taylor, Webcor Builders


Small Project Partnering Partnering plays a key role in


improving the outcome of projects

Rick Mayfield

in San Francisco



EDITORIAL OFFICE: SUBSCRIPTIONS/ INFORMATION International Partnering Institute 291 McLeod Street


Partnering in the Trenches Revitalizing the health of

Livermore, CA 94550

the Nevada Department of

Phone: (925) 447-9100

Transportation’s (NDOT)




Executive Director’s Message IPI is here to serve its members and to support their efforts to deliver exceptional projects through Partnering and a culture of collaboration


Facilitator’s Corner Partnering is not just for when you need it, but should weave itself throughout your projects for successful outcomes


Best Practices A Modern Day Look at Partnering

Partnering program

DESIGN/CREATIVE Michelle Vejby Email:

COPYRIGHT Partnering Magazine is published by the International Partnering Institute, 291 McLeod Street, Livermore, CA 94550. Four quarterly

Cover Image: SH-82 Grand Avenue Bridge Replacement CM/GC Project, Glenwood Springs, CO 2019 IPI Diamond Level Award Winner Owner: Colorado Department of Transportation Prime Contractor: Granite RL Wadsworth Joint Venture Designer: Jacobs Engineering Group Partnering Facilitator: Jacques & Associates, Inc.

issues are published annually. Contents copyright 2019 International Partnering Institute, all rights reserved. Postmaster please send address changes to IPI, 291 McLeod Street, Livermore, CA 94550.

Fall 2019 Partnering Magazine


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE Rick Mayfield, IPI Executive Director


artnering is now in its

in construction specifications, and

twenty-five years through Partnering

third decade, and more

connecting owners with industry

and sound leadership.

organizations than ever

organizations who embrace the idea of

have embraced partnering as “the

delivering improved outcomes through

We’ve been working hard to build

way to do business.” Hundreds of

a more collaborative approach,

strategic relationships with other

articles and white papers have been

Structured Collaborative Partnering as

member organizations like Lean

written about the need for partnering,

“the way to do business” has become

Construction Institute and DBIA. By

dozens of research papers, including

more widely accepted than at any other

continuing to explore the collaborative

several studies sponsored by IPI have

time in recent history.

synergy between Partnering, Design

supported, with empirical evidence,

Build and LEAN practices with

the benefits of partnering, and

With the momentum that Partnering

members via articles in Partnering

hundreds of millions of dollars have

has been gaining in the aviation

Magazine, our weekly e-newsletter

been saved in cost and schedule as

sector, we continue building our

and at the Collaboration conference

a result of project teams making the

relationship with associations like ACC

this year, new ideas for a strengthened

commitment to improve their culture

and AAAE. IPI attended the Airport

partnership are being developed, and

through Partnering.

Planning, Design and Construction

additional opportunities for improved

Symposium earlier this year,

processes are emerging. We look to

IPI has been supporting members for

where Ivar Satero, Director at San

deepen our relationships with these

the past ten years in their efforts to

Francisco International Airport and

organizations by providing content for

develop and improve their partnering

IPI President, participated in a panel

upcoming webinars, through outreach

programs. By conducting training

discussion, attributing much of SFO’s

and education to their members at

to various IPI Members, providing

success to the collaborative culture

conferences and through print and

sample partnering language for use

they’ve developed over the past

social media.


Partnering Magazine Fall 2019


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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE IPI is also broadening its reach as we have developed a relationship with U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO). Supporting them as one of our newest members in their efforts to rejuvenate their existing Partnering program on their overseas projects. Furthering our international reach, IPI has been working with organizations outside of the US, including Canada, Australia and the UK to support their

Gregory Grabowski delivers presentation on Partnering US Embassy projects

partnering efforts. Airport Museum from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. This event will be And finally, planning for the future of Partnering and

the “official” Young Professionals Program” kickoff, with an

collaboration, IPI kicked off our Young Professionals

opening welcome by Ivar Satero, a panel discussion entitled:

program with our “YP Challenge” at Collaboration 2019.

“Navigating Professional Growth and Development in a

This exercise provided two teams of young professionals

Collaborative Environment” with the remainder of the evening

with a competition to provide a collaborative solution to a

set aside for drinks, appetizers and networking.

