Page 1

Issue 18 January-March 2017

profiles in partnering Award-winning CDOT project reaps the rewards of early Partnering.

INSIDE: page 6

page 12

Polarities In Construction

The Trust Factor

Terminal 3 East Renovation at San Francisco International Airport

Building a better way to travel, with the help of collaborative partnering

World- Class Innovators. Landmark Buildings. Inspiring Per formance.

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

BOARD OF ADVISORS Larry Anderson, Anderson Partnering Pierre Bigras, PG&E Roddy Boggus, Suffolk Construction Company, Inc. Richard Grabinski, Flatiron West, Inc. Pat Crosby, The Crosby Group Pete Davos, DeSilva Gates Construction Larry Eisenberg, Ovus Partners 360 Rachel Falsetti, Caltrans John Fisher, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff Michael Ghilotti, Ghilotti Bros, Inc. Randy Iwasaki, Contra Costa Trans. Authority Jeanne Kuttel, CA Dept. of Water Resources Pete Matheson, Granite Construction Geoff Neumayr, San Francisco International Airport Jim Pappas, Hensel Phelps Construction Co. Zigmund Rubel, Aditazz Ivar Satero, San Francisco International Airport Stuart Seiden, County of Fresno Thomas Taylor, Webcor Builders David Thorman, CA Div. of the State Architect, Ret. John Thorsson, NCC Construction Sverige AB Len Vetrone, Skanska USA Building


Features January-March 2017 Partnering Profiles



Facilitator’s Corner

Take charge of the “polarities” in your project and successfully manage the situation


Profiles in Partnering The U.S. 6 Bridges Design-Build

Dana Paz

Project shows how partnering a


project early-on leads to success

Lisa Mayfield




EDITORIAL OFFICE: SUBSCRIPTIONS/ INFORMATION International Partnering Institute 291 McLeod Street Livermore, CA 94559 Phone: (925) 447-9100 Email:


Executive Director’s Report Take action before your environment becomes unbearable


Best Practices IPI Virtual Forums share partnering best practices and trends in collaboration


Candice Evenson




CEO’s Message

Research Roundup

Stop “hoping” that things will just happen, and invest in Partnering to reach your goals

How trust affects performance on multifunctional and dispersed teams

Michelle Vejby Email:

COPYRIGHT Partnering Magazine is published by the International Partnering Institute, 291 McLeod Street, Livermore, CA 94550. Four quarterly issues are published annually. Contents copyright 2017 International Partnering Institute, all rights reserved. Subscription rates for non-members, $75 for six electronic issues. Hard copy issues are available only to IPI members. Additional member subscriptions are $75 each for six issues. Postmaster please send address changes to IPI, 291 McLeod Street, Livermore, CA 94550.

Cover photo: IPI Photo Contest Winner! Ghilotti Bros., Inc. – Project: Highway 101/Petaluma River Bridge Replacement Project, Petaluma, CA. For this $66Mil project, Ghilotti Bros., Inc. partnered with Caltrans to install 2 new bridges, 4 new ramps, 2 frontage roads, 7 retaining walls and overall raising of the highway for site distance improvements.

January–March 2017 Partnering Magazine



Dana Paz, IPI Executive Director

Taking Action


n my most recent trip to the

drag-out litigious process can do it.

any interest in getting a job in retail,

dentist, I brought up some

Suddenly the scale tips from pretty

manufacturing or construction. But

jaw pain that I’d been having.

consistent discomfort to “unbearable.”

construction is booming, which means

When the dentist asked how long this

Or, contention and conflict can build

that organizations are going to have

had been going on, I said, “Oh, for a long

up with a slow drip until we reach our

to implement strategies to attract and

time. Now that I think about it, I guess

breaking point.

to keep young talent in order to meet

it’s been about 5 years.”

