Partnering is a change in cultural attitude. It must be endorsed and acted upon by all participants in all companies that are participating; not just in words, but in actions, from the top position to the lowest field position. Jerk reactions can make it fail.
There are three common keys that all who have done partnering agree with, at least in principle. They are trust, commitment and a shared vision.
There are four main steps in executing a partnering project: 1) Mutual agreement to use partnering, 2) Selecting a partnering champion, 3) Creating and buying into a charter and 4) Executing the project and evaluating the results (creating lessons learned).
"the creation of an owner-contractor relationship that promotes achievement of mutually beneficial goals. It involves an agreement in principle to share the risks involved in completing the project, and to establish and promote a nurturing partnership environment. Partnering is not a contractual agreement, nor does it create any legally enforceable rights or duties. Rather, partnering seeks to create a new cooperative-attitude in completing government contracts" (Edelman, 1991).
"a commitment between two or more organizations for the purpose of achieving specific business objectives by maximizing the effectiveness of each participant's resources. This requires changing traditional relationships to a shared culture without regard to organizational boundaries. The relationship is based upon trust, dedication to common goals, and an understanding of each other's individual expectations and values" (Katz, 1993).
James G. Zack, Jr.
Navigant Construction Forum,
Navigant Consulting, Inc.