“challenge” often experienced by project teams. Members of the YP Challenge have formed a committee and have planned

IPI is honored to serve its members and support their efforts to

the first “IPI YP” networking event to be held on Wednesday,

deliver exceptional projects through a culture of collaboration,

November 13th 2019 at the San Francisco International

and extend our gratitude for your support to IPI.

Partnering: Healthcare Nurturing relationships is our sole mission

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Downey, California A five building campus including inpatient and outpatient facilities. 2015–2018

“Gregory Grabowski is our go-to partnering facilitator for complex high-visibility projects.” Hassan Hallak, Program Director, Jacobs


GCC LLC SDVOSB / DVBE / DBE / CBE / SBE | 949.636.0461 Healthcare • Scientific • Correctional • Transportation • Federal


Partnering Magazine Fall 2019

B U I L D I N G C A L I F O R N I A S I N C E 19 3 2

N O Rth E R N CALI F O R N IA ’ S p R E m I E R h EAv y C IvI L E N G I N E E R I N G C O NtR ACtO R pAv I N G • G R A D I N G • R OA D / h I G h wAy • D E m O L I t I O N / E XC AvAt I N G

Oakland International Airport Runway 12-30

R E C I p I E N t O F N U m E R O U S I p I pA R t N E R I N G A w A R D S 11555 Dublin Boulevard, P.O. Box 2909, Dublin, California 94568-2909 925-829-9220 w w w . d e s i lva g at e s . c o m Contractors License No. 704195A




n June 25th, the Interim Facilities project team

of the first partnering meeting, the team members were aligned

at Mineta San Jose International (SJC) held their

toward common goals, made our commitments to each other, and

last Partnering session. A joint session, (Executive

developed our issue resolution ladder/policies. We measured our

and Core team together) focused on lessons learned from

collective performance monthly to ensure we were progressing in

design through early activation for the 5-gate, $58 million

the right direction and immediately addressed those issues that

design-build project, which was completed in record time (18

needed further attention. The success of the partnering is in the


results of the project. The project was delivered on time, under budget, and with zero lost time incidents.”

The project team consisted of IPI Members, Mineta San Jose International Airport, San Jose Public Works and Hensel

IPI: What was the most obvious change that Partnering

Phelps, along with Fentress Architects, AECOM, Rosendin

brought to the team and the project? (IE: change in

Electric, Aero Systems and Critchfield Mechanical.

mindset, communication, process, etc.)?

The new facility was built in response to the rapid growth

JR: “I believe Partnering really helped the Executive level gauge

that SJC has experienced in the past several years. Since 2013,

the pulse of the larger project team throughout the project. This

SJC has had a 63% increase in passenger growth. In 2018, SJC

project went at a fast pace, and we needed to manage the stress

exceeded 14 million passengers and is on track to exceed 15

level of our team and ensure they remained in a continuous

million this year.

productive state in order to achieve our ambitious schedule. Partnering provided a way for the team members to express their

Judy Ross, Assistant Director of Aviation, overseeing her second

concerns verbally, via body language, and on paper through the

partnered project at SJC gave an Owner’s perspective on how crucial their commitment to Partnering was on this project. IPI: How did Partnering impact the attitudes, and more importantly, the process in the way the team approached issues that came up on the project? JR: “The Interim Facility was a fast-paced project with a tight deadline. SJC’s Executive Team realized that trust across the project partners had to be achieved from day one or we run the risk of not achieving our schedule. The first day, the Executive team shared our expectations for the course of the project.At the end 8

Partnering Magazine Fall 2019

At the end of the day, everything is accomplished through people.... From the beginning, Partnering sets the goals and commitments to each other so the entire team is driving toward a common goal and knows what success looks like at the end.

Judy M. Ross, AAE, CAE, is the Assistant Director of Aviation for SJC since April 2018. She also served as Interim Assistant Director of Aviation and Deputy Director of Aviation. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Chapter of AAAE, where she is also a Certified Airport Executive.

scorecards. The Executive team could use that information and

work through the individual concerns in an appropriate way to

Mineta San Jose International Airport passes Oakland to become the Bay Area’s second-busiest

keep each team member engaged and productive.”

airport •

The number of travelers arriving and departing

IPI: What were the most difficult barriers to overcome with

at SJC (2018) increased by 14.7%, to a record 14.3

the team’s acceptance/embrace of Partnering?

million •

JR: “I think there is still some stigma that Partnering is fluff.

