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5 Proven Ways To Reduce Conflict & Improve Project Outcomes

In any construction project, there will inevitably be some degree of conflict. However, construction partnering can help reduce the amount of conflict and improve project outcomes. Construction partnering is a collaborative approach to project delivery that involves all stakeholders working together to plan, execute, and deliver the project. By its very nature, this approach fosters communication and collaboration, which can help reduce conflict. In addition, construction partnering can help improve project outcomes by ensuring that all stakeholders are aligned on the project goals and objectives. This can help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications that can lead to conflict. Overall, construction partnering is an important tool for reducing conflict and improving project outcomes. By fostering communication and collaboration, it can help all stakeholders work together more effectively to deliver a successful project.

Here are 5 ways Construction Partnering reduces conflict and improves project outcomes:


1. Develop and nurture strong relationships with all project stakeholders. 

Beautiful city skylines show just how major construction projects shape many of our cities. Effectively completing these projects with minimal disputes and resulting delays is the primary goal of all construction partnerships.

It is widely accepted that strong working relationships between all project stakeholders are essential for the successful delivery of construction projects. By developing and nurturing these relationships, construction partnering can reduce conflict and improve project outcomes. 

There are many benefits to construction partnering, including improved communication, increased collaboration, and a greater focus on the project objectives. By developing strong relationships with all stakeholders, construction partnering can help to overcome some of the challenges associated with traditional project delivery methods. One of the key benefits of construction partnering is improved communication. When all stakeholders are working together towards a common goal, there is a greater opportunity for open and effective communication. This can help to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication, which can often lead to conflict. 

Another benefit of construction partnering is increased collaboration. When all stakeholders are working together, they can share ideas and knowledge to create a better outcome for the project. This increased level of collaboration can also help to reduce conflict, as different stakeholders are more likely to be able to resolve disagreements before they escalate. 

Finally, construction partnering can help to create a greater focus on the project objectives. When all stakeholders are working together towards a common goal, they are more likely to be able to identify potential problems and find solutions that will improve the project outcomes. This increased focus on the objectives can help to reduce conflict and improve the overall results of the project. In summary, construction partnering can offer many benefits to all stakeholders involved in a construction project. By developing strong relationships with all stakeholders, construction partnering can reduce conflict and improve project outcomes.


2. Define and document roles and responsibilities early on in the project. 

In any construction project, there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of people responsible for various tasks. Roles and responsibilities need to be defined early on to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them. Doing this can help to reduce conflict and improve project outcomes. When everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, it helps to keep the project organized and running smoothly. There is less room for confusion and misunderstanding, which can lead to conflict. If there is a clear understanding of who is responsible for what, it can help to keep the project on track and ultimately lead to an optimized project delivery. Furthermore, regular check-ins and updates can help to keep the project on track and ensure that everyone is aware of any changes or issues. By taking these proactive measures, construction partnering can help to create a more efficient and successful project.


3. Encourage and facilitate communication between all project parties. 

Project managers, engineers, and other essential members of a project working together is the foundation of construction partnering. Teams collaborating over plans leads to the most effective use of time and resources.

The construction industry is notoriously fragmented, with each project party often working in silos. This can lead to miscommunication and conflict, which can jeopardize the success of a project. Construction partnering is an effort to improve communication and collaboration between all project parties, in order to avoid conflict and improve project outcomes. Construction partnering typically begins with a kick-off meeting, where all project parties are brought together to discuss the project goals, objectives, and expectations. This is followed by regular meetings throughout the project lifecycle, where progress is discussed and any issues are addressed. By encouraging open communication between all project parties, construction partnering can help avoid misunderstandings and conflict. In addition to improved communication, construction partnering can also lead to other benefits, such as improved quality control, reduced project costs, and shorter project timelines. When all project parties are working together collaboratively, it helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. This can help to avoid rework, which can save time and money


4. Proactively identify and address potential areas of conflict. 

By proactively identifying and addressing potential areas of conflict, construction partnering can help keep projects on track and ensure that everyone is satisfied with the final product. There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to construction partnering. First, it’s important to identify potential areas of conflict early on. This can be done by looking at the project scope and identifying any areas where there could be disagreement or misunderstanding. Once potential areas of conflict are identified, it’s important to address them head-on. This means having open and honest communication as well as active listening between all partners involved in the project. It’s also important to remember that not all conflict is bad. In fact, some conflicts can be beneficial to the project. For example, healthy debate can lead to new and innovative solutions that wouldn’t have been considered otherwise. “in particular, involving contractors in the design stage can assist in the constructability input and maximizing value engineering, thus improving cost and schedule” (Brensen and Marshall). However, it’s important to make sure that conflict is managed constructively. This means that partners should feel comfortable voicing their opinions and concerns, but should also be willing to listen to others and compromise when necessary. By proactively identifying and addressing potential areas of conflict, construction partnering can help reduce conflict and improve project outcomes. By maintaining open communication and being willing to compromise, partners can work together to ensure that the final product is something that everyone is happy with.

This chart measures the Degree of Success for Major construction relationships. Partnering can and does help to increase the relationship level between parties leading to the best outcomes for projects.
Figure 1: Allan Lowe Partnering and scorecards INC.

5. Encourage and reward constructive problem-solving behavior.

By encouraging and rewarding constructive problem-solving behavior, partnering can reduce conflict and improve project outcomes. Construction partnering is a voluntary, cooperative relationship between two or more parties involved in a construction project. Construction partnering aims to improve communication and collaboration among all parties involved to achieve the best possible outcome for the project. One of the ways in which construction partnering can reduce conflict is by encouraging parties to focus on solving problems rather than on winning arguments. When conflict does arise, it is important to encourage all parties to work together to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone. By taking this constructive approach to problem-solving, parties can avoid getting bogged down in arguments and can instead focus on finding a resolution that works for everyone involved. Another way in which partnering can reduce conflict is by rewarding parties who are able to successfully resolve conflicts. This sends a clear message that constructive problem-solving is valued and appreciated. It also provides an incentive for parties to continue working together to find solutions rather than resorting to conflict. Ultimately, construction partnering can help reduce conflict and improve project outcomes by encouraging and rewarding constructive problem-solving behavior. By taking this approach, all parties involved in a construction project can benefit from improved communication and collaboration.

When it comes to reducing project conflicts and improving outcomes, partnering is key. By forming partnerships with those involved in the project, you can create a more cohesive team that is better able to communicate and work together towards a common goal. In addition, partnering can also help to improve the overall quality of the project by ensuring that all stakeholders are invested in its success.


Global Leadership Alliance strives to be the global Leader in Construction Partnering, Dispute Prevention, and Dispute Resolution. Our Mission is to Eradicate Arbitration and Litigation from the Construction Industry. Our plans offer our clients protection on all projects big or small, providing peace of mind and ensuring we achieve all of our clients needs. By working closely with all partners involved GLA is able to nurture a positive partnering culture in order to optimize project success and meet project deadlines.

Be on the Lookout for our next blog out Monday October 20th!