3 Invaluable Lessons from Sinem Mollaoglu

  1. The higher the risk, the higher the frequency of use partnering tools is needed, and the higher the benefit.
  2. Collaborative partnering gives you the tools and process to achieve great outcomes.
  3. Just do it.

This week, host Sue Dyer speaks with Sinem Mollaoglu about the latest partnering research project she has worked on – ACRP Research on collaborative partnering.

About Guest Sinem Mollaoglu (1:49)

Sinem Mollaoglu is the Program Director of Construction Management and Associate Professor of the School of Planning, Design, and Construction at Michigan State University. Sinem is LEED accredited and a CGP Designated Professional. She received her Ph.D. from Penn State in Architectural Engineering in 2007 and her dissertation was on high-performance green building delivery. Sinem looks at the technical side and the people side and pulls it all together.

Sinem’s Journey to Becoming the Program Director of Construction Management (2:55)

  1. She went to school for architecture in Turkey where she was brought up and was amazed by all the construction going on at all times in Istanbul.
  2. She began to work for an architectural office doing design/build for historical buildings.
  3. She decided to pursue her Master’s in Construction Management.
  4. She worked on high-performance, sustainable building for her dissertation and now works on how project teams collaborate and exchange information.

About the School of Planning, Design, and Construction at Michigan State (7:15)

  1. There are four separately accredited programs in the school: Construction Management, Urban and Regional Planning, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture; in addition to the National Charrette Institute.
  2. The Construction Management program has Bachelor’s, Master of Science, and Ph.D. programs.
  3. The environment is dynamic and unique and fosters interdisciplinary collaboration.

About the ACRP Research Program on Collaborative Partnering (8:25)

  1. ACRP was established in 2005 by the FAA.
  2. Each year ACRP receives funding from the FAA and the governing board meets and decides on the budget and approved projects.
  3. Teams from across the nation put in proposals about how they would attack the research problem and are competitively selected.
  4. For the airport, Sinem’s team put in a research bid and became the main two researchers on the team.

Some of the Findings from the ACRP Research Project (12:35)

  1. The research was a 14-month project and followed a rigorous process.
  2. They surveyed close to 100 people in the nation followed by case studies.
  3. The findings:
    1. Collaborative partnering is suitable for any delivery method.
    2. Collaborative partnering is scalable to most project types.
    3. Partnering is suitable for any size and type of airports and the payback increases with scale and complexity.
    4. There was a reduction in the cost of change orders and costs associated with claims.
    5. Projects were delivered ahead of schedule and reduced liquidated damages.
    6. They saw improved productivity, and the cost of Partnering was less than .2% of the overall project budget.
    7. The higher the risk, the higher the frequency of use partnering tools is needed, and the higher the benefit.

About the ACRP Guidebook (17:25)

  1. The guidebook has two sections: How to implement collaborative partnering effectively at the project level and Optimizing implementation at an organization.
  2. Chapter one talks about collaborative partnering and its benefits and obtaining leadership buy-in.
  3. Chapter two talks about the detailed tools of collaborative partnering.
  4. Chapter three talks about how to select tools based on the level or risk in projects and how to use them at the right time.
  5. Chapter four talks about managing tools effectively to optimize implementation, select the right facilitator, and engage stakeholders.
  6. Chapter five talks about assessments for organizations and improving readiness to use collaborative partnering.

Other Partnering Research Sinem Has Done (23:05)

  1. In 2014 the first research project she did was to look at barriers to partnering the Architectural and Construction industry as an underutilized best-practice.
  2. In 2015 they looked at the academic and industry-based literature and combined the lessons learned.
  3. In 2017 they did an in-depth case study of a partnered project from the aviation industry showing how communication changes over time in project delivery.
  4. Next was the ACRP project.
  5. In Spring 2019, one of their project reports came out, Goal Alignment Transactive Memory Systems and Performance in Partnered Projects (there is a positive impact when the collective wisdom of the team is aligned in their goals on both individual and project team performance).
  6. The research team is now working on an ongoing report using a large amount of quantitative project data from over 120 partnered projects.

Sinem’s Worst Moment (29:20)

The first couple of years as a professor are very challenging and feels like a lot of rejection. What Sinem learned is that if you’re really passionate and hard-working you won’t get as caught up in how devastating it is to feel shot down. Listen to feedback and never give up.

Sinem’s Greatest Strengths as a Leader (31:55)

Resilience and perseverance are important because you have people who look up to you. You have to catalyze everyone’s energy. You also need the ability to connect with people and use their strengths. People bloom if they work in the areas that they’re passionate about.

The Best Advice Sinem Has Ever Been Given (34:00)

Just do it. Just get started with something and don’t linger around too much.

Sinem ‘s Favorite Piece of Tech (35:20)

Voice recognition in the Notes section on her cell phone.

Resources for Listeners

Contact Sinem

Project Team Website: https://iopt4.msu.edu/

Sinem’s Parting Advice (39:12)

In today’s construction, integrated project delivery is a focus. Collaborative partnering gives you the tools and process to achieve great outcomes. Go to pages 1-6 of the guidebook for a list of benefits and tools.

We are beta-testing our Project Scorecard between now and September 17th.  Any project team who wants to be a part of the beta-test the Scorecard contact Sue@ConstructionDreamTeam.com.

Construction Nation! Dream Teams don’t just happen they are built one step at a time. Why not send out this episode to your team, so they can help you. Remember…Construction Dream Team drops every Monday morning at 4 am PST. Please join us next week when Sue will interview another industry leader or expert so you can learn how to create your Construction Dream Team!Please head on over to ConstructionDreamTeam.com to sign up for our newsletter and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or Spotify!

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