demand. Millennials (in fact, people Once things have reached this point

of all ages) thrive in innovative and

As I said this, I could see the question

(if we’re talking about someone in

collaborative work environments, and

in my dentist’s eyes. I’m sure he was

a position of influence within their

they tend to seek out work cultures

thinking, “Why on earth haven’t you

company), it can lead to making some

where trust, communication and

done something about it? Where have

pretty serious organizational changes—

professional development are fostered.

you been for the past five years?”

like developing a Partnering program, or

Good question.

in the case of a contractor, shifting to a

Here’s the good news: shifting toward

collaborative approach with clients, subs

this kind of work environment will

and stakeholders.

be good for everyone on your team,

We are so busy with everyday routines,

including you.

and there are so many competing

But what about those who find

priorities, that we do what we can to get

themselves in an unbearable

In this issue, we profile a couple of

by—even when something is bothering

environment, but who don’t have

different Partnering efforts, and we

us, and even when whatever it is causes

the influence to change it? Well, they

also look at how teams build trust

us discomfort, or outright pain. Still,

will find work in other less stressful

(spoiler alert: it involves personal

we refrain from taking action until it

industries (because few things are

communication). As we kick off the

becomes unbearable.

more stressful than navigating through

tenth year of IPI, it is a great time to

a claim, except for maybe a lawsuit).

remind you that you don’t need to

This is no way to live, and it’s certainly

In 2015, the U.S. Census reported that

wait until you (or your staff) reach

no way to work. I’ve heard from many

new hires for younger construction

the breaking point to seek innovation

of our members that the reason they

workers for the past decade has

through collaboration. You can take

got into Partnering was because they

trended downward, despite millennials

tips from our members, and from

needed a reliable dispute prevention

comprising the largest part (75%) of

IPI, to introduce the changes that will

process, and the alternative (endless

the U.S. labor force. According the

take your work environment from

disputes) had become unbearable. A

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only

unbearable to unbeatable.

single experience with a knock-down,

7% of young respondents showed


Partnering Magazine January–March 2017

January–March 2017 Partnering Magazine



Polarities in Construction By Larry Anderson, MIPI Anderson Partnering

Tastes Great? Or Less Filling?


ave you ever felt like your construction project

closely to plans and specifications.” I raised this topic during

resembles a beer commercial? With apologies to

three recent partnering workshops, and I found the team

Miller LiteTM, is one side of the room shouting “tastes

members full of personal insights

great” – while the other side is shouting “less filling”

about this polarity and ready to talk

– and nobody is listening to each other? Not to say that either

about them.

tasting great or being less filling is bad, or undesirable: in fact, you might enjoy both at the same time. That’s the point.

“Encouraging contractor initiative” might mean:

In construction, often we want “both” at the same time. We

• Welcoming alternative methods

want quality and low cost. We want safety and on-time

• Accepting value-engineering

completion. There’s no downside to either, and achieving one need not take away from the other. So, these (arguably) aren’t polarities. Sue Dyer, MIPI, called

changes • Accommodating sequence adjustments

my attention to a book by Barry Johnson called “Polarity Management: Identifying

“Adhering closely to plans and

and Managing Unsolvable Problems.”

specifications” might mean:

Johnson distinguishes a polarity as a

• Enforcing literal interpretation of the specifications

situation of ongoing difficulty, having

• Vigilant quality assurance

two poles which are interdependent. A

• Testing rigorously against specified standards

polarity is not a problem to be solved, but rather a condition to be managed. He suggests some common workplace polarities: e.g., a flexible boss versus one who sets clear expectations; or, valuing employee independence versus valuing teamwork.

