When you are serious about construction project change Reset Partnering is your quickest solution for turning the balance of your truly challenged construction project into an extraordinary success for all project stakeholders.

Why consider ‘resetting’ your current project team now?

Despite good intentions by good people from good organizations, teamwork on your project is not producing results that meet the end user’s intentions.  There may even be distrust and unresolved claims and REA’s.  You may also have tried formal partnering.

We all know that trying to change people’s behaviors doesn’t work. We all resent it and rightfully so. 

Reset Partnering’s workshops enable the whole project team to let of past ‘baggage’.  With this the team ‘resets’ to pursue compelling common partnership goals given where the job is on the day of the workshop.

This is a positive, go-forward process which, when backed up by personal commitments with dates and deliverables, produces action and results.

Is this what your project needs now?

Results are obtained by pursuing opportunities going forward, not solving problems.
Peter Drucker
foremost management thinker of the 20th century
Las Colinas Women’s Detention Center
Las Colinas Women’s Detention Center
"I do not want to hear anything about what happened in the past. I want to talk about how we get from where we are today to where the end user really needs us to be. When a team is not working well and there’s a lot of complaining and crying, they’ve got to realize that there’s nothing they can do about it. Isolate it and move forward."
Brian Cahill
President, Balfour Beatty, California. Principal overseeing BBC’s AGC’s Alliant Partnering “Project of the Year” nationwide in 2016, for San Diego’s Las Colinas Women’s Detention Center.

What is a truly ‘challenged’ construction project?

An absence of team alignment and collaborative action

Poor communication, e-mail ‘tennis’, and defensive posturing

A lack of compelling team goals

Unresolved conflicts and REA’s

No personal accountability

Personal stress and low morale

We all know the costs, direct and indirect, of the above.

Those being not meeting critical schedule deadlines, incurring needless costs and budget overruns, safety risks, non-compliance notices, unresolved claims, and personal stress and damaged reputations

Reset Partnering™ produces positive, immediate, significant, and sustained results for all.  Guaranteed.  And with no excuses for project history, current or future circumstances, difficult 3rd parties or, yes, even people.

The more challenging, adversarial, or screwed up your project the easier it is to ‘reset’.

Why is this? Some 20 years ago a very wise CEO of a major construction firm told me. “Jim, when you have a job that is just so-so many players are just inclined to let the status quo persist. “I can make it through this. It’s not good but it will be over in a year or so and I can put up with it. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze”. But on a job that is truly challenged or screwed up, everyone is personally hurting. And when you give them a choice between continuing the status quo or resetting, they will all jump at the latter”.

This is all we do

We specialize in resetting challenged construction projects. We do not do ‘start up’ partnering.

Too audacious or implausible?Hear what some of our clients are saying:

Who we are and our experience

“Reset Partnering” (a new affiliate of the Ventura Consulting Group) has worked with 18 of the 20 largest general contractors in the US over 30 years.  We have reset over 200 challenged projects world-wide ranging from multi-billion dollar health and transit jobs to 1 million dollar street restorations.  From the US Moscow embassy Renovation, the Rose Bowl Renovation, a 1bn dollar Intel plant in Israel to the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

What are the traditional options of trying to ‘fix’ a ‘challenged’ project and why are they so often ineffective?

How often have you tried some of the following?:

1. Working harder, longer, and even better at doing the same thing.  But does this not, at best, merely produce incremental improvement?  Does it address fundamental issues of trust, communication, and alignment let alone produce ‘breakthrough’ results and “World Class” teamwork?  And can this often ‘burn out’ you and your people?

2. You and your people are great.  But are they truly in a position to change the actions and behaviors of all the other project stakeholders?  To include 3rd parties?

3. The project team can focus on resolving today’s problems and achieving minimal contract compliance or even just “Good” teamwork.  But is not solving today’s problems reactive, can it not easily bring forth defensiveness, and does just being ‘Good’ at anything truly inspire sustained and committed action?

4. You can spend a lot of time and effort trying to determine ‘why’ your project isn’t as successful as it might be.  Also known as the “who’s to blame”, game.  Are you and your fellow stakeholders likely to agree on these reasons?  And, even if you were, does that produce action and results going forward?

Case Study

Expo 2 Light Rail Line Los Angeles:  On time and with active support by third parties

This 12.1 mile, 1.5bn design-build light rail project had a great DB JV, Skanska-Rados, and owner team from the Exposition Authority.  These two entities got along very well.  Their particular challenge was enrolling all critical 3rd party stakeholders to do nothing less than actively supporting project success.  These included:  cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, LA Department of Water and Power, and, Southern California Gas Company.  We did this through short, ‘deep’ derivative partnering sessions between the JV, EXPO Authority and each of these organizations.

Mike Aparicio, Skanska EVP, The 9 ‘derivative partnering’ sessions just with LADWP conducted by Jim and his firm saved us at least a year on this project.  We set aside past stereotypes of one another and we, the JV, listened to the utilities concerns.  Interestingly they had more to do about helping the utility optimize their efficiencies.  Which we subsequently did.  And we were able to replicate this with other key 3rd parties.  They actively supported project success.

Rick Thorpe, CEO, EXPO Authority:  Jim and his team always do a great job facilitating our partnering sessions with contractors, but we found smaller more focused sessions with third parties, which we called derivative sessions, were extremely effective. Our derivative sessions with Southern Cal Edison got everyone focused on what needed to get done. I believe, without these sessions, we would have been faced with substantial project delays.

