Optimize Facility Renovation, Repair, and Construction Delivery with Robust Business Processes

Optimize Facility Renovation, Repair, and Construction Delivery with Robust Business Processes

Real Property Owners, Contractors, Architects, and Engineers are under tremendous pressure to innovate, accelerate project delivery times, and minimize costs.   Also, all parties must implement methods to improve the customer experience of building users.
Many AEC organizations find these objectives difficult to achieve. They remain plagued by low productivity, a low-bid/change-order mentality, and adversarial relationships among all construction project participants.  As a result, building users are unsatisfied, facility management is treated as an expense versus an asset, and sub-optimal performance has become the norm.

Solutions to the above problems have existed for decades.  The are not, however, to be found in technology.   Performance improvements are available via LEAN business process and associated collaborative construction delivery methods.

The reason its hard for Owners, Facility Managers and AEC service providers to optimize operations is that collaboration,  team leadership, and asset life-cycle modeling/management are not areas of  core expertise.   They were generally not part of their formal education, nor their professional training.

Furthermore, the application of LEAN processes to Facility Management and AEC services requires  deep visibility into workflows, tasks, and detailed costs.   The latter is impossible without common terms, definitions, and data architectures, and reliance upon ad-hoc and inefficient manual processes that continuously “reinvent” the wheel, duplicate work, rely upon excessive management and control, and introduce variability.

When core facility life-cycle management processes, players, and systems are not fully integrated and on-board, and competency is not present in each required domain, any measurable improvement in outcomes is extremely challenging.

Integrated Project Delivery, IPD and Job Order Contracting, JOC are examples of efficient LEAN collaborative construction delivery methods than deliver on-time, on-budget, quality projects in excess of 90% of the time.   This level of performance remains unmatched by traditional design-bid-build, CM@R, or design-build. Both have been available for consistent implementation for decades.

Both IPD and JOC require an understanding of the challenges facing both Owners, AEC service providers, and building users.   Better education and awareness is the only viable path forward.    The good news is that both can be supported by technology to enable relatively low cost and consistent deployment.

In short the adoption of collaborative LEAN construction delivery processes and an asset life-cycle perspective lead the transformation from wasteful, unsatisfactory outcomes, to economically and environmentally improved results.

Ad-hoc practices are transformed into information-supported decision-marking that leverages multi-domain expertise and associated analytics,completely transparent, efficient and unified operations, and enhanced satisfaction for all stakeholders.

BIM asset life-cycle competencies

Collaborative Job Order Contracting Construction Delivery

job order contracting history

10 steps toward real property stewardship

OpenJOC Detailed Process Diagramjob order contracting






  1. Owner competency & leadership
  2. Life-cycle asset management philosophy
  3. Best value procurement
  4. Collaborative construction delivery methods (IPD, JOC, …)
  5. Mutual trust & respect
  6. Common terms, definitions, and data architectures….all in plain English
  7. Shared risk/reward
  8. Monitoring via key performance indicators (KPIs)
  9. Ongoing education, training, & awareness buildling
  10. Continuous improvement






Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the integration of disparate competencies, business processes, and technologies to accomplish the efficient life-cycle management of the built environment.

Per the above definition, BIM has not moved from theory to reality to any significant extent. Improving facility and infrastructure construction, management, operations, and sustainability is indeed possible, if Owners provide competent leadership.  

Owners must also recognize the value of collaboration, LEAN management methods, and information-based decision-making.   

The fundamental way in which Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Building Users, and Oversight Groups interact must change.   The issue is not, nor has ever been, shortcomings in technology.  The vacuum is one of lack of change management skills and lack of overall asset life-cycle management competency.

Asset life-cycle management, as demonstrated in the figure below, requires an integration of business areas and competencies.

BIM asset life-cycle competencies

The primary driver is actually the construction delivery method.  It is the construction delivery method that contractually defines roles, responsibilities, timelines, deliverables, relationships, and sets the tone for a project from day one.   The construction delivery method can actually REQUIRE COLLABORATION of all participants, right down to the terms, definitions, and information used.

Thus a collaborative construction delivery CONTRACT and its associated OPERATIONS or EXECUTION MANUAL are the detailed road map to completed a significantly higher percentage (90%+) of quality  renovation, repair, and construction projects on-time and on-budget, and to the satisfaction of ALL participants.

