Construction Partnering


Agree is a pioneer in the facilitation of Partnering workshops in construction, all levels of government, military, IT, financial, social services, transportation, labour relations and health care sectors.  Agree has adapted the Partnering model to relationship management in joint ventures, union/management relationship building and public/private partnerships (P3’s).

Partnering is a facilitated process for aligning the business interests of a constellation of firms involved in a project to assist them in leveraging their strengths and mitigating the effects of competing interests on the business relationship.  It highlights the interdependencies of the “Partners” and their need to deliberately invest in the success of one another to achieve both their shared and individual goals.  It offers strategies and specific tools for achieving collaborative problem solving, proactive conflict management and issue resolution. 

Win / win relationships do not just happen.  Collaboration does not occur easily or even naturally.  People and businesses are naturally competitive and self-protecting.  Organizations which need to leverage off of one another in order to succeed, require a process to follow to both protect them and to unleash the creativity and synergies that cause them to go into these relationships in the first place.  Collaboration is not a happy accident.  It is the pursuit of a deliberate and disciplined set of principles and stated and met expectations that allow organizations to learn how to take measured and proportional risks together.

Research demonstrates that Partnered construction projects generally are completed earlier and closer to budget than comparable projects that do not use Partnering.  US experience has shown a dramatic reduction in the number of outstanding claims and costly litigation at the end of projects.  Surveys of Canadian players in the construction industry describe improved working relationships, improved integration of end user needs, and more timely decision-making on Partnered projects. 

Partnering is nothing less than designing and planning for the business relationship you want.  Partnering offers great value and yet, like any good design, the beneficial value is greatest when it occurs early in the project when problem solving patterns are not yet set and the relationship is not burdened with a history of stress and strain.  Where this is not possible, or when challenges arise mid-project, Agree can assess the working relationships and design and facilitate remedial partnering workshops to get things back on track.

An effective partnering workshop will:

  • build positive, cooperative relationships among the stakeholders;

  • clarify shared goals

  • provides easily understood tools to help achieve those goals;

  • facilitate effective communication between stakeholders, using proven problem solving, negotiation and conflict management principles and skills.

  • Partnering recognizes that each of the stakeholders involved in the Project has a range of interests -- most of which are common and some of which seem to be in competition.  The partnering relationship involves all stakeholders in reframing from “us vs. you” to a more productive, “all of us vs. the common challenge”.

The benefits to all stakeholders through a commitment to a partnering relationship include:

  • On-time completion of the project, due to better coordination through streamlined communications and effective problem solving and administrative procedures;

  • Resolution of claims and change orders within the life of the project by resolution of conflicts at the lowest possible level and with a system in place to elevate such conflicts in a timely fashion if required;

  • Completion of the project within budget or with minimal cost growth;

  • Reduced stress and enhanced relationships among all stakeholders arising from commitment to collaborative approach to project goals; and

  • For some projects, value engineering savings achieved through joint development of value engineering proposals and rapid response time to these proposals.

Agree is a Canadian leader in designing and facilitating partnering workshops for P3 projects.  For complex P3 projects, Agree can facilitate workshops at key stages of the project: design/finance, construction, commissioning, transitioning and operations/maintenance.

The Next Best Step:  We invite you to call our office to discuss your facilitation needs – 1-800-524-6967.