Each side of this polarity has advantages and disadvantages. This table shows some of the pros and con’s identified during the three workshops. Sometimes, advocates for both “sides” were convinced that an advantage was theirs alone: for example, enhancing quality. Not everyone attending each workshop grasped the polarity idea at first. We tend to frame ideas from our own experience

On construction projects that I facilitate, there is always one

and context. And, some of the pluses and minuses are nuanced:

major polarity that underlies many tense situations, but rarely

• In the upper left quadrant, the idea that the intent of a

gets talked about—the elephant in the room. That is the polarity

specification might be met better by some means other than

between “encouraging contractor initiative” and “adhering

a literal application;


Partnering Magazine January–March 2017

Encourage Contractor Initiative

Adhere Closely to Plans & Specs

Johnson suggests a strategy that is

+ PLUSES • Innovation: - Achieve true spec intent by slight modifications - Allow specs to change and grow - Incorporate good ideas not considered during design • Make inspectors feel part of team • Enhance public safety/mobility • Enhance worker safety • Cost savings & profit opportunity • Enhance schedule momentum; finish faster? • Enjoy more harmony; learn together • Contractor able to do what he does best • Contractor stays in business • Enhance quality

+ PLUSES • Public gets precisely what it paid for • Prescriptive spec has a reason: needs to be followed • Owner staff conviction that they’re doing their job • Enhance public safety/mobility • Enhance worker safety • Clarity • Can’t be criticized • Level playing-field for bidding • Consistent enforcement • Enhance quality

subtle, but one rooted in human behavioral studies. He represents it graphically by the infinity loop shown on the cover of his book. If one wanted more emphasis on his or her “side,” a frontal approach is not likely to accomplish much. Instead, you gain standing by stipulating the disadvantages to points in the lower quadrant of “your” side and admitting the merits in the upper quadrant of “theirs.” Only then, list the shortcomings of “their” side. By doing this, your counterpart is likely to be much more receptive when you move to spell out

– MINUSES • Owner lives with result, good or bad • Changes proposed may not meet public wants • Inspectors feel undercut if not given bigger picture, or not told before contractor gets OK • Introduces uncertainty • Cost effect unknown • Potential for cheating or corner-cutting • Other bidders resentful • Possibly reduce quality

– MINUSES • Constructability or field conditions may not be adequately considered • Spec may be silent or not account for unique situations: no “perfect” plans & specs • Disrupt schedule momentum • Miss opportunity for savings • Appear unreasonable - Saying, “Do exactly as I say” is never wise - Can create adversarial relationships - Inspectors demotivated - Limits consensus thinking • Less innovation/creativity • Fails to harness contractor’s best efforts • Possibly reduce quality

the wonderful advantages to the upper quadrant of “your” side. This discussion route traces an infinity loop like the one on the cover of Johnson’s book. Consider this action plan: Try talking about this polarity at your next partnering workshop and see what pluses and minuses your team can add to the table in this article. Then, next time you want to advocate for an innovative approach or closer specification conformance on your project, try out the infinity loop approach. See if you can find ways to live in both upper quadrants to make

• In the lower two quadrants, from left to right, the idea that inspectors might be

the project a winner for everyone.

undercut either way: by not being supported on a spec enforcement matter (or worse, being surprised about a variance approved at a higher level)—yet being

Larry Anderson, MIPI

frustrated if unable to exercise their discretion and good judgment honed by

Larry Anderson, of Anderson

experience; and

Partnering, is a Master Level

• In the upper right quadrant, the ideas of public value for money and competitive bidding certainty, played against the idea that a “reasonable owner” will draw better bids.

IPI Certified Professional Facilitator. Larry earned master’s degrees in civil engineering and public

But – if you agree that this polarity is relevant to your

policy at UC Berkeley. He was the Partnering

construction project, what should you do about it?

Coordinator for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

Certainly, Johnson would advise against trying to “solve” it, or making one side dominate the other. Polarities just don’t go away. The goal is to live in the upper two quadrants. Both upper quadrants have pluses that either “side” should endorse.

replacement program from 2001 through 2008 and has facilitated more than 300 Partnering sessions for teams across the US. _________________________________________________________ Johnson, Barry (1996). Polarity Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems, Amherst (MA), Human Resource Development Press.

January–March 2017 Partnering Magazine




PROFILES By Candice Evenson, IPI Operations Coordinator

WORDS FROM THE TEAM: TASK FORCES “At the core of the team’s collaboration was the task force organization for each individual discipline that was established at the beginning of the proposal procurement phase and that continued into the construction phase.”


