Next NGA West is a mega-project jointly managed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Air Force. It is the largest federal investment project in the history of St. Louis, MO.

Differing partner expectations, diverse constituencies and stakeholders, high visibility and the sheer complexity of managing a $2 billion MegaProject present huge challenges for any team.

Group Solutions was engaged to:

  1. Identify (and eliminate) barriers that inhibit the ability to function as a unified team.
  2. Identify, promote and enhance positive actions that help function as a unified team with a singular purpose.
  3. Develop and refine new practices to help the team function better in the future as a unified team.
  4. Build a true partnership, enhance trust and strengthen team communication to be clearer, concise and consistent across the Integrated Program Office (IPO) and with all stakeholders.

62 baseline interviews were conducted with NGA (East and West), USACE (St. Louis and Kansas City and contractors (HDR and Burns & McDonnell). Recurring issues and challenge themes from this process were validated with a planning team and used to build the workshop agenda. Group Solutions provided neutral 3rd party facilitation for a 2-day workshop that explored key findings of the interview, challenged team with different perspectives and collectively framed new norms for improved team interaction. During the planning process, many concerns were expressed about team members being able to speak freely with senior leaders present and a belief many issues might be better resolved with peer-to-peer discussion. This was accommodated.

Open and honest discussion that included active participation from all attendees took place. There was acceptance all parties have contributed to building the box they are in, recognition of some long-standing blind spots and acceptance all organizations must give a little to make this work. Most significantly, meaningful 2-way dialogue took place and workshop participants developed a plan for improved team effectiveness.

Trust issues, challenges and key themes from the interviews were frankly discussed.

Perspectives of all organizations were shared and serious pent-up frustrations were expressed. Several breakthrough discussions clarified the roots of past misunderstandings. Participants left the workshop with a new appreciation for the internal challenges each partner group and contractors were facing.

Productive, non-confrontational dialogue took place. The team confronted barriers to project effectiveness and collaboratively developed a series of action items.

Following the workshop, an outbrief was conducted to present highlights from the workshop to the District Leadership where process recommendations were presented and a commitment to continuing partnering was affirmed.