Many industry organizations and associations are now embracing construction partnership and, as a result the partnering process has been a common practice in numerous projects. Large construction projects are complicated and involve more stake, more participants with a variety of backgrounds, and more information with modern technology that has significantly altered both the pace and method that we work. Effective partnership from the beginning is essential for success. This will ensure that the projects are of the highest quality, within the timeframe, on budget, and with the best collaboration and minimal conflicts.
Effective partnering requires more than simply attending the preconstruction-related partnering session at the start of an initiative. It requires a completely different method of thinking and a different mindset throughout the entire life-cycle that the venture.
Are you a good partner? Utilize the seven principles of partnership as a guideline to hold you or your group accountable for becoming an even better partner.
1. Make a commitment to partner.
To be able to effectively partner your team must be able to be fully committed to a partnering strategy. Examine your company’s capabilities to partner and fix any weaknesses. Get the team of your project together and discuss the reasons you want to collaborate and with whom. Examine past experiences with working together and determine how it is possible to enhance your partnership. The partnership will not be a result of because you believe it’s good idea. Everyone in your team must be fully committed to the idea and the process. It is crucial that the team understands and comprehends the skills of partnering essential to be successful.
2. Make a commitment to achieve the mutual project objectives.
Before you break the first shovel into ground, be sure you’ve established mutual goals for the project, and performance metrics and an understanding of how you’ll work (and collaborate) together. The initial agreements can alter over the course of your project but, it’s important to make sure that your relationship is built on genuine understanding and not on faulty assumptions. If everyone on the team is in agreement and a commitment to the main objectives of the project those goals are more likely to succeed.
3. Make sure to get early, broad and extensive involvement.
A mistake that is seen often is to limit the responsibility for partnering to a few people. To reap all the benefits of partnership the relationships you have with them must be on all levels and start very early in the course of the project. It is essential to have a broad the responsibility of establishing and maintaining a positive partnering culture. This will create a greater understanding between partners, increase communication and could lead to new opportunities for future partnerships.
4. Set clear rules for engagement.
For effective collaboration teams must have a common understanding of the obligations and roles of each team member as well as a clear understanding of how they will collaborate. Undefined responsibilities can result in conflicts, power struggles and duplication of effort, or even gaps that are too large to fill. The key to gaining speed is to clearly define what you’re trying to achieve and who will accomplish it.
5. Encourage honest and open communication.
Communication is the basis of collaboration. Communication that is effective means that there aren’t any hidden alliances, there are no conflicts that go under the surface and no major surprises on the project. There will be a variety of differences in your collaboration – risks requirements, expectations,, preferences and even personalities. Your success will be contingent on the ability of your team to listen to each other, take note of and be respectful of differences, accept those things that you can’t change and focus on areas where there are value propositions that will be successful for everyone.
6. Track progress and monitor it.
Partnering is an essential part of regular project meetings. Utilize these meetings to keep tabs on partnership concerns, ideas and the development in the relationship. Examine what is working in the partnership, and what’s not working. Review your progress in relation to your goals and objectives. Learn from your achievements and failures. Recognizing your achievements regularly is an excellent method to keep your relationship thriving.
7. Be committed to working with your colleagues and refrain from playing blame game.
The possibility of problems is inevitable when working in a project that is complex but it’s rare that one person or company is solely accountable when things go wrong. It’s easy to be distracted by conflict and “winning,” and as result, you may not be able to solve the problem and ultimately damage your relationships. Switch your focus away from blame and towards healthy curiosity. The blame game is about judging others the situation, while curiosity is about analyzing the issue in depth to make sense of what the problem is.
By Doris Kovic, Partnering Facilitator. Blue Cove Partnering.
Blue Cove Partnering helps client teams to start large-scale construction projects through our creative collaboration. This method creates a solid base for collaboration that is high-performance that produces extraordinary results. extraordinary projects developed by teams that are truly committed to working together.