Partnering Magazine January–March 2017

The U.S. 6 Bridges Design-Build Project The U.S 6 Bridges Design-Build Project involved the replacement of six bridges, construction of six more, the creation of new ramps, and the reconstruction of a busy intersection in Denver, Colorado. Behind the partnered project’s success was a team

dedicated to surpassing expectations. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Kraemer Design-Build team ultimately reduced public impact and delivered the project a full 8 months ahead of the 2016 RFP date, and with no claims. By all accounts a successful project, despite the sheer scope of work and building the project across eight different worksites. To what does the team attribute its success? They partnered early on, committed to their charter goals, and collaborated on innovative strategies.



Owner: Colorado Department of Transportation Prime Contractor: Kraemer North America LLC Design Engineer: Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig Partnering Facilitator: Larry Miller, Productivity Through People

team to collaborate early on and identify potential issues.

CDOT’s Top 3 Priorities:

The initial session was also important

1. Manage impacts during construction 2. Maximize the use of available funds

for strengthening trust on the newly

in the reconstruction, of the US 6

established Kraemer Design-Build task

corridor as described in the I-25 Valley

forces. These were discipline-specific, and went on to incorporate members of CDOT,

Highway FEIS Record of Decision, and

3. Demonstrate a commitment to

subcontractors, and stakeholders post-

enhance the established project

award. Mike Ingram, Design-Build Project

values: safety; quality; environmental;

Manager with Kraemer North America,

communications plan; and equal

elaborates on the opportunity for team-

employment/workforce development.

building presented by the design-kickoff: “Each discipline got to meet their

Setting charter goals is an essential


Partnering practice, and especially effective

at CDOT to see

when coupled with regular progress

what they wanted

monitoring through team surveys.

and develop a

Quarterly “Performance Evaluation

relationship.” It

Forms” (PEFs) issued by the team

was an effective

facilitator helped the team identify any

beginning; the task

miscommunication and share feedback

force organization is cited as being at the very core of

Mike Ingram, Design-Build Project Manager, Kraemer North America

the team’s collaboration.

The Design-Kickoff The team created a strong foundation for the project by holding a design-kickoff Partnering session, in which CDOT, the Kraemer Design-Build team, and project stakeholders met to review the design plans. As the project Partnering Facilitator Larry Miller (MIPI) explains, “Many times what happens is that construction problems are actually design problems that manifest themselves during construction.” Having a design-kickoff session prior to construction enabled the design-build

The Charter and Partnering Surveys In their construction kick-off partnering session, the team co-created their project

on where improvements could be made. Miller explains that the anonymous surveys helped ensure that no one on the team felt like a “bit-part player,” stressing, “We need input from anyone who has had anything to do with the project.” In this way, PEFs not only measured progress, but also reinforced teamwork.

charter to set forth project goals, hold


each other accountable to them, and

The team co-located during the design-

visualize success. The team included

phase, and that face-to-face (and

their design objective in the charter

sometimes spontaneous) collaboration

along with many others, such as to

was beneficial for the team dynamic and,

deliver the project early and to manage

by extension, the overall project outcomes.

public impact. Notably, CDOT had three

In fact, Ingram cites the importance of

major priorities which the entire team

co-location as a key lesson learned from

immediately adopted as team goals in

this partnered project, “It creates more

the charter.

of an informal atmosphere where you January–March 2017 Partnering Magazine


IPI PROFILES are comfortable walking down the hall—if for nothing else, than to bounce ideas off of each other.” When construction began, the Design Manager and CDOT remained, while the construction team moved to offices within walking distance. For meetings, the task teams still met in that familiar co-located space.

