COGENCE programs explore the successes and challenges of collaborative project delivery models.

In roundtable discussions, Partners engage in open conversations about topics that are critical to project success, such as project delivery innovations and proven best practices. Programs provide a forum where Partners can compare experiences, present case studies, and share their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of our industry.

Currently, participation in programs is reserved to COGENCE Partners. Program outcomes are shared here on the COGENCE website.

As we move forward, we anticipate holding outreach programs to create more opportunities for learning and conversation.


Nov 2018

Early Engagement – NEO Chapter

  • The mission of Cogence is to drive the industry together, yet for so long we have delayed the engagement of all of the stakeholders.
  • Thru our roundtables, collaboration is the common take-away. If we are going to change the market, then we need to drive a conversation that will expose the obstacles to early engagement and discuss how to overcome these obstacles. We must provide the stakeholders with talking points to have a dialogue on their projects to prove the value of early engagement.
  • PANEL: Ron Ratner, RMS; Chip Marous, Marous; Sean McDermott, Cleveland Metroparks; Jeremy Bowers, Karpinski Engineering; Doug Berlekamp, Whiting-Turner
  • Program 18 Cogence NEO 2018-11 Presentation (PDF)
  • Program 18 Meeting Minutes and Early Engagement Survey Results (PDF)
Oct 2018

Risks? Or Keys to Success? – NWO Chapter

  • During our first sessions we discussed the risks we face, how these risks impact our business, and how we experience these risks over the lifespan of a project. Leadership, Management, Communication and Quality Work were all identified as common risks, but these are also the keys to our success. Our greatest challenge to improving project outcomes is to recognize how to transform our risks into opportunities.
  • During this session, we shared the analysis of the risk data you provided during the June session. The data revealed Leadership as a risk category that peaks early in the project timeline. Together we identified some of the traits of Successful Leadership on a Project from each industry segment.
  • Cogence NWO Presentation 2018-1017 Risks-Keys to Success with session results (PDF)
  • Cogence NWO Event Meeting Minutes_2018-1017 (PDF)
  • NWO Risky Times Summary June 2018 (PDF)
Jul 2018

Planning to Fail? Exposing the Impact of the “F” Word – NEO Chapter

Jun 2018

Risky Times – NWO Chapter

  • During our previous session we explored the risks we face as an industry. At this session, we will develop a deeper understanding of when we face these risks and the impact they have on the project and our business. The mission of Cogence is to bring Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, and affiliated professionals together to improve project delivery. Gaining an understanding of our collective risks, when we experience them, and how they impact the project and our business will improve project delivery.
  • Below is the summarization of the work we did during this session and the meeting minutes
  • NWO Risky Times Summary June 2018 (PDF)
  • Cogence NWO Event Meeting Minutes_2018-0620 (PDF)
May 2018

Quality Part 2 – NEO Chapter

  • “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort” – John Ruskin
  • During this session, we will breakdown and define aspects of quality from an industry perspective. This work session is a critical step in developing the Cogence Quality Plan.
  • Cogence NEO Presentation_2018-0509 w-Supporting Info
Apr 2018

Risky Business – NWO Chapter

Mar 2018

Quality Part 1 – NEO Chapter

  • “Quality is everyone’s responsibility.” – W. Edwards Deming
  • Quality is often discussed and expected. But what is Quality? Join us for the first of two sessions where our ultimate goal is to develop a set of ‘Cogence’ guidelines, both qualitative and quantitative in nature, that could be applied to each of our Partners.
  • During this session, together through a guided discussion, we will define quality from the eyes of each segment of the industry, plus, identify how it is measured.
  • Cogence NEO Presentation_2018-0314 w-Supporting Info
Jan 2018

Team Building with Ellen Burts-Cooper, PhD – NEO Chapter

  • We are excited to continue our team building conversation from the Cogence Town Hall event in November 2017. Ellen Burts-Cooper will be joining us to dive deeper into the importance and keys of building transformational teams.
  • We will continue to Navigate the 7 Critical Attributes for Cohesion, Productivity and Resilience and challenge ourselves to learn more about the tools we need in our “team building toolbox” to further our mission of improving project outcomes through collaborative delivery methods.
  • Cogence Program 13 2018-0110 (pdf)
Nov 2017

2017 Town Hall

Engage all. Transform outcomes. Win together.

  • November 10, 2017 at the Global Center for Health Innovation (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Join your colleagues in the design and construction community to learn best practices that will transform outcomes, creating successful projects for all.
  • To view the session summaries please go to 2017 Town Hall 
Sep 2017

Cogence GMP Development Process – NEO Chapter

  • Establishing a GMP process in a collaborative manner has proven to be a relevant topic for all of us. When and how do we need to collaborate? During our last session, we began to develop an ideal flow for each of the three distinct phases of GMP development.
  • The three distinct phases of GMP development are:
    • Origination of the Project Budget
    • Development and Documentation of Project
    • Finalization of the Guaranteed Maximum Process
  • Partners joined together to further define the steps during each phase of the GMP development process.
  • See the attached document to see the work they have done to-date.
  • Cogence Program 11 2017.09.13 (pdf)
Jul 2017

Development of a Cogence GMP Development Process – NEO Chapter

  • At our last session on Project Management, Cogence uncovered that there were many challenges and communication breakdowns associated with the GMP development process. Cogence has decided to extend the discussion to get to the bottom of the issues as well as hopefully develop a more clear and effective process.
  • What is the CM’s normal development process?
  • Do the owners have a good understanding of what drives the GMP?
  • How do the trades view pricing based on the rest of the team already in place?
  • Is the design team at the table when the GMP is finalized?
  • These are just some of the questions and issues that we will explore and breakdown together as we go deeper and examine the issues and develop a Cogence solution to the GMP development process.
May 2017

