By Jim Eisenhart, President of Ventura Consulting Group

COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL: Adopt a communication protocol of “No e-mails or written communication except to confirm or memorialize a verbal conversation”.

TEAM GOALS: Spend 30 minutes with them developing team goals which:  Acknowledge the reality of where the team is today and what would be an extraordinary future if “they could not fail” Acknowledge but are not limited by the contract or specs Goals must be measurable and speak to the ‘end game’ = not how to’s Speak to all facets of project success = schedule, cost, safety, quality, dispute resolution, public impact everyone in the room must be able to commit to working toward the goals At the edge of possible and impossible Distinguish between circumstances the team today, going forward, can influence and those they can not.

ISSUE RESOLUTION: Develop an issue resolution ladder that makes it okay agree to disagree as long as you elevate the issue and keep the job, and your trust, working. Look at issues as opportunities rather than disagreements.

BRAINSTORMING: After a team has set common goals, group them in teams of 3 to 5 individuals from different stakeholder groups (designer, CM, GC, owner). Give them seven minutes to: Suggest at least one, if not two, really big, outside the box ideas that could take time and/or cost out of the schedule and budget Remind the team that it’s okay to get a little crazy (prefab, do a portion of the job design-build, etc.) Go around the room and have each team briefly present their best idea; then their second best Read each idea. Each individual has one vote for the idea they believe is the best and they can’t vote for their own team’s ideas. Winning team rewarded or incentivized with lunch, etc.

RELUCTANT TEAM MEMBERS: Once your team has adopted a set of team values or standards ask, “How will we deal with individuals who can not or will not abide by these standards? Invariably, the consensus is that they (the team) will surface it verbally and talk with the individual directly

RISK ASSESSMENT: Use our BOMS (Breakdowns, Obstacles, Mistakes and SCREW-UPS) Board as a risk analysis, team-building tool after they have developed common goals: Have each stakeholder group identify what they see as the top 3 BOMS that might prevent us from achieving our goals Have each team share their biggest risk or BOM Plot risks on the BOM Board relative to predictability and impact on the team goals. As a full team, have them address 2 questions regarding each BOM: How can we prevent the BOM? If we can’t prevent it, how can we minimize its impact on our goals?

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