5. You as a principal can get more involved.  But what is the opportunity cost of your time spent fixing an ‘at risk’ project?  Can you both facilitate and participate at the same time?  Can you ‘press’ other stakeholders for personal commitments?  Can you call “BS” when someone is complaining, finger-pointing or ‘story telling’?

6.  You and your fellow stakeholders can replace key personnel.  But is this not a costly option?  And, of course, it may or may not work.

7.  You can let existing unresolved issues, claims and REA’s fester.  And yet we all know that this ‘baggage’ can severely impede project trust and progress in the field going forward.

"Unresolved controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way. And the fools know it."
Oliver Wendall Holmes
US Supreme Court Justice

8.  You can train people in team building or leadership.  This doesn’t hurt but does giving people information produce results?  If so, we would all read the case studies of successful design-build, CM@risk, IPD, LEAN, or P3 projects and that would suffice.

Your fellow stake-holder’s problems on a construction project, real or not in your mind and to include those you may well not be aware of, will become your problems sooner rather than later.
Jim Eisenhart
President, Reset Partnering, “Turning the Problem Construction Project into a ‘World Class’ Team”, 2016, Force10 Press

What is “Reset Partnering”?

Setting aside the past and enabling the whole project team to define, commit to and work towards partnership goals for the balance of the project that would equate to an extraordinary success

As 3rd party neutrals skilled in construction project facilitation for over 30 years, we bring a proven process to your challenged, ‘at risk’ projects.  Above all, we are told we enable the team to create a clear path forward toward success – with velocity.  This path acknowledges, but is not limited by, the reality of where the project is on the day of their initial ‘reset’ workshop.

Nor do we mandate change.  We enable stakeholders to create compelling future ‘partnership’ goals and then give them a choice.  Play the ‘old game’ or reset to achieve their future goals while setting aside current disputes.  They will be handled elsewhere in another venue. 

In over 200 ‘reset’ projects, we have yet to see a project team settle for continuing the status quo.

We then get them into action with critical short term milestones backed up by personal commitments to action with names, dates and measurable deliverables.  Good intentions are not good enough.

"You were able to turn a highly challenged project with a non-responsive contractor, and all under a very tight timeline, into a successfully collaborative process that resulted in immediate, major, and ongoing improvements in project teamwork and results through successful project partnering. I and the entire team are very proud of the aligned, focused, “World Class” team that resulted from your reset efforts and for the success of the Thermalito Restoration Project being completed on-time. Thank you."
Tony Meyers
Executive Director, Delta Conveyance Office, California Department of Water Resources

How ‘Reset Partnering’ is unique from conventional partnering?

We only work on truly “at risk”, challenged projects that are underway. We want to be your trusted, go-to, ‘ace’ relief pitcher. Hopefully you will not need us often. But when you do, you can count on extraordinary results and a ‘save’.

Our approach is project specific and facilitative. No games, psychological stuff or lectures. And, if you are looking for a ‘feel good’ experience, please look elsewhere.

We create active mutual accountability. We enable the team to hold one another accountable for personal and team commitments.

We utilize short, derivative partnering sessions at the outset to enable the team to focus on the top 3 to 5 key result areas for your project in the next 2 to 4 months. No large groups of 30 or more where at any time ½ those present may not be engaged by the subject matter.

Our process is highly intensive in first 5 to 6 weeks after initial session. We do not wait 3 months for a review activity. You need results now.

We are recognized world-wide for having developed the distinction between merely “Good” and “World Class” construction project teamwork. We literally wrote the book on it in 2011.

We have been active in AGC of America for over 30 years. We have spoken at AGC, DBIA, CMAA conferences nationwide, and at the Gulf Council of Construction in Dubai. Mr. Eisenhart has been recognized by the International Partnering Institute as one of only two awardees of their “Excellence in Partnering Facilitation” award.

And, yes, we put part of our fee ‘at risk’ to deliver measurable results.

"If you ever want people on an adversarial or highly challenged construction project to agree on something ask them ‘what are the predictable consequences of continuing to disagree or be misaligned?’."
Jim Eisenhart
President, Reset Partnering

And how do you deal with existing disputes, claims, REA’s, etc? What is ‘facilitated dispute resolution’?

As mentioned, at the outset we request that the team ‘take these off the table’ and focus exclusively on success on the balance of the job.  If these are allowed to remain ‘on the table’ and unresolved they can be like an anchor limiting forward progress. Once trust is reestablished and progress underway, we’ll ask the team if they’d like to now revisit these disputes and expedite their resolution within the partnership.

"The average claim costs 26.9mn dollars and takes 16 months to resolve."
International Partnering Institute

Invariably the response is “yes”.  We start by having the team acknowledge how many existing disputes are there?  We then challenge them to set a partnership goal.  The goal usually speaks to “Resolved all outstanding issues/disputes within the partnership no later than _____ date”.  

Above all, teams want to avoid having to use ‘outside’ parties and, if so, only as a last resort.  These include DRB’s, arbitrators or mediators let alone attorneys.  They all agree that now, this team has the knowledge and capability to resolve them.  We enable them to create a process, starting at the project level, with milestones and grounded in seeking ‘mutual understanding’ of what actually happened in lieu of traditional back and forth ‘case building’.

Our Services

Full Project Reset

JV team reset

Facilitated Dispute Resolution

Specific project process reset = expedite schedule/close out; gaining active 3rd party support; hitting a critical milestone

Program reset

Ready to discuss your project?