ADOT Partnering

The Office of Partnering supports ADOT’s mission: Connecting Arizona. Everyone. Everywhere. Every Day, through building partnerships that support the delivery of state transportation projects and services.

Partnering is defined as a formal process of collaborative teamwork that allows groups to achieve measurable results through agreements and productive working relationships. Successful partnerships are built on a pledge by all team members to hold true to a set of common principles referred to as the Four C’s:

  • Communication
  • Commitment
  • Cooperation and
  • Continuous Improvement


Lay the foundation for successful partnerships


Inspire a culture where every team reaches full potential

What does the Partnering Office do?

Types of Partnerships

Construction Project Partnership - A structured process used in the engineering and construction industry to bring a construction team together to establish goals, resolve problems and improve project outcomes.

A Partnering workshop is scheduled to kick off a new construction project. The purpose of the workshop is to:

  • Achieve timely issue resolution resulting in decreased project delays
  • Reduce labor disputes, claims and litigation
  • Complete projects ahead of schedule and under budget
  • Improve relationships with customers and suppliers
  • Identify efficiencies and cost savings in the delivery of a project

Public Partnership - Between ADOT and other stakeholders including local, state, or federal agencies, tribal transportation partnerships and nongovernmental stakeholders.

The purpose of a formal public partnership is to:

  • Achieve cooperation among multiple jurisdictions
  • Coordinate efforts of a variety of agencies

Current public partnerships include:

  • Four Agency Partnership: Bureau of Land Management / U.S. Forest Service / Federal Highway Administration (BLM/USFS/FHWA)/content/four-agency-partnership.
  • Tonto National Forest, ADOT/FHWA - Contact the Partnering Office for more information.
  • Tribal Partnerships include Navajo and Hopi. Visit the Arizona Tribal Transportation website at

Internal Partnership - Project teams within ADOT that work together on short-term or longer term goals to improve both business processes and relationships.

The purpose is to:

  • Share information and resources
  • Streamline processes and procedures
  • Maintain ongoing collaborative relationships

Construction Workshops

A construction Partnering workshop takes place between ADOT and the Contractor and is governed  by a contract to create a cooperative project team environment committed to following principles and  processes which will optimize the successful completion of the project. ADOT requires Partnering on all construction projects. Objectives of the workshop include:

  • Establish a team charter which includes a mission statement and team expectations
  • Develop and commit to specific goals that will measure a team’s ability to work together
  • Identify challenges and issues that need to be addressed by the team
  • Commit to action items to address the issues and resolve problems

The partnering facilitator is a neutral professional focused on helping  the project team to start developing relationships, build consensus on common goals, communicate  effectively and identify issues and action items that need to be addressed.

Facilitator responsibilities include:

  • Conduct pre-meeting interviews with key members of the project team
  • Plan and facilitate the Partnering Workshop
  • Guide the project team through all Partnering agenda items
  • Set up the team’s Partnering Evaluation Program (PEP) survey form
  • Monitor the partnership
  • Conduct follow-up Partnering meetings if needed

Construction workshop agenda

  1. Construction Project Overview
  2. Review of the four Partnering principles
  3. Team Charter (Mission Statement and Goals)
  4. Partnering Evaluation Program (PEP)
  5. Partnering Champions
  6. Partnering Spirit Award
  7. Issue Resolution, Escalation and Action Planning

Meeting Facilitation

Partnering facilitators are often asked to assist in facilitating various types of meetings for groups both  inside ADOT and outside of the agency. Assignments could be a one-time obligation while others could require multiple interventions.

Steps to facilitating a non-construction meeting:

  • Meet with the project sponsor to establish the purpose of the  meeting(s) and understand the objectives that the group is expected to accomplish
  • Prepare the meeting’s structure and agenda
  • Determine what tools you will need to keep the attendees engaged
  • Follow up with the sponsor to determine if the meeting objectives were met and if further assistance is needed

 During meetings the facilitator encourages participants to:

  • Hear and consider all perspectives
  • Communicate in a way that promotes understanding and minimizes defensiveness
  • Participate in a way that produces the best outcome for all

Process Improvement

The Partnering Office contributes to the agency’s efforts to reduce waste and improve processes.  Facilitators may become involved in guiding teams through a process improvement exercise that  leads teams to:

  • Streamlining processes and procedures
  • Identify inefficiencies and cost savings
  • Utilize process improvement tools, techniques and strategies that reduce waste

Partnering Evaluation Program

The Partnering Evaluation Program (PEP) provides a tool for teams to measure their performance relative to their ability to work together. Reviewing PEP feedback regularly allows teams to identify and resolve problems, as well as celebrate successes.

Read more about the PEP program.

Questions or comments? Leave a comment for Partnering on our online comment form.