Partnering II (Best Practice)

RT-102 Topic Summary
RT 102


Partnering’s bottom line: a construction industry process that strengthens both projects and partners, tightens schedules, safeguards quality, and enhances each partner’s competitive edge.

The CII Partnering II Research Team is a follow-up to the original CII Partnering Task Force, which published its findings in 1991. CII established the Partnering II Research Team in early 1993 to measure the broad effects of partnering and to establish benchmarks related to partnering.

The CII Partnering II Research Team has published a book that describes a partnering implementation process model, CII Implementation Resource 102-2, Partnering ToolKit. That publication presents five implementation phases for partnering, each having objectives and key success factors. The team also identified benchmarks that verify the benefits achievable through partnering in the areas of cost, schedule, safety, and quality.

In accordance with their charter, the Partnering II charter fulfilled the following three key objectives:

  • Develop a set of metrics to assess the benefits of partnering
  • Determine partnering benchmarks for the construction industry
  • Identify key success factors for, as well as barriers to, effective implementation of partnering relationships

The research led to the creation of the Partnering Process Model, which identifies a five-phase process for developing and managing a partnering relationship each having key objectives and success factors.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Six Key Factors

Six key factors in implementing and managing successful partnering relationships are: (RS102-1, p. v)

  • Establishing Trust
  • Getting Top Management’s Support
  • Establishing Win-Win Objectives
  • Addressing Internal Barriers
  • Getting Champion to Direct the Process
  • Developing Measures, Linked to Objectives
Reference: (RS102-1)

2 : Results

The research revealed results classified as benchmark or “best of class” for partnering vs. traditional construction. (RS102-1, p. 4)
Reference: (RS102-1)

3 : Managing an Effective Partnering Relationship Is a Five-Phase Process

The research showed that managing an effective partnering relationship is a five-phase process melding the executive, management, and craft levels. Refer to the RS102-1 for a description of the objectives and critical success factors associated with each phase. (RS102-1, p. 6)

Phase 1 Owner’s Internal Alignment
Phase 2 Partner Selection
Phase 3 Partnering Relationship
Phase 4 Project Alignment
Phase 5 Work Process Alignment

Reference: (RS102-1)

4 : Results, Process, and Relationship Measures

To assess true benefits, measure, and track performance (with partnership) against performance before establishment of the partnering relationship with the following suggested types of measures (based on research): (RS102-1, p. 18)

  1. Results: hard measures based on objective analysis of performance relative to quantifiable standards
  2. Process: used to assess the existence and performance of work processes
  3. Relationship: qualitative measures used to assess health of partnership or project team, or the perception of its performance by key customers
Reference: (RS102-1)

5 : Partnership Triangle

The partnership triangle shows the criticality of the integration or links of the measures with each other and with the business drivers. More details on how to develop and use these measures are included in the Partnering ToolKit. (RS102-1, p. 26)
Reference: (RS102-1)

6 : Partnering Process Model

Long-term partnering (strategic alliances) offers major opportunities for the U.S. construction industry, and planning starts with identifying the owner’s business drivers. The Partnering Process Model should be used as the standard process for planning and implementing partnering relationships. (RS102-1, p. 27)
Reference: (RS102-1)

7 : Implementation Tool #1

IR102-2, Partnering Toolkit

The purpose of the Partnering ToolKit is to aid in evaluating partnering, preparing for partnering, selecting a partner, and implementing and maintaining a partnering relationship. It is an excellent start to record in a single document an assembly of concepts and practices found beneficial in a wide range of past partnering relationships as well as to offer additional methods arising from the collective findings and experience of other Partnering groups.
Reference: (IR102-2)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved cost, Improved schedule, Improved quality (reduced errors & omissions), Reduced claims, Improved safety, Improved customer satisfaction

Research Publications

Partnering ToolKit - IR102-2

Publication Date: 12/1996 Type: Implementation Resource Pages: 88 Status: Tool

Model for Partnering Excellence - RS102-1

Publication Date: 11/1996 Type: Research Summary Pages: 30 Status: Supporting Product

The Partnering Process -- Its Benefits, Implementation and Measurement - RR102-11

Publication Date: 09/1996 Type: Research Report Pages: 210 Status: Reference

Supporting Resources

Education Materials

Developing, Implementing, and Managing a Partnering Relationship - Instructor's Guide - EM102-21

Publication Date: 02/2014 Type: Education Module Pages: 0 Status: Supporting Product

Developing, Implementing, and Managing a Partnering Relationship - Participant Handbook - EM102-21A

Publication Date: 02/2014 Type: Education Module Pages: 0 Status: Supporting Product

Presentations from CII Events

Session - Partnering Panel Discussion

Publication Date: 09/2007 Presenter: Fadi El Zein Number of Slides: 27 Event Code: PIW907

Session - Partnering

Publication Date: 09/2007 Presenter: Steve Sanders Number of Slides: 41 Event Code: PIW907

Session - Partnering from a European Perspective

Publication Date: 03/2009 Presenter: Rob Kruijer Number of Slides: 43 Event Code: PIW309

Session - Analyzing Partnering Approaches

Publication Date: 03/2009 Presenter: Manuel A. Garcia Number of Slides: 20 Event Code: PIW309