Real Life Success Stories
4 Pillars Partnering® Participants

4 Pillars Partnering® (formerly known as Allan Lowe Partnering & Scorecards Inc.) has been improving construction team collaboration since 2006. We have led collaborative partnering on over 100 major construction projects, ranging in value from $1 million to over $900 million. 4 Pillars Partnering® is based on The 4 Pillars of Construction Team Collaboration® model, shown below.

The 4 Pillars Partnering Process

An integral part of 4 Pillars Partnering is the formal follow-up process (see Pillar 3) of how the team is performing on the Mutual Success Goals developed by the team in Pillar 1.

4 Pillars Scorecards® (formerly known as Project Scorecards™) are the 4 Pillars Partnering tool used to measure how the team is doing with each of their goals for the duration of the project. Over the years, more than 500 4 Pillars Scorecard Reports have been issued to over 6,000 participants. In fact, 4 Pillars Scorecards are now a requirement on many large infrastructure projects. Research has shown that over 94% of 4 Pillars Scorecards participants have found them to be helpful in monitoring their projects.

In the following tabs are real-life examples of how project teams have benefitted from using the 4 Pillars Partnering and 4 Pillars Scorecards processes.

Real-Life Success Stories

So, what types of improvements might project teams typically conduct to address concerns that have been identified in their 4 Pillars Scorecard Report?

Following are several real-life success stories that outline situations where project teams used 4 Pillars Scorecards to measure the status of the following Project and Partnering Success Goals, and took actions to make improvements:

  • Safety
  • Traffic Management / Safety
  • Teamwork
  • Document Submittal Process
  • Public / Citizen Concerns

4 Pillars Scorecard Goal Statement

Safety – “All parties will place safety as the highest priority for all workers and the public on the project.”

Problem Identified in 4 Pillars Scorecard

Several 4 Pillars Scorecard participants reported concerns about near-misses of dangerous buried utilities, including high voltage power cables and high-pressure gas lines, by equipment and workers on the site, including high-voltage power cables and high-pressure gas lines. The locations of the buried utilities were not consistently identified, and the field procedures for exposing the cables and lines and working around them were sometimes dangerous.

Actions Taken

As a result of the dangerous conditions identified in the 4 Pillars Scorecard Report, the project management team held a special meeting to address these concerns. As a result, the utility locating practices and field practices working around buried utilities were revised. These revisions were communicated to the project team at a special safety meeting. Subsequent 4 Pillars Scorecard ratings and comments in the safety category showed measured improvements in this area.

4 Pillars Scorecard Goal Statement

Traffic Accommodation – “Traffic accommodation will ensure the safety of workers on the project, and the safety and convenience of the travelling public. It will be planned, monitored, reviewed, and updated on a regular basis to minimize impacts to the public.”

Problem Identified in 4 Pillars Scorecard

The 4 Pillars Scorecard identified several concerns about the safety of workers and the travelling public. Traffic was not slowing down to the posted speeds on this bridge project, and there were several close calls where workers were almost struck by motor vehicles. The travelling public was also at risk due to the large equipment on-site and narrow traffic lanes.

Actions Taken

At the first project meeting after receiving the 4 Pillars Scorecard Report, the project management team discussed the problem and identified several positive steps to increase safety of workers and the travelling public.

Radar speed display signs were installed at each end of the bridge. Additional signage warning of the dangers and police enforcement of speed limits was also erected. In addition, increased police presence on the project was arranged, and the local media published a story about the project and its inherent dangers to the travelling public.

The next 4 Pillars Scorecard showed a major improvement in safety to protect workers and the travelling public.

4 Pillars Scorecard Goal Statement

Teamwork – “We will have a true team spirit characterized by respect, trust, and collaboration. We will strive to create an enjoyable work environment.”

Problem Identified in 4 Pillars Scorecard

The rating for Teamwork in this 4 Pillars Scorecard showed a decline of nearly one whole point since the prior 4 Pillars Scorecard. Participants commented that weekly meetings were becoming non-productive due to one project manager’s negative approach to other team members and aggressive conduct in the weekly project meetings. They reported that this was affecting field relations between team members.