2019 passenger numbers expected to top 15 million (Source:

Perhaps too many professionals have been jaded by Partnering done poorly, such as when teams go to a one-day offsite at the beginning of a project and there’s no follow-up. In fact, true

IPI caught up with a few other members of the project team to

Partnering is an ongoing process that enhances communication

get their account of some of the challenges faced, along with the

across the project so challenges can be addressed early on and

positive impact Collaborative Partnering had on this project.

head on. It provides a forum for each team member to feel that they have input and that they are heard. Every team member is

Tony Hidalgo, Project Superintendent with Hensel Phelps stated

needed at his/her best performance to deliver the project.”

that, “due to the extremely compressed schedule, teamwork was imperative, and everybody shared the common goal.”

IPI: What lasting habits/processes/strategies will SJC take away from this project in relation to the Partnering?

Rob Reaugh, Vice President and Partnering Facilitator with OrgMetrics stated that, “From the onset, Leadership was

JR: “At the end of the day, everything is accomplished through

committed to making Partnering work. The Executive team

people. The delivery of any project should be a learning, enjoyable,

met monthly rather than the typical quarterly meeting to

and life event that every member of the team is proud to be

accommodate the compressed schedule. This improved the

a part of. From the beginning, Partnering sets the goals and

effectiveness and efficiency of their decision-making process,

commitments to each other so the entire team is driving toward a

which allowed the team to add scope for a sixth gate, currently

common goal and knows what success looks like at the end.”

under construction and expected to open in November 2019.”

Fall 2019 Partnering Magazine



“We’ll Do Partnering When We Need It”



have yet to find a project team that does not believe

partnering process, or the team recognizes the need

in the need for proactive collaboration, enhanced

for an aligned team to work through the challenges of

communication, and a way to work through the

their project, those that start the partnering process are

challenges that are going to arise on their project.

already in the driver’s seat of their project.

They all seem to know the value of an aligned team

working towards a common goal. However, designing and

Project stakeholders come to the project with their own

building projects is difficult. There is so much that has

definition of success. Sometimes those expectations

to be done that all the good intentions around teamwork

could be seen to conflict with their project partners.

often slip to the backburner. So how do you consciously

(For example: the contractor wants to be profitable,

and purposefully take those good intentions around

while the owner wants to keep the project within

teamwork and implement a process that is the foundation

budget). At the initial partnering workshop, the project

of a successful project team? The industry’s answer is

team will be challenged to define common goals that

structured partnering. (See IPI’s website for what is

will enable each team member and organization to

structured collaborative partnering).

realize their “win,” and at the same time meet the expectations of their counterparts. Without common

Structured collaborative partnering adds value to

goals from the start, there lacks the basis to really look

projects. It has been tried and proven, and the results

at doing anything other than “just build it per plans and

validate the process. So whether a project team is

specs,” or to challenge the mentality of “we’ve always

required by specifications to implement a structured

done it this way.”


Partnering Magazine Fall 2019

Developing a project-first mentality

need it?” Not if they want to win the

is the first step in harnessing the


collective expertise of the project team. With common project goals, the team

Your project, if it is any level of size

will be pulling in the same direction

or complexity will have challenges,

towards the same destination, with their

changes, and unforeseens that can

partners. Challenges will come up, and

distract and leave your team ready to

structured collaborative partnering

step back into “us vs. them.” Partnering

provides tools to proactively resolve

review workshops forces your team to

roadblocks or elevate the issues, in

evaluate what is and is not working. In

order to sustain momentum. Teams will

the midst of the controlled chaos of a

be challenged to find more effective

project, it sets aside time to proactively

and efficient ways to accomplish

you “need it,” you will have already

look out in front to plan for what is

the “blocking and tackling” of the

pulled back into your corners. The

coming and how to manage it as a

project. (For example: identifying

calculated costs to the project in loss of

high performing team. It gives senior

critical submittals that will need pre-

trust and loss of efficiencies cannot be

leadership the opportunity to see and

submittal meetings to align the team on


sense where the team needs help,

expectations, timing, and how to get the

support, and guidance.

