Choosing What Projects to Partner

Hi Rob, I am the Program Manager for a large agency.  I want to try partnering on one of my upcoming projects, but am not sure how to go about selecting which project.  How can I tell which project is most in need of being partnered?  Are there any guidelines for me and my team? - Inquiring Owner

Dear IO,

IPI Horizontal Matrix

IPI Horizontal Matrix

All projects can utilize partnering because it is a scaleable process and we think of it as a

risk management tool.  If you were to choose only one project, then you should choose to partner the project that is most at risk of not being successful. We say "not successful" in

the eyes of any of the project stakeholders (owner, contractor, designer, end-users, etc.). The Partnering Potential Indicator (PPI) is an instrument that can help you measure the

potential risks a project faces. It is

a key tool in the IPI Owner's Toolbox, which allows you to determine which projects will be best assisted through partnering.  It can also help you determine which level of

IPI Vertical Matrix

IPI Vertical Matrix

Partnering to select in either the IPI Vertical or Horizontal Matrix.

By completing the questions of the PPI as they relate to your project, and computing the project's score, you should be able to make an informed decision on the potential benefits partnering can provide.

Using the Partnering Potential Indicator (PPI) 

Below is a snapshot of the Partnering Potential Indicator. There are 33 criteria used to score a project - by going through this instrument with your PM's (or even with your counterpart from the contractor) you can determine

how much partnering you need and whether you should hire an IPI Certified Construction Partnering Facilitator to steer the process. If you have any questions, give us a call (925) 447-9100 or contact us.

To use the PPI for a project, respond to each statement, indicating whether you feel that you strongly agree, strongly disagree, or are somewhere in between with how the statement applies to the project.   Your first reaction is most accurate - spending time analyzing will give you

less accurate results.

How to Complete the Partnering Potential Indicator

Enter your scores to the statements as follows:
1- Strongly Agree
1.5 - Agree
2.0 - Neither Agree nor Disagree
2.5 - Disagree
3.0 - Strongly Disagree

How to Interpret your Partnering Potential Indicator Scores

If your score is between:
80 - 90 (Level 1 Partnering in the Matrix)
Low Risk - There is low risk to this project's success. Partnering will still help reduce risk by helping the team examine each challenge and planning for its management, and will provide an opportunity to gain an understanding of what each stakeholder needs so you can better

IPI Partnering Potential Indicator

IPI Partnering Potential Indicator

execute the project. Typically, the Project Managers from the Owner and the Contractor can "self-direct" the process. IPI recommends implementing Level 1 Partnering this type of project.  If your team handles the risk - great!  If you get stuck, you can always call an professional facilitator to help steer the process.

70 - 79 (Level 2 or 3 Partnering in the Matrix)

Medium Risk - This project has "medium" risks to its success. Partnering offers your project a significant benefit. Working through the major challenges identified in the PPI (i.e. statements with scores of 1 - 1.5) will significantly increase the chances for a successful project. Your team should consider hiring an IPI Certified Professional Construction Partnering Facilitator to help steer the partnering process.  Depending on the budget and complexity, IPI recommends implementing Level 2 or 3 Partnering on this project.

33 - 69 (Level 3-5 Partnering in the Matrix)
High Risk - This project faces a significant threat of conflict, communication and relationship problems. This project has enormous benefit to be gained from partnering, as it has many challenges that are best faced as a team. The process should be lead by an IPI Certified Construction Partnering Facilitator.  Depending on the budget and complexity of the project, IPI recommends implementing Levels 3, 4 or 5 Partnering for this type of project.


Thanks to Sue Dyer for use of the Partnering Potential Indicator, which originally appeared in "Partner Your Project" (1996).  Copies of Partner Your Project are on sale today and all proceeds go to IPI!

Have a question for the CollaborNation? Contact us!

Partner Your Project

Partner Your Project