JPL Flight Projects Center

Pasadena, California

Project Detail

Winner of the 2010 Marvin M. Black AwardSpecial Recognition

“Having a team where the organizational lines are blurred and everyone is accountable is the greatest behavioral concept you can have on a construction project. It exponentially multiples the number of eyes and minds you have looking out for project success. And it saves everyone money”
– Bob Develle – JPL Facilities

Owner:California Institute of Technology, NASA
Architect:LPA, Inc
GC:Swinerton Builders
CM:Vanir Construction Management

Like all construction projects the JPL Flight Projects Center faced a number of challenges throughout its 24 months of construction. However, what set this project apart from most was the cohesive partnership approach taken by the entire team. What started out to be a mere partnering requirement in the project specifications quickly turned into a tool and constant reminder b all parties including key subcontractors and end users that the partnering approach was going to assist in creating a truly World Class project team that would be able to overcome any challenges. The project team set seven BHAG (Big Hair Audacious Goals) and upon project completion achieved all seven.

The partnering process enabled the project team to communicate directly with the stakeholders and end users (JPL departments, facilities and security), and give the team the ability to understand their goals and concerns. Through the partnering process the team created informal gatherings, (BBQ’s, lunches, breakfasts and special events) that were essential in allowing the team members to establish relationships outside of the normal working environment which helped build trust and teamwork.

The Good to World Class™ partnering process enabled the team to influence key areas on the job and with the team. These included:
• Emphasizing project safety as the #1 goal
• Insuring that all key parties were working towards the same common goal
• Trickle down effect of partnering philosophy to project level and craft staff
• Enabled direct communication by all entities, such as subcontractors working out field issues with consultants
• Enabled project team to resolve issues at the project level
• Eliminated the need for excessive and emotional documentation by all parties due to a high level of trust
• Established early-on
• Insured successful project deliver on time and within budget