4specs.com    4specs.com Home Page

What ever happened to "Partnering"?... Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

4specs Discussion Forum » Archive - Specifications Discussions » What ever happened to "Partnering"? « Previous Next »

Author Message
David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 243
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 06:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What ever happened to "Partnering"? It used to be all the rage a few years ago. I remember attending quite a few seminars. Now you never heard mention of the word.
Doug Brinley
Username: dbrinley

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 07:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Everybody got burned.
David R. Combs, CSI, CCS, CCCA (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 09:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

On the one project partnering session I had the opportunity to attend, the Owner made it a point to express how valuable and important the partnering process was to them and their project.

The Contractor wasted no time in embracing and exploiting this significant Owner objective. During construction, any time the design team would point out non-conforming work, not approve substitutions, reject invalid claims and requests for extensions of time, or adjust the contractor's pay app to reduce over-billing and to reflect the actual percentage completion, the contractor would almost instantaneously cry "they're not acting in the spirit of partnering!" Boo-hoo.

Apparently, their idea of partnering was "don't stand in the way of letting us run over the Owner and treat them like a doormat for our financial gain." Or else . . .

Ever since, my opinion of the partnering process has been somewhat tainted. But it was only one experience. I'm sure there are many projects out there where it has worked successfully.
Anne Whitacre, CCS CSI
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 81
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 07:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The process is now called "DRB" or Dispute Resolution Boards. Same thing, sort of, slightly different process, longer name. Doesn't sound quite so friendly.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 192
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, March 01, 2004 - 03:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Actually true partnering is quite different, and much more complex, than dispute resolution. Partnering in its best form starts at the earliest possible point, and includes a lot of meetings to establish trust and manage expectations between the parties. One of its goals is to avoid ever having to go to dispute resolution, and the practitioners will tell you that once you are facing the need for dispute resolution it's really to late to start partnering. I think one of the reasons it has faded away somewhat is because it has a very distinct "touchy feely" quality to it that makes people uncomfortable.
David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 244
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, March 01, 2004 - 06:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Anne was being sarcastic.

As I understand it, "partnering" is a fancy name for everyone agreeing to agree. Everyone promises to be friendly, play fair and to get along with everyone.

It sounds all well and good....until conflict arises and things get ugly. Then it's back to the old adversarial relationship.

Ten years ago the contractors really pushed this concept. I think even some government jobs required it. Nowadays I never hear of it.
Anne Whitacre, CCS CSI
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 82
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 03:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

actually, I wasn't being that sarcastic. On nearly every project, and with every client that would have required "partnering" 10 years ago, we are now providing a long process of DRB meetings and agreements. In some of the projects I have worked on, there is a relatively lengthy process that occurs before using the DRB -- which in some ways is sort of like what partnering was, but is more adversarial, and recognizes that people come into the process with differing agendas. I haven't seen partnering on a project in at least a decade. The DRB process sets up ground rules and tries to intervene before things really turn into a dispute.. unlike partnering which seems to like to make a pretense that no dispute would ever occur, we all are working toward the same ends and have no possible conflict of understanding or interest.
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 46
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 04, 2004 - 11:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I spent several years with a state agency and part of my job was arranging and managing partnering sessions. I liked them and felt that the process was valuable. The main concern I had was that follow-up sessions and evaluations were always planned and never occurred.

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration