Partnering the Larger Complex Project and Program

The risks on complex, large-scale construction projects are great, but so are the rewards. In addition to carrying a high-level of risk, other challenges project teams face during large projects include:

  • increased public scrutiny,
  • multiple stakeholders,
  • longer duration,
  • and the involvement of larger, more complex organizations.

To address these complications and keep the project on-track, VCG has created a truly innovative multi-level teaming process called “Derivative Partnering,” which provides the framework to engage and align the project team, as well as multiple stakeholders and third parties.

Greater Risk

Large-scale construction projects bear greater risk in all domains—financial, political, social and personal. A major threat to all stakeholders is the cost of a project delay or stopping construction altogether. With increased risk, comes pressure to defend/transfer risk; a time-consuming activity to say the least.  A World Class teamwork environment breaks down the walls of individual companies and brings them together, creating a single-team built upon trust, where productivity and meeting the project’s end-goals reign paramount and risk fades away.

Increased Visibility

The larger, complex job—especially in the public sector—is invariably under constant public and media scrutiny. With greater visibility, can come pressure to defer decisions or push them off on another party. Indecision can also delay or stop a project.  Our Partnering methodology helps ensure that a plan is put in place to communicate effectively with the various team members, as well as the public throughout all stages of a project. This collaborative approach effectively addresses the needs of the team and the community, creating a safe environment to make quick and appropriate decisions without the worry of putting an individual team member’s or a company’s reputation at risk.

More and More Vocal Stakeholders

Large projects not only involve the owner, architect, engineers, general contractor, subcontractors and other project team members, but they also include multiple agencies, community groups, inspectors, end-users—many of whom are vocal constituents. On large projects, the team needs to develop strategies to effectively engage with these various entities who often have different agendas, while keeping the job moving forward. When implemented correctly, World Class teaming breaks down silos, capitalizes on the resources and capabilities of all team members and pulls these disparate organizations together to focus on and achieve common goals.

Longer Durations

The bigger the project, the longer its duration. Lengthy project schedules create unique challenges for the project team, manifesting itself in several ways. These include challenges with scheduling and coordination and keeping the team focused on the end-game throughout the entire project. Additionally, these jobs can involve discrete phases of construction involving different players, which is compounded by project personnel turnover.  Navigating constant change like this is where the value of World Class teamwork really shines, by creating flexibility and long-term positive relationships focused on the project’s ultimate success. Lengthy projects using a high-performance teaming approach also create a greater opportunity to build confidence and establish trust through previous accomplishments, enabling the team to take on and meet greater challenges.

The $221.5 million County of San Diego Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee, California

“Having participated in the Partnering sessions, I can attest to the collective team’s true commitment to the Partnering process on this unique and innovative project. Despite the group’s large size, we formed a powerful team that was aligned with the owner’s objectives and remained mindful of the county’s rehabilitative goals for inmates. We met every challenge head on and the results speak for themselves – an award-winning design that was built safely, on schedule, on original budget, and with a zero punch list. We are all proud to have been a part of this project and its success is a testament the team’s commitment to each other, the design-build process and Partnering at its best.”

—Brian Cahill, president of Balfour Beatty Construction’s California Division

Executive Commitment and Sustained Involvement

World Class teamwork on larger, complex projects mandates executive involvement and participation from the get-go through project completion. All too often, however, the initial gathering of executive-level management on larger jobs is limited to the unspoken purpose of establishing personal relationships. While this is valuable, it should not end there. Senior management participation is needed to confront hard questions and “what if scenarios” related to risk and potential conflicts. They are also needed to press for specific commitments from their peers relative to how they will work together to prevent or, if not, mitigate these risks and conflicts. VCG’s collaborative Partnering approach includes proven strategies for harnessing the power of executive management effectively and efficiently to prevent and mitigate risks for all parties.

Successful Large Projects Keep on Giving

Repeat business is the lifeblood of every company, especially in the construction industry. Companies who tap the skills of World Class teamwork on their large, complex projects will not only reap the rewards of the exceptional projects they produce, but also the relationships they’ve developed with individuals, industry partners and organizations. These fruitful relationships, built on trust and previous successes, lead to new contracts and make navigating through future complex projects infinitely more successful, rewarding and personally satisfying.

Contact us to learn more about our proven approach to delivering successful large projects.