submittal through without delays to the

The best teams are those that have a


“return on investment” mentality. The

Let’s be honest. There are successful

biggest limited resource on projects is

projects that do not do any formal

If you are reading this article, chances

time. Effective leaders will invest their

partnering. There are successful projects

are you have already drunk the

team’s time into that which will produce

that have one kick-off partnering

“partnering kool-aide.” You have seen

the biggest payoff. Partnering review

workshop and say, “hey, we’ve got it

and experienced the surge at the

workshops (typically done quarterly,

from here.” There is a chance those

beginning of the project by starting with

but often held monthly on projects with

projects will do just fine. But with your

everyone rowing in the same direction.

aggressive schedules) enables the team

organization’s resources and reputations

to “sharpen their axe” and adjust to the

on the line, are you willing to not do

dynamics of the project.

everything you can to manage risk,

But, have you also fallen into the false sense of security of a project starting

seize opportunities, and deliver the best

smoothly? “Hey, everything is going

Goals evolve as the project does. Project

really well. Let’s hold off on partnering

processes need focus to make them

results possible?

until we need it.”

faster, cheaper, safer, better. Conflicts

So the next time you feel (and you will),

that have been lingering need to be

“hey things are good, let’s do partnering

Partnering is a process, not an event.

aired-out and resolved or elevated to

when we need it,” remember the best

Partnering is not just a kick-off meeting,

senior leadership to handle. It is at the

sports teams and construction teams

no matter how effective that initial

partnering review workshops where the

come back together to plan, train, and

workshop may have set the team

real work of partnering takes place.

celebrate on a regular basis.

pushing forward. True partnering is a shift of mind-set, supported by a

Imagine for a moment your favorite

structured process to support actions

sports team. They have a great roster,

and results.

the best in years. The talent is there and the pre-season training has left them

Here is the danger of “Let’s hold off

confident in a successful season. They

on partnering until we need it.” As

go out and play their first game or two,

previously noted, building projects is

and they win them! So do they forego

difficult and taking the time to sit in a

training for the next game? Do they

partnering workshop may seem like a

skip watching the tape of the game and

luxury you cannot afford. By the time

adjust their plays, because “they don’t

Paul Crotty, Ventura Consulting Group Paul Crotty, MIPI, serves as a Facilitator, Large Program Director and oversees the firm’s East Coast and International Operations. He has designed and facilitated a formal partnering process for several hundred projects, ranging in size and complexity from simple road-widening projects to international offshore gas storage projects. Fall 2019 Partnering Magazine



San Francisco Small Project


San Francisco’s Collaborative Partnering Program inspires, shapes and delivers


Public Service. With each executed public works project, the positive impact is


heightened. The program rewards team synergy; ensures public harmony; and


enhances the health and well-being of its citizens. As collaborative partnering


practices are established throughout city agencies, with involved contractors,


related neighborhoods and their district leadership, public service collaboration is


enriching city government operations.


ENVIRONMENT: Challenges facing small projects in the City


Understanding San Francisco’s culture and environment is key to successfully


delivering a public works project. Given the high volume of building activity,


experienced contractors/subcontractors, skilled workforce,


and valued materials are in high demand. Small public


works projects, valued at $10 million or under, also


have added constraints: short schedules, small budgets,


subcontractor and labor force in short supply, geographic


and logistical concerns with multiple projects working


within the same area, and concurrent schedules engaging


the same subcontractors and labor force. Similarly, City


staff have unique constraints. Integrated into multi-agency


supported projects (matrix organizations), they are often


responsible for participating and/or managing more than 12

Partnering Magazine Fall 2019

multiplied and the experience and knowledge advanced to higher levels of effective and efficient delivery of projects: safely, on schedule, within budget, and of high quality.

OUTCOMES: High performance, collaborative culture, good will These projects may be small in value, but are great in the impact they have on the community. As each public works contract is awarded, the spirit of collaboration is multiplied through agency culture, improved relationships and public involvement. Working together in symmetry yields quality performance and respect for each other. The San Francisco Collaborative Partnering Award Program initiated in 2018 established the foundation of recognition for all stakeholders and team members who carry this spirit embodied in sharing their Lessons Earned and maximizing the added value to the community. As they move on to new projects, team members take pride in driving around San Francisco, pointing out to their children the projects on which they have worked, improving the community, the economy, and the overall health and welfare of this great city.

