DBIA Conference Panel Offers Insights on Teaming
Posted in Design-Build

On October 21, I participated on a panel regarding Successful Teaming at the 2011 DBIA Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.  In the broad sense, teaming in the design-build context is collaboration among all project participants to help foster integration and achieve win-win solutions for delivering a project.  The panel addressed best practices for drafting teaming agreements and promoting communication and integration among team members.  My presentation focused on why the owner is interested in teaming and how the owner can influence teaming arrangements.  Key takeaways from the panel discussions included the following:

  • Always put your teaming agreement into writing and address key terms and conditions.  Although it may take time and money, it is in the interest of all team members to memorialize the underlying basis and relationship of the teaming arrangement into writing.  The teaming agreement should address the extent the members’ relationship is exclusive, how confidential information exchanged among members should be treated, and how costs will be allocated among members.


  • The owner is not a passive observer.  Rather, the owner is an interested party who can and does influence teaming, both in a direct and indirect way.  For example, during the pre-award phase—especially in the context of public requirements—the owner influences teaming through requirements contained in the solicitation documents.  Therefore, members need to carefully review the solicitation documents to determine the extent that their teaming arrangement needs to be tailored to fit the requirements of a particular project.


  • Perform due diligence before entering into teaming arrangements.  It is important that members conduct a certain degree of due diligence to determine whether a prospective team member will be a good fit.  Matters to inquire about can include a prospective member’s safety record, organizational conflicts of interest, financial stability and resources, and past dealings with the owner.

It was a pleasure participating with my fellow panel members: Robynne Parkinson of the Law Offices of Robynne Thaxton Parkinson, Pat Miller of Baker & Daniels, and Craig Unger of Unger Security Solutions.  And a special thanks to our moderator, Tom Porter of Tom Porter Services, for keeping the panel focused and on topic.

  • Simon J. Santiago

    Simon Santiago handles contractual, procurement, development and construction issues for the largest transportation, transit and multi-modal projects in the U.S. Public sector clients seek his guidance in creating successful ...

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