I 25 Closure, August 10, 2014

Innovative Strategies for Schedule and Public Impact

In many ways, the charter goals for schedule and public impact

Schedule and public impact were the two most important charter

were intertwined. The sooner the team could deliver the project,

goals on this Partnered project. Early on, the team decided to

the sooner the public could benefit from the reconstruction and

complete the project early (aiming for 11 months ahead of the

addition of new bridges. The team’s commitment to mitigating

WORDS FROM THE TEAM: EYES ON THE GOAL “The greatest time and cost savings to the project was Kraemer’s commitment to delivering the project 11 months ahead of the RFPdefined completion date.”

RFP date). Meeting

public impact and hitting its schedule goals is best epitomized by

this challenging

the closure of I-25 one weekend in August. This was CDOT’s first

goal required them

attempt at closing a highway down for construction. Success would

to collaborate on

depend on how well members on the team could coordinate with

innovative strategies.

each other and with all stakeholders, including Public Works; Traffic

Managing public impact

Control; the Police and Fire Departments; and, of course, the local

also necessitated a


collaborative effort, one which included

With their Public Involvement teams keeping everyone informed

outreach to the affected

of upcoming construction activity and what detours to expect, the

community and intricate

team was able to reduce public impact when the busy weekend

coordination with

arrived. “We see 230,000 cars on I-25 daily,” says CDOT project

external stakeholders.

director Kevin Sullivan in an interview with ENR, “yet there were minimal backups due to traffic detours and great communication.”

To accelerate the schedule, the design-build team established a

The strategy effectively reduced traffic by 50%, allowing the team

contractual agreement to extend the design phase that would

to complete a month’s worth of work in a mere 36 hours.

let them reach 80-90% design completion before launching into construction. Delaying construction in order to bring a project in

The U.S. 6 Bridges Design-Build Project team met their challenging

early seems counterintuitive, but Ingram explains the strategy

goals by fostering a team mindset from the very beginning,

behind it: “Most times you do it incrementally. On ours we decided

focusing on shared goals, and collaborating to find win-win

since we had such an aggressive schedule to try to get a full design

solutions. Meeting in a design-kickoff, aligning goals, and working

package out to make sure the structure plans, roadway, and

in a co-located environment were all key to the development of

drainage plans all meshed.” Doing so, he adds, “made for a much

their highly collaborative team. Innovative strategies like extending

more constructible design.”

the design phase and closing I-25 for a productive weekend saved them significant time and money. By carefully coordinating

One example of how well the team managed public impact

with stakeholders the team upheld their commitment of limiting

during construction was when CDOT took into consideration the

community impact. The project received honorable mention at

community’s opinion before removing the exit ramp at Lowell

IPI’s 7th Annual Awards Ceremony and has won many awards,

Boulevard. Part of the original design, its removal was intended to

including the ENR Award of Merit (Highway/Bridge), the DBIA Rocky

improve mobility along U.S. 6. CDOT asked Kraemer to ascertain

Mountain Region Transportation Award, the ASHTO Transportation

whether this would be the most beneficial course of action. After

Award, and the ACEC Engineering Excellence Merit Award.

door to door surveys and meetings with several neighborhood associations, Kraemer’s Public Involvement team found that

Do you have a success story that you’d like IPI to feature?

the majority actually preferred having the ramp open in the

Let us know! Call us at (925) 447 9100 or email us at ed@

short term, as it provided better access to their homes. With a

minor redesign, the team was able to accommodate them. Other outreach efforts included community meetings, a local job fair,


food drives, and donations to a local charter school.



Partnering Magazine January–March 2017

Collaboration. Innovation. Sustainability. Partnering to build what matters for our customers and communities.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Terminal B South Side Replacement, Houston, TX

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), American Airlines, Terminal F Baggage Claim Addition and Ticketing Renovation, Philadelphia, PA

LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Central Terminal Building, Queens, NY


The Trust Factor



t often makes sense to put together diversified teams:

They asked three main questions:

combining multiple strengths and specialties makes it easier to meet the greater complexities of today’s

1. Do

construction market. A rise in mega-projects, mixed-

cross-functional teams trust each other less than single-

function teams?

