All successful projects, regardless of delivery method, size, or scope, share one thing in common: partnering. Partnering is not a new concept, but is often overlooked in the delivery of a project. Whether partnering is a formal or informal process, it is an integral aspect of a project’s overall delivery.

On some projects, partnering “just happens.” This is typically attributed to positive attitudes of all partners or stakeholders on a project. A formal process for partnering will elevate it to a core value of the project team and make it a measurable metric of a project. All projects would benefit from having a partnering session shortly after all parties have been selected for a project. This includes the owner and their representatives, the project’s designers, and constructors. Some of the components of the partnering session include:

  • Developing a vision statement
  • Define roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders
  • Define expectations of each stakeholder group
  • Define barriers to success

The partnering session establishes parameters for communication, demonstrates how decisions affect all project stakeholders, and reinforces the vision for the project. The vision for the project cannot be understated. By creating the vision statement, agreeing to it as a team, and signing the document as a team ties all future decisions back to the initial singular goal of the project.

To monitor and enforce the partnering process, an executive team should be formed with a representative from each stakeholder. It is the responsibility of this team to monitor how the project is progressing utilizing the partnering agreement. This group is charged with openly discussing how each team member is fulfilling their role on the project. Transparent, open communication is a necessity for this group.

Incorporating this into your next project will help ensure positive outcomes as well as a better journey through the delivery process.