Collaboration: Key to successful project delivery

Page thought leader Dan Killebrew shares his experience with next generation project delivery. He’s seen success through the intersection of integrated project delivery (IPD), Lean construction and design principles and technology. That translates to projects that are on time, within budget, achieve stated goals and generate owner satisfaction.

Let’s define these tools:

  • IPD: A multi-party form of integrated agreement. This high-risk, high-reward design approach depends on true collaboration to be successful.
  • Lean: A method and tools for increasing value by decreasing waste. Its foundation is a respect for people.
  • Technology: BIM, virtual design construction, augmented reality, robotics and prefabrication which all generate greater project value.

In IPD, all team members carry some level of responsibility, but ultimately other project team members must respect the owner’s decisions as final.

Historically, the traditional process of designing and building a project has been a competitive one with owners and individual project team firms including architects focusing on maximizing their financial opportunities. This hurts the ability for a team to collaborate so it needs to be acknowledged in order to move on.

One of the best known IPD characteristics is the Big Room concept of collaboration, which offers a forum more focused on the behaviors and actions of the team than the physical co-location space.

Dan explains, “I’ve been on projects where the Big Room was one of the bigger stumbling blocks because of the challenge of managing the communications of a large group of people. However, in their absence, collaboration plummets.”

A key takeaway is that there is a success matrix for projects. There is a sweet spot in the merged use of these tools and it works. Find yours.