use developments and public-private partnerships have

2. Do

created a greater need for Joint Ventures, cross functional

geographically distributed teams have less personal

communication than co-located teams?

and multi-national teams. But do more diversified and

3. Do

complex team structures find it harder to build trust, and

people with less personal communication trust each other

less than those with more personal communication?

therefore collaborate effectively? Stanford University’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) looked at these

To conduct their research, the team assessed 96 team members

important issues in a study on Communication, Trust and

of six design/build teams working for Swinerton Incorporated

Performance: The Influence of Trust on Performance in A/E/C

across the US. All of the teams were working on large, multi-

Cross-Functional, Geographically Distributed Work1.

million dollar projects, and had an average of 15 core team

Goal Alignment



Partnering Magazine January–March 2017






members. The teams were multi-disciplinary, from fields such as architecture, structural engineering, construction management, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Trust This study measures trust based on perceived trustworthiness —an important precursor to trust. Perceived trustworthiness is someone’s assessment of how much another person can be trusted, and for what type of performance. Trustworthiness is in turn

The only type of communication to correlate to increased trustworthiness is personal communication.

Give your teams the collaborative advantage. Contact us today to book your

IPI Training

(925) 447-9100

defined by the following: • Benevolence – the knowledge that the trustee’s goals include positive outcomes for the trustors. This can also be defined as goal alignment. • Ability – referring to the belief that the trustee has the skills and resources that they need to perform their tasks. • Integrity – understood as honesty, consistency and congruent values. While each of these factors can be understood and measured independently, all of them together create trustworthiness.

Trust and Performance Many have long contended that trust results in better performance. This is because trust has a direct impact on the elements that determine performance, such as job satisfaction, individual job performance and problem solving. Research has also found that trust may impact how we perceive performance, independent of actual performance. For example, if we feel trusted, we feel more satisfied with our jobs, are more willing to contribute and therefore have higher output. Trusting our teammate also means we might be more open to providing more information, which in turn will result in better deliverables. On the other hand, if we trust our teammates, we are more inclined to believe that they are doing a good job without requiring proof. Increased job satisfaction matters in today’s construction

Now Available at the IPI Store

market. Other research has found that, unlike other industries, the construction labor force is shrinking. This

January–March 2017 Partnering Magazine


RESEARCH ROUNDUP Cross-functional teams don’t inherently trust each other less

suggests that, as other industries add jobs, some construction jobseekers are finding work elsewhere.

A factor which should encourage you to break down traditional siloes. Cross-

Thus, finding ways to

functional teams allow you to assess and resolve issues from multiple vantage

increase job satisfaction is

points, and can ensure internal alignment and agile communications.

critical to those companies and organizations wishing to attract quality talent.

Task inter-dependence and perceived follow-through lead to trust

Findings So how does trust, and

Provide teams opportunities for this with regular Partnering sessions, where cross-

therefore performance,

functional teams can jointly identify and resolve the issues impeding progress on

change on cross-functional

their projects. Establishing cross-functional task groups to resolve specific issues will

and geographically

not only give multi-dimensional solutions, but build trust among teammates in the

dispersed teams?


Because geographic

Co-location allows more personal communication, which builds trust

distribution did reduce personal communication,

As the authors of the CIFE study noted, “There is no virtual equivalent for an accidental meeting at the water cooler.” So while it may be necessary to compose teams that are dispersed throughout the country (or the world), find opportunities to bring them together, for trainings or Partnering sessions, and make it a point to create opportunities for personal interactions. Shift barbeques, community outreach days or milestone celebrations are great ways to build rapport with stakeholders, and build trust internally.

the study found a correlated reduction in perceived trustworthiness, resulting in lower trust. Trust in distributed teams was in fact significantly lower than in co-located teams. It is important to

and the concept that

associated with greater

bringing the team together

note that, of the three

when we are working


for physical partnering

types of communication

with someone from a

assessed in this study -

different discipline than

Our Takeaway

creative in finding ways to

communication for the

our own, we will trust

So how does this impact

create more opportunities for

purpose of coordination,

their role rather than their

how you Partner your

personal communication.