Cogent Project Delivery – NEO Chapter

  • This session continued the theme of the March session, project management. We focused on the challenges that project managers face on a CM at Risk project.
  • Prior to the session, we surveyed Cogence Partners to identify those challenges. During the session, we worked together to identify possible solutions to each group’s challenges.
  • View the Program Presentation to see the top 3 challenges identified by owners, architects, engineers, construction managers, and trades partners, along with proposed solutions.
  • Some common threads that can help the entire project team: Collaborate (in the sense of active participation). Communicate. Early involvement. Educate. Create reliable expectations. Use time wisely.
  • Program Presentation (PDF)
Mar 2017

Project Management – The Linchpin to Collaboration – NEO Chapter

  • During our last session, we discussed how collaboration can reduce financial risk. Strong project management has a direct link to achieving desired performance and financial outcomes.
  • The most successful projects have a Project Manager who is empowered by their organization to develop a project team culture, which enables all team members to work together and succeed, while executing their craft at the highest level.
Jan 2017

Can Teamwork Reduce Financial Risk? – NEO Chapter

  • At this program, we examined and developed ideas on how teamwork can reduce the risk of financial loss by discussing a scenario familiar to all: The budget is fixed, the scope is undefined, all of the team members are not engaged, but everything is moving full steam ahead…What would you do?  Many have been in this situation and, while sensing impending risk, are hesitant to raise a voice of concern.
  • After brief presentations of business models and risks, we had an interactive role-play session. Owners, designers, CMs, and trade contractors traded places to understand how early project actions and decisions affect the financial risk of other project team members. Each group listed the actions that project team members could take to mitigate their risk.
  • We wrapped up with a discussion of the following three questions:
    1. What led to the situation?
    2. What could be done to manage risk?
    3. What could the project team do differently?
  • Together, we gained understanding of our different business models and financial risks, identified why and how certain actions put us in a potential hardship position, but most importantly discussed how teams can reduce the financial risk for all.
  • Program Presentation (PDF)
  • Program Minutes (PDF)
Nov 2016

Project Management – NEO Chapter

  • This session was a follow-up on the September session’s contract overview. The discussion focused on how contracts allocated risk, and it explored the consequences when risk is unfairly allocated. Common delivery methods were reviewed and their chief characteristics compared.
  • Using a legal case, the risks associated with cost estimating were explained. This case study illustrated the standard of care to which professionals can be held when offering estimating services.
  • The GMP process was identified as a common source of risk, as well as a source of dispute among project team members. COGENCE Partners engaged in a discussion of the issues surrounding the timing of the GMP and the failure of nearly all contracts to clearly define the level of information on which the GMP is to be based. A more detailed “facilitated” GMP approach was presented as a direction for more successful outcomes.
Sep 2016

Collaborative Contracting. An Oxymoron? – NEO Chapter

  • Facilitated by a nationally recognized construction law attorney, the discussion began with the premise that when contractual terms and conditions are developed in a collaborative manner, each party has the opportunity to succeed. The session revealed that COGENCE partners, and national industry leaders, do not have an understanding of how certain contract clauses shift risk to an inappropriate team member.
  • Seasoned industry professionals share a common misunderstanding of design responsibility, and so unknowingly shift and or accept significant project risk.
  • Our contracting program provided an immediate understanding of negotiation tactics for all project participants around key topics such as design responsibility, extraordinary risks, delay and consequential damages, flow down provisions, and indemnification.
  • Program Presentation
Jul 2016

Communicate Your Way to Desired Outcomes – NEO Chapter

  • Developing positive communication habits among team members, and regularly measuring their effectiveness, is proven to improve project outcomes. The session explored communication best practices.
  • Project culture is a primary determinant of effective communication and must be accurately monitored. COGENCE partners agree with Peter Drucker’s maxim: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. The session included communication development and measurement tools.
  • Program Presentation
May 2016

Risks? Or Keys to Success? – NEO Chapter

  • Effective leadership, from start to finish, is a critical to the success factor in every design and construction project. Leadership has its greatest positive impact on a project when it is present, consistent, and engaged throughout the entire project timeline. Creating a project culture that aligns individual strengths with specific roles is a leader’s primary responsibility, and is crucial to achieving positive project outcomes.
  • Learn the essential traits of effective Leadership on a design and construction project.
  • Program Presentation
Mar 2016

Risky Times – NEO Chapter

  • Risks are common among industry partners but the intensity and timing of impact on our business is different. During this highly successful session, partners worked in groups to correlate the seven common risk factors to the project timeline identifying the intensity of the risk experienced.
  • The analysis from this session concluded that there is a distinct cause and effect relationship between the level of the risk and the phase in which it is experienced.
  • For a complete analysis of the root cause of risk please see here.
  • For the Risk Timeline Data Set Statistical Analysis please see here.
  • Program Presentation
Jan 2016

Risky Business – NEO Chapter

  • When working on a project, you evaluate your own risks, but do you fully understand the risks your other team members are confronting? Starting together with an understanding of each other’s risk factors, can teammates be empowered to work together to mitigate risk and ultimately improve project outcomes?
  • Learn how the Cogence Alliance answered these questions.
  • Program Presentation