Collaborative construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery, IPD for major new construction, and Job Order Contracting, JOC, for renovation, repair, maintenance, and minor new construction aren’t new.  The both have proven track records spanning decades.

asset life-cycle model for buildings and infrasructure

OpenJOC win-win

So, why isn’t everyone using collaborative construction delivery methods, and why aren’t 90% of projects delivered on-time and on-budget?   The answer has already been noted… owners are providing the necessary competent leadership, and many players are satisfied with the status quo.




It’s not simply a a learning curve issues,  it’s a culture change.  The multi-party nature, required financial transparency, and sharing of risk and reward is a definite hurdle for many.   Some current owners, contractors, and AE’s, quite simply, won’t be able to make the required transition.

Would it not be nice to stop focusing upon pretty 3D pictures, dated IWMS systems, and other technologies that dictate process and/or embed antagonistic workflows?  As stated previously, technology isn’t the solution, it can however be a crutch, and a problem… if it prevents us from asking the right questions… and dealing with positive change.







LEAN, Collaborative, and Integrated Construction Delivery

LEAN, Collaborative, and Integrated Construction Delivery

The project delivery method ultimately determines the outcomes of renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability and new construction activities more so than than any other single factor.

It is the project delivery approach that outlines how people, systems, business processes, and specialized knowledge domains are integrated to optimize value for real property stakeholders – real property owners, building/physical infrastructure users, architects, engineers, contractors, business product manufactures, oversight groups, and the community.

Regardless of the LEAN construction method selected – for example Integrated Project Delivery, IPD for major new construction, or Job Order Contracting, JOC for renovation, repair, maintenance, or minor new construction –  the primary focus is uopn highly effective collaboration between the owner, the architect, and contractor(s), etc. from conceptualization/early design through project handover and beyond.

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

BEST VALUE procurement, shared RISK/REWARD, MUTUAL TRUST/RESPECT, and LONGER TERM RELATIONSHIPS are additional areas that differentiate LEAN collaborative construction delivery form tradition design-bid-build or even design-build, CM@R, etc.

job order contracting

Minimum levels of owner CAPABILITY and LEADERSHIP, however, are required in order to implement LEAN collaborative construction delivery methods and achieve the associated benefits completing a significantly higher percentage of quality projects on-time and on-budget.

Properly created and implemented LEAN collaborative construction delivery methods REQUIRE  the owner, designers, engineers, and contractors to work  collaboratively from project inception, to mutually establish the performance, budget and schedule within the constraints of the owner’s business model, and to TRANSPARENTLY share ALL information using common standardized terms and data architectures.

While the Owner is providing LEADERSHIP and ultimate responsibility, the team is working together to manage efforts.

Team are built and grow based upon Best Value, Qualifications, and demonstrated Success.

Collaborative LEAN construction delivery method require partnering and collaboration contractually.   Associated contracts and programs create incentives and consequences for collaborative participation or lack thereof.  Joint decision-making with appropriate allocation and understanding of liabilities and impacts increase the likelihood of successful goal accomplishment.

Key performance indicators, KPIs for LEAN construction delivery not only take into account progress of each party and/or competency (design, construction, engineering, procurement, etc.) but associated interactions.

Many owners, architects, engineers and contractors do not fully understand LEAN collaborative construction delivery methods, or their specific implementation such as IPD or JOC.   Since any implementation of LEAN construction delivery is fundamentally different than traditional processes, attempting to implement LEAN without making internal business process changes commonly leads to failure.  For example, some owners or JOC consultants/cooperatives implement JOC to simply bypass procurement and speed project delivery times.   This is first and foremost typically against rules and/or legislation, but more importantly doesn’t afford  program participants with JOC’s potential major benefits.

Without   1) mutual respect and trust 2) mutual risk and reward 3) collaborative innovation 5.) team decision making 4) early and ongoing  involvement of all key participants, standardized term, definitions, and data architectures, 6.) financial transparency, and  5) open and enhanced communication, LEAN construction delivery is not present.

Certification, or at least ongoing education and training for LEAN collaborative construction delivery and dedicated implementation methods such as IPD and JOC should be practiced.   While every Owner implementation has its areas of specialization, core processes remain constant.

The success of LEAN construction delivery (IPD/JOC…) is ultimately based upon  individual team member’s ability to