project related

individual performance,

construction projects?

communication, and

perhaps because we don’t

personal communication

necessarily understand how

When creating task forces

can be a great resource to

- the only type of

to evaluate the performance

to address issues or goals,

meet the needs of today’s

communication to correlate

of our colleagues from a

consider making them

construction projects, and

to trustworthiness was

different discipline.

cross-functional. This will

they can enhance how we

help break down siloes of

communicate. But trust will

Lastly, though not looking

communication and can

truly take your team to the

Perhaps less predictably,

for it, the team found

foster alignment across

next level. How will you

the study also found that

a clear and positive

different subsets of the team.

build trust on your global

cross-functional teams

correlation between trust

actually had greater

and interdependence. The

Secondly, because dispersed


perceived trust than

greater the interdependence,

teams have a harder time

single-function teams.

the higher the perceived

building trust, consider this

This they attributed to

trustworthiness and trust,

as a risk factor that will

“professional courtesy”

despite the higher risk

inform how often you’re

1. Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Construction Economic Update, July 2016 ConstructionEconomics/ConstructionEconomicUpdate/tabid/270/entryid/6443/ construction-labor-force-shrinks-jobnumbers-flat.aspx

personal communication.


Partnering Magazine January–March 2017

sessions. You might also get

Technology and online tools



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• • • • •

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January–March 2017 Partnering Magazine



IPI Virtual Forums

Regular online forums share Partnering best practices and trends in collaboration

Partnering Steering Committee Implementation Mark Leja, Executive Consultant at Hill International Consulting, Inc.,

Include purpose, committee authority, and governance, initial goals and objectives, and membership. “Working Together: How to form a Steering Committee” (available on includes a sample charter. 4. Plan the kickoff meeting well

presented on how to ensure the success

Have a two day workshop. On Day One, have dinner together

of your Partnering Steering Committee

and share your reasons for support. On Day Two, refine

(PSC). Having led the Caltrans Steering

the charter, identify barriers, and form sub-committees to

Committee for seven years, Leja shared his expert insight on PSC best practices and potential pitfalls.

address those barriers. 5. Be prepared to take action

It is important to follow up while enthusiasm is high.

As you consider the following, remember this important tip: there is no one-size-fits-all model. You’ll want to customize your PSC to fit your program so that it intertwines with your established working practices.

Important First Steps to get Your PSC Going in the Right Direction

Common Threats/Pitfalls to Implementation •

Not having the right members: Include policy owners from the agency side and local and regional construction managers from the industry side who

1. Identify your committee sponsor(s), support staff, and


can create internal change but are also engaged with

This is the core team that will organize your PSC. Have a

external associations.

sponsor from the agency and a co-sponsor from an industry

remind them of action items.

sponsor should have control of project delivery policy, such as a chief engineer does. Support staff helps send out invitations,

• •

prepared to go to work after the kickoff.

participate committee success.

Boredom: The expectation will be that change is coming. Keep everyone engaged and excited, and be

2. Identify members and secure their commitment to

Reaching out to the right people will bring your steering

Turnover of members: Limit turnover so you don’t have to rehash old issues.

schedule quarterly meetings, and make the agenda. The neutral facilitator will be your Partnering expert.

Poor attendance of key members: If someone has poor attendance, apply some peer pressure and

association that is active in your partnering process. Your

Burnout: Make sure your group is moving at a comfortable pace.

3. Develop a draft committee charter (a brief document of

PSC expectations) 16

Partnering Magazine January–March 2017



Virtual Forum Q&A: Q: What is the optimal size of a PSC? A: 25-30 people is a manageable size that allows for 3-4 subcommittees. Q: What do subcommittees focus on? A: Subcommittees work to remove barriers to collaboration. Q: Who runs the meetings? A: Ideally, co-sponsors and the neutral third party facilitator run the meetings. Q: Do you pay the facilitator for support work (the additional

work that takes place between meetings, including

outreach and planning)?

