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?
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:
I’ve been in this business over 45 years and I didn’t think you could change a project team that was highly dysfunctional. Jim, as a neutral 3rd party, was able to turn a highly challenged and adversarial project team into an aligned, focused “World Class” team and do this quickly. The result was that upon completion I and the entire project team were very proud of what we accomplished together.
Jim has worked with Kaiser National Facilities Services on 4 major health care projects. Each one had a very challenging ‘staff and stock’ opening date. His reset partnering process significantly enhanced collaboration by enabling the project team to create and execute collaborative goals and actions that resulted in us hitting or bettering those dates. Also, these were projects that all stakeholders could be proud of.
Jim, I could not use you and your firm on all my projects of my USMC 2.4bn progrom. But I did use you on my most challenging and complex ones. Those being the Yuma Joint Strike Fighter Facility and US Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton. Subsequently both were outstanding successes and NHCP was 6 months early (the first DOD or VA hospital to ever finish early) and, of course, won the 2014 AGC “Project of the Year” nationwide. Also, your assistance in turning around a schedule critical, ‘black box’, highly troubled job at China Lake was invaluable.
Jim has the uncanny ability to get people to talk to each other for the common goal of having a successful, ‘World Class’ project. He was instrumental in discouraging team members from hiding behind emails and texts,and convincing all project stakeholders to resolve issues through direct conversations thus significantly reducing the time required to resolve time and cost impacts, and keeping the project moving forward.
Jim worked with our field leadership team on a 2.1 billion dollar, complex health care project for over two years. It was an IPD job employing LEAN Construction. Jim’s work helped create alignment and enhance the performance of the project field leaders most connected to the front line. His efforts helped the team stay aligned and focused, keeping a mega project on schedule and helping us cross the finish line on time.
On a dock renovation and dredging project we had good people with good intentions who had different ideas of success which they weren’t communicating to one another. They were not aligned. This led to distrust, unresolved issues and delays. Your work improved efficiencies and coordination and enabled us to complete the remainder of the job as a “World Class” team and avoid potentially very costly legal disputes at the end of the job.
Although we have used Ventura Consulting with great success for traditional project partnering workshops that included us as the general contractor, the Owner, the design team, and key subcontractors, we most recently used Ventura for an internal partnering workshop with our joint venture team on an extremely complex megaproject that was in the preconstruction phase. The JV partners had distinctly different backgrounds and brought distinctly different attributes to the joint venture, and it was paramount for the joint venture to work as an aligned, unified team with the Owner. The partnering workshop was very successful in bringing much better cohesion, alignment, and communication within the JV team. A definite win!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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