KEY ELEMENTS TO SUCCESSFUL PARTNERING ON SMALL PROJECTS: • Present each Project as Special one project. In addition, neighborhood interests/expectations and local traffic patterns are further challenges and opportunities for collaborative partnering; and, all are important in supporting the successful delivery of small projects.

PARTNERING: From recommendation to requirement

• Share stories; learn about the person beyond their assigned role, identify common interests • Discover previous perceptions / assumptions / expectations about projects and teams • Identify working styles • Invite each member to highlight how they can contribute to achieving the project goal

In 2013, Mayor Ed Lee required the Partnering contract

• Facilitate, guide, instruct, listen and be responsive

specification be included in all city public works contracts.

• Inspire open honest communication and participation; “deliver

Guided by the International Partnering Institute (IPI), OrgMetrics, and experienced facilitators, partnering has become an established practice on all city projects. In 2018, recognized as valuable in the successful delivery of public construction, the San Francisco Collaborative Partnering Award program was established. During this period, six public agencies, their staff, contractors,

on your word”; basis for Trust • Regularly pursue the “What If’s” -- pro-active and solutionoriented thinking • In progress minutes, review status of performance metrics and goals • Laughter is essential for a successful Partnering Workshop and team formation

and stakeholders were recognized for their efforts in the collaborative partnering process.

Celebrate Achievements! Honor each other!

Relationships across disciplines, projects, and agencies were developed and strengthened.

Jessica Romm, Principal of JBROMM, Ph.D

This has contributed to the overall health and

Jessica has over three decades of technical and managerial experience building solid committed partnerships in multiple fields, locally and overseas. She is a small woman-owned enterprise; a San Francisco native; and, prides herself in understanding the “soft side” of construction.

welfare of the City. With each new project, “Lessons Learned / Lessons Earned” have Jessica with her project team at the 2018 San Francisco Partnering Awards Ceremony

Fall 2019 Partnering Magazine



A Modern Day Look at Partnering



stakeholders voluntarily agree at the outset of a project

consultants, it’s our business to think about how

to adopt a cooperative, team-based approach in order to

people and processes fit together to achieve

eliminate or reduce conflicts and claims, and enhance job

the best results. Many of us got into this industry

satisfaction and successful project outcomes.

because we have a passion for building something bigger than us. Better buildings. Better infrastructure. The power to

The concept of Partnering made its debut in the late 1980s

impact cities and communities for years to come. With this

in response to a significant increase in conflicts, claims, and

in mind, there is nothing quite as rewarding as delivering a

litigation among owners, architects, and contractors. Since

successful project with a successful team. And, as with any

then, several management consulting firms, federal agencies,

team environment, this is not always an easy task. We know

and professional organizations have embraced and helped

that project teams are not always formed out of choice, project

define the Partnering process.

stakeholders come together at all stages, and projects are these challenges, there is one aspect of a successful team that is

According to the International Partnering Institute (IPI), Partnering:

a constant: a shared, collaborative culture and a commitment

• Reduces claims

to project development and problem resolution regardless of

• Produces cost savings

the contract delivery method used. This is where the concept of

• Reduces project delivery time

Partnering comes in.

• Enhances project safety

delivered by a variety of different delivery methods. Despite


• Promotes greater job satisfaction for the entire project team

In the design and construction industry, Partnering is a

Despite these benefits, the momentum for Partnering subsided

formal, facilitated management process in which all project

from its initial introduction to the industry, and its definition


Partnering Magazine Fall 2019

and use have taken many

will provide

different forms. Our


research has revealed

for project

that no two owners are

teams to

conducting Partnering the

cement their

same way. Some mandate


Partnering for all of their


projects, while others

by addressing

conduct Partnering on


projects of certain size, complexity, or visibility. Others differ in the formality of the

project issues: 1. Risk/contingency

management—engages the project team

partnering agreement, the frequency of meetings, and the

to identify key project risks, jointly develop and maintain

players involved.

a risk register; address pending risks with mitigation strategies; and evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation or