A: Absolutely. Q: How does one get the buy-in required to establish a

Steering Committee?


A: Reach out to industry associations. They have a voice with your leadership, experience with Partnering, and can be a big help to drive accountability and encourage

PAV I N G • R O A D / H I G H W AY • G R A D I N G • D E M O L I T I O N / E X C AVAT I N G

leadership to develop the committee. Q: Do you have any tips on how to enlist the co-sponsor for

the Committee?

A: Reach out to industry associations. They have a voice with your leadership, experience with Partnering, and can be a big help to drive accountability and encourage leadership to develop the committee.


925-829-9220 w w w . d e s i lva g at e s . c o m Contractors License No. 704195A

January–March 2017 Partnering Magazine



Sue Dyer, MBA, MIPI, MDRF Founder and CEO, International Partnering Institute


Hope is Not a Strategy!

wish I had a dime for each time someone has told

get what you put into your IPI involvement. IPI includes the

me that they hope they can do something to make

best and brightest along with cutting edge leaders who are

their project better. Or, they hope they can convince an

committed to the Partnering journey. You can learn in one

owner to partner their project. Or, they hope the team

meeting what might take you decades out in the field. What

will make timely decisions. Hoping leads to passively watching

if you got just one take-away idea that you could immediately

to see what happens. Too often we just live with what happens

implement that changed the course of your project? Well,

because we have become “hope-less.” Hope is not a strategy!

that is what is possible. But you do have to take action and get involved. Hoping and wishing just won’t make it so.

Rather than hoping things happen, why not invest the time to learn how to make Partnering really work on your projects?

Get Involved

Partnering is a journey, not a destination. Most people in

IPI has many ways for you to get involved, but in 2017 IPI

the industry know that a culture of collaboration is essential

will host Collaboration 2017 for the first time. A full two

to project success. It has been elusive for most and IPI has

-day construction Partnering conference that includes the

become the place to come when you are ready to learn more.

prestigious IPI Awards Program. This is the place to be if you want to learn about collaboration and how to continue your

A Partnering Journey

Partnering journey. You will have a chance to learn from the

IPI is ten years old in 2017! Ten years ago, when I gathered

top thought-leaders in the industry, along with the teams who

my key clients to start the International Partnering Institute,

have made it happen. You will also have the chance to learn

we knew we were starting a journey. The twenty people who

from one another at the owner and industry forums. These

agreed to be a part of the IPI inaugural Board of Advisors all

two days will be full of opportunities to learn how to take your

had great results from their Partnering efforts and were true

Partnering to the next level. And bring your team, so you are

believers. When we came together for this first time, none

not the lone-wolf trying to make things collaborative – you will

of the participants realized there were others on a similar

be able to help each other implement the ideas and concepts

Partnering journey, who were also achieving outstanding

that you learn at Collaboration 2017. Mark your calendars for

results. And from one another they learned how to take their

May 18-19, 2017.

Partnering to the next level. There are many other ways for you to get involved with IPI

Your ROI

(Committees, BOD, NetWorkshops, articles, white papers,

The approach of learning from one another is the cornerstone

project awards, sponsorships, etc.) or volunteer. Just give IPI a

for how IPI operates today. IPI is the clearinghouse for

call to explore how you can give so you can receive!

construction Partnering. IPI gathers lessons learned and best practices from every corner of the industry and then shares

Stop hoping your projects succeed and start learning how to

these with the entire industry. Don’t just wish things were

take the steps necessary to make them succeed. Success leaves

different, come and get involved in IPI and share your best

clues—IPI gathers these clues and turns then into best practices

practices and learn from others. There is definitely an ROI for

for you to use. We are here to serve you! All you have to do is

you—that is a Return on Involvement!! You will absolutely

get involved!


Partnering Magazine January–March 2017

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Partnering Magazine January-March 2017  
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