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Perspective: Owner and A/E/C Partner Needs – They’re More Alike That You’d Guess

Each year, Continuum Advisory Group partners with the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) to conduct an owner trends study. This year’s study was focused upon Excellence in Total Project Performance, and as we delved into the research an interesting theme arose around owner and A/E/C partner relationships. Specifically, what more these groups needed from one another to achieve project excellence.

In addition to presenting the study results at this year’s CURT national conference, our study team also conducted two roundtables – one for owners only, and one that was exclusive to A/E/C partners. We were serious about facilitating candid conversations among these groups and giving them a chance to discuss in detail what more they needed from each other. So serious that we went so far as to kick people out who showed up for the wrong session!

We asked each group a similar set of questions about the topic of excellence in total project performance. What we found most interesting at the end of the day: the similarities in what these two groups want from each other far outweighed the differences. For example, owners communicated a strong preference for contractors with previous experience and knowledge of their organization, technology, and methods of operation. They also recognized their responsibility in achieving these enhanced working relationships; their contracting methods must ensure that getting the best bid did not mean that their contractors went out of the business. At the core of this highlighted need – expressed in both the owner and contractor roundtables – was an emphasis on building trust and transparency. In other words, project success is rooted in a mutually balanced, healthy relationship.

We are wrapping up the full study this month, but in the meantime, we hope you enjoy this summary of our roundtable discussions.

The 2017 CURT Owner Study Team is offering complimentary 45 minute virtual debriefs of the study findings. Email us to schedule a virtual session for you and your team!
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