Actions Taken

At the next project meeting after receiving the 4 Pillars Scorecard Report, the project management team discussed this concern. While the specific project manager was not identified in the 4 Pillars Scorecard, weekly meeting participants knew who the person was; however, prior to the issuance of the 4 Pillars Scorecard Report, they were hesitant to address the issue.

As a result of his behaviour being identified, recognized, and discussed by the team members (and a desire not to be seen again in this negative light), the individual’s behaviour in weekly project meetings improved significantly, resulting in steadily increasing Teamwork ratings in future 4 Pillars Scorecards.

4 Pillars Scorecard Goal Statement

Celebrations of Success – “We will recognize contributions and achievements of teams and individuals throughout the project, and will get together as a group to celebrate the successful progress of the project.”

Problem Identified in 4 Pillars Scorecard

Teamwork and relationships on the project were deteriorating. The Celebrations of Success evaluation statement on the 4 Pillars Scorecard also showed a downward trend for the past four consecutive 4 Pillars Scorecards.

Actions Taken

At the first project meeting after receiving the 4 Pillars Scorecard Report, the project management team felt that there was a direct relationship between a decrease in teamwork and quality of relationships on the project and the lack of celebrating the successful achievement of project milestones.

The team scheduled periodic events to bring the team together, including a family summer BBQ, a Saturday golf match, and monthly pizza lunches. Relationships and teamwork improved significantly on the project, and the ratings increased in future 4 Pillars Scorecards. These trends continued through the end of the project nearly one year later.

4 Pillars Scorecard Goal Statement

Design Process – “We will follow the strategies identified in the partnering workshop to ensure that there is a good information flow between the parties, the design process does not impede the schedule or budget, rework is minimized, and the review procedure is effective and efficient.”

Problem Identified in 4 Pillars Scorecard

On this time sensitive design-build project, the team’s comments on the 4 Pillars Scorecard identified problems that were causing significant schedule delays. It quickly became apparent that a lack of verbal communications and poor information flows were contributing to the problem.

Actions Taken

At the next project meeting after receiving the 4 Pillars Scorecard Report, the project management team thoroughly reviewed the communications requirements and practices around drawing submittals and approvals in the design build process. It was resolved to increase face-to-face discussions and telephone conversations rather than having delays caused by formal “bureaucratic” commenting and feedback processes. The written approvals were still required, but the process of finalizing the design was greatly expedited by improving the communications leading up to the required written acceptance of the final design.

As a result, the schedule delays were greatly reduced, and the project was brought back on schedule within less than one month.

4 Pillars Scorecard Goal Statement

Public Awareness and Satisfaction – “We will keep the public informed about this project, and will address citizens’ needs and concerns to eliminate or reduce backlash to municipal administrators and elected officials.”

Problem Identified in 4 Pillars Scorecard

Municipal administrators and elected officials were included as participants in the 4 Pillars Scorecard. They reported several specific complaints that they had received from irate citizens due to excessive dust, noise, and traffic delays. As well, project personnel were having problems on-site with citizens living near the project, and also with the travelling public. These complaints were hurting the relationships between the municipality and the project team.

Actions Taken

As a result of the concerns identified in the 4 Pillars Scorecard Report, a special meeting was held between the project management team, municipal administrators, and elected officials. Specific remedies were developed to address the concerns, including improving dust and noise control and improving communications through a dedicated website that was identified on project signage.

Future 4 Pillars Scorecards showed that public and citizen concerns were virtually eliminated, resulting in a smoother running project and improved relations between the project team, municipal representatives, and the public.


The above Success Stories are included in the award-winning book by Allan K. Lowe
BETTER AS A TEAM: The 4 Pillars of Construction Team Collaboration

What Participants Say

4 Pillars Partnering® Testimonials

4 Pillars Partnering® was previously known as Allan Lowe Partnering & Scorecards.

4 Pillars Scorecards® Testimonials

4 Pillars Scorecards® were previously known as Project Scorecards™

Construction Team Personalities Testimonials