As technology and innovation have changed the way construction projects are delivered, it is interesting to note

avoidance measures. 2. Look-ahead

scheduling—draws on the diverse experiences

that the concept of Partnering serves as a foundation to

and expertise of the project team, who jointly plan near term

many of the advances in construction project approaches we

activities, discuss potential pitfalls to the plan, and commit to

are seeing today—such as integrated project delivery (IPD), Lean, Public-Private Partnerships (P3), and design-build. All

one another to do their part to execute the plan. 3. Change

management workshop—facilitates the joint

of these enhance the premise of Partnering by way of shared

development of a change management process which

risk, schedule and material coordination, improved project

expedites evaluation and execution of changes through

performance, and a focus on people.

elements such as clear channels of communication, scope alignment strategies, established unit prices and labor

Successful Partnering is when the unique goals and objectives of every team member are recognized and supported by the rest of the team. Through a shared culture, a process is

rates, and identification of key parties with knowledge and authority to negotiate changes. 4. Constructibility

and value analysis reviews—engages the

developed that enables the team to meet at regular intervals

project team, each with their unique design, construction,

to co-create project goals and accountability to those goals,

and operational perspectives, in a joint review of the

establish a dispute resolution procedure, identify issues and

construction documents to identify 2/3 conflicts and gaps

resolve them, and identify opportunities to improve project

which could impact constructibility but also to think

outcomes. By first building a shared, agreed-upon culture, Lean

creatively about issues such as phasing, procurement,

processes and various collaborative delivery methods are more

material selection, and other elements which enhance the



overall value of the project. 5. Conflict

and dispute resolution—no project is without

conflict but the true testament to a successful project team is

We are seeing a resurgence of Partnering but now we are

its ability to address conflict and resolve challenging issues

viewing it through a different lens. It’s not collaboration just for

through productive discussions. Using Partnering as a forum

collaboration’s sake. It’s not a one-off event but instead a means

for those discussions goes a long way toward promoting

of improving the project that extends well beyond the initial

effective dispute resolution.

Partnering session. It involves face-to-face, regular engagement and includes tangible, actionable management techniques to help avoid problems, solve problems, or shrink problems. We see Partnering as a platform to implement and reinforce proven management techniques that will provide a benefit to the project in their own right. Conducting Partnering in this way maximizes its benefits and reinforces its importance. Utilizing Partnering sessions for one or more of the following

Mairav Mintz, McDonough Bolyard Peck (MBP) Mairav Mintz, PE, CCM has over 28 years of comprehensive construction management and consulting experience. As an Executive Vice President, Mairav leads MBP’s consulting practice with a focus on disputes resolution, project risk analysis and consulting, and facility performance services. She is also responsible for leveraging MBP’s digital solutions for innovation and growth.

Fall 2019 Partnering Magazine



Is Your Partnering Program Recession-Proof? Revitalizing the Health of NDOT’s Partnering Program


ho among us doesn’t need

sent out a Request for Proposals

an occasional check-up on

at the end of 2018. By utilizing

our health? It’s good to do as

their strong relationship with

an assessment and see where we are,

the Nevada Associated General

then be committed to take action as

Contractors (AGC), NDOT formed

needed. That’s exactly what the Nevada

a joint committee to review the

Department of Transportation (NDOT)

applications to the RFP and together

has done in this last year. Nevada was

they selected a consultant to work with

hit particularly hard by the most recent

them over the next three years.

recession. As the economy has regained

Photos: I-15 US 93 Garnet Interchange Design Build Project from NDOT–Saphire Level Partnering Award, Civil Construction Projects $25M to $250M, 2019 2. Collecting

data to be able to quantify

where they are now, to identify changes that should be made and to

steam and construction projects have

Jacques & Associates, Inc. (J&A), a

moved forward, the leaders at NDOT

consultancy firm out of Utah that has

began assessing the state of their

been doing Partnering facilitation and

Partnering program to see if it was as

training for 20+ years, was selected

healthy as the growing economy. Their

as the winning team. J&A is currently

4. Implementing

sense was that the program had also

working with NDOT utilizing the Next

5. Celebrating

suffered from the recession and that it

Level Leadership Model created by J&A.

was time to breathe some new life into it.

be able to document improvements made. 3. Collaboratively

designing the new

and revitalized Partnering program. the new design.



