Introduction to Partnering
Developing and facilitating partnering workshops at which stakeholders, coming together for a particular joint venture or project, commit to a team approach that includes a proactive plan for conflict management.
An Innovative Process for Building Strong Working Relationships
Agree is a pioneer in developing new conflict prevention processes for business and government.
Partnering is a powerful, structured team building process that works to define and build relationships and preventatively manage conflict at the earliest possible stage.
Partnering has proven itself uniquely successful in the litigation-prone construction industry by dramatically reducing claims filed and delivering on-time, on-budget projects that are satisfying and profitable.
Agree has developed and expanded the application of the Partnering process to cover other areas, such as:
- Joint Ventures
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Inter-Departmental Conflict and Turf Wars
- Employment Equity Plans
- Union/Management Collective Bargaining
Partnering builds quality and success in from the beginning. For more information on how Partnering can be applied, contact Agree.
What Is Partnering?
Partnering is a process of team building and mutual goal setting that promotes free information exchange, creative problem solving, as well as communication and conflict management strategies. Partnering does not create a new legal relationship. Instead, it further develops and makes explicit the implied covenant of good faith that runs through the contract.
Partnering is all about:
- how people on the project want the project to be conducted
- how those involved on the project want to treat and be treated by one another developing a level of trust that will allow each person and organization to make the greatest contribution possible to the project
- understanding and empathizing with one another's interests (their needs and concerns) in such a way that all partners measure success based upon the ability of the project to meet the greatest number of those interests
- developing shared goals for the project that will form a Partnering Charter
- working together to create procedure and action plans to help realize Charter goals
- developing together a procedure for resolving disputes as they come up that is quick, efficient and fair
- implementing together the plans and procedures developed in the partnering workshop
- evaluating the partnership's effectiveness based upon the mutual goals as expressed in the Charter
Partnering is Not:
- a negotiated change to the contract tender of other documents that established the legal relationship of the parties
- a means of shifting the risk as outlined in the contract documents
- group therapy -- Partnering is about helping skilled professionals and trades people make the best use of their time, energy and other resources -- it is about doing business together in a civil way
The Benefits of Partnering
The Partnering process requires a high level of up front commitment from all stakeholders. It will demand increased staff and management time initially in order to place the relationship between the parties on a secure footing. Once this has taken place, the project personnel will understand that they have the support of their organization and of the other stakeholders to take increased responsibility for their jobs and for the success of the project itself. This results in problem solving occurring at a lower level and better and more timely decision making at higher levels where that becomes necessary.
- reduced exposure to litigation because more claims are settled on site, through communication and dispute resolution strategies
- a more satisfying and fun work environment, fewer cost overruns and delays because of improved scheduling and cost control, lower administrative costs related to defensive case building, greater opportunity for value engineering savings greater innovation, expedited decision making increased opportunity for financially successful projects because of cooperative win/win attitudes of stakeholders
- early identification of technical and other problems
- an enhanced role of subcontractors in decision making often provides increased opportunities for innovation and value engineering/cost savings
In addition to the above noted benefits there is the pride that stakeholders feel in the work that they have done. Treating one another with respect and being treated with respect is simply a better way of working. Partnering allows all stakeholders to truly become what they see themselves as being: part of a successful team with valued knowledge, skills and experience.