Empirical data from seven different studies of major projects demonstrated how Partnering resolves issues on project sites and avoids ending projects in arbitration or litigation.
Executive Director, Navigant Construction ForumTM, Navigant
Jim Zack is a recognized and well published expert in mitigation, analysis and resolution, or defense of construction disputes. He is a nationally known author, speaker and trainer concerning the management, mitigation and resolution of construction claims and disputes. Jim was formerly the Executive Director, Corporate Claims Management for Fluor Corporation. He possesses almost 40 years of deep industry experience in construction management and dispute resolution services. Jim has been involved in more than 5,000 claims, both public and private, and has been designated as an expert witness in mediation, arbitration and litigation. He received his M.P.A from the University of South Carolina.
We interviewed him about what to expect from his presentation on Partnering Research:
Tell us about your connection to Partnering:
I have been in the business of construction claims management of 45 years. I’d never been involved with Partnering until the mid-1980s. Someone convinced the Bureau of Engineering to try partnering on some projects. In the program I saw Partnering— and I saw it work. I was involved in many of those projects from beginning to end. It changed the nature of the relationship between the city and the contractor at the upper levels and at the end of the 10 years I was there, we closed out virtually every project with no claims.
What can attendees expect from your session?
The seminar focuses around a report we (the Navigant Construction Forum) did-- part of a three part series. We asked the question, “Does Partnering really affect claims?” The answer, based on our discussions with managing directors, metrics from real projects from around the country, and the literature we examined, is “yes.” The numbers prove it. It’s not just a gut feeling; Partnering mitigates the impact of claims and disputes.
Will you be discussing all the case studies?
Yes, I’ll be going over all of them (Arizona DOT, Caltrans, Federal Government, Maryland DOT State Highway Administration, Ohio DOT, Oregon DOT, Texas DOT, Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project). We’ll talk about the history—viewed from different perspectives—case studies, and I’ll summarize best practices.
What is one of the Best Practices you’ll be sharing?
Selecting staff with the right mindset is critical. The normal routine is we come on the site as strangers (low-bid) and we leave as enemies. You need people on site who work for project success. Attitude is a common obstacle in the industry against Partnering. If you go in looking for a fight, you are going to find one. Partnering is about getting people to change their mindset and work for success—and not the constant “gotcha” games.