The Next Level Leadership Model steps

In the spring of 2019, J&A facilitated

Just as you would with a doctor,


a full day workshop with several

leaders at NDOT decided to seek

1. Establishing

a vision of where NDOT

NDOT leaders and some of their top

professional help to move forward. In

wants their Partnering program to be

contractors as well as AGC leadership.

this case, the NDOT Construction team

in three years.

In order to formulate a shared vision,


Partnering Magazine Fall 2019

INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIPS. INSPIRED PROJECTS. Flatiron is honored to be recognized as a 2019 IPI Collaborative Project Award winner for our teams dedicated efforts in completing the new Provincial Trunk Highway 59/101 Interchange and upgrading the Intersection at PTH 59/PR 202 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Flatiron is a founding member of the International Partnering Institute.

Together, we transform infrastructure.



The NDOT Team

DOTs, steering committees, and leaders of all kinds can always be looking for ways to improve and enhance their programs to promote greater health of their organizations. Partnering terms and practices across NDOT and their they knew it was important to get buy-in from their partners early in the process, especially since those partners would also need to be a big part of implementing any changes.

contracting partners. • Begin a leadership training program to help RE’s, contractor Project Managers and other leaders to become Partnering Champions that will help to instill a culture of Partnering

After that initial assessment, everyone agreed that there were some things that could be tweaked and revitalized.

COLLECTING DATA Currently, the consultants are still doing research and

throughout the length of a project, not just during its initial startup. • Institute a process for ongoing assessment and maintenance of the Partnering program to keep it current and fresh. • Establish Guidelines for implementing Partnering at the

collecting data. They continue to seek input from

project level. Such guidelines might include expectations for

stakeholders and NDOT personnel. They have presented at the

different types of facilitation and when to use them, use of

annual Resident Engineer meeting and gathered information

evaluation forms, guidelines for implementing the escalation

from the Nevada construction crews. They have also tapped

process and establishing team goals.

into research that has been done across the nation on the key components of mature Partnering programs.

In addition to these recommendations for the Partnering program for NDOT and their contractors, J&A and NDOT

The International Partnering Institute has been invaluable

leaders have also discussed additional areas where Partnering

in providing both easily accessible white papers and

principles might be applied.

documents on their website and links to other national

• NDOT is also looking to take advantage of the strategic

research. It has been helpful to see how different DOTs

partnering process to be able to make organizational

across the country are implementing the principles taught by the IPI. There are some programs in their infancy, some

improvements through Internal Partnering. • Partnering with the Public is another area that NDOT is

that are at the peak of their maturity, and some that are

addressing in the overall design of a revitalized Partnering

similar to NDOT where the program has been through cycles

program. I think it’s fair to say that every DOT in the country

and now needs to be revitalized.

has come to understand that Public Involvement is here to stay.


We are designing strategies for everyone on the projects to be better educated and motivated to Partner with the Public.

The next steps for NDOT will involve taking the research about the ideal programs and merging it with the NDOT-specific

Both NDOT and J&A have enjoyed the relationship building, the

research to see where they are thriving and where there are

process of assessing the current program, and the possibilities

gaps. Where there are gaps, J&A will design and institute

for the future. The working relationship itself has reflected

processes to close those gaps. Though there have been no final

Partnering values such as fairness and joint problem solving.

decisions at this point, J&A has recommended the following as possible next steps:

As we return to the health assessment analogy, it is important

• Create strategic executive communication messaging from

to remember that this is a process that can and should be done

both NDOT and the AGC so everyone doing NDOT work


understands the commitment that this is “the way we do business.” • Organize a steering committee to direct the next steps. (It is anticipated that the committee would be comprised of NDOT personnel and some of the major stakeholders, and would meet on a quarterly basis.) • Update the existing Partnering Field Guide. • Begin a Partnering training program to help standardize 18

Partnering Magazine Fall 2019

Sydne Jacques Sydne Jacques is an engineer turned CEO, speaker and facilitator. Often referred to as the “the engineer with a personality,” Sydne has built an award-winning company with clients around the world. She has trained over 20,000 individuals and has facilitated Partnering for more than 300 different teams. Sydne is passionate about helping teams create cultures by design, not default.


Presentations by Industry Leaders

Celebrating Partnering Excellence

Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront May 19-20, 2020


Fall 2019 Partnering Magazine