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Proactive partnering saves time and money

Tom Newland
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Question: How do you resolve conflicts and work with partners on the Grand Avenue bridge project?

Last week the Grand Avenue bridge construction team and stakeholder team held our second partnering session. The workshop was a follow-up to our initial session in January where we developed project goals and a team charter both for the construction team and the stakeholder team.

Collaborative partnering is a structured process in which construction project teams come together regularly throughout a project to co-create goals and strategies to meet those goals.



The Colorado Department of Transportation has placed an emphasis on incorporating partnering into complex projects for several reasons. Partnering can improve the project delivery timeline, reduce or eliminate litigation and identify ways to resolve issues and improve outcomes. Partnering creates alignment around the goals and builds trust among team members.

The International Partnering Institute has data that shows that for every $1 invested in partnering, an average of $81 is returned in savings for your project. Partnering helps to build teams that perform better in terms of schedule, cost and quality as well as safety.



Discussions at the partnering workshops are not always easy. The workshop provides an opportunity to identify issues and discuss action plans on how to addresses issues and who is responsible for leading the action steps.

In our most recent partnering session, we discussed the challenges ahead for the 2017 traffic bridge detour and roles and responsibilities of each partner to prepare and plan. Items such as traffic control, public information and team collaboration are all reviewed and suggestions are made for adjustments or improvements. The final partnering session at the end of the project will identify lessons learned and takeaways.

So what goals did the project team come up with during the partnering sessions? They include:

• Ensuring a safe work site.

• Recognizing our limitations.

• Utilizing collaborative problem solving,

• Being fiscally responsible.

• Delivering a beautiful project our community is proud of.

• Staying intelligent, adaptive and positive.

• Working together with synergy.

• Maintaining momentum.

• Providing seamless communication and transparency.

Tom Newland is communications manager for the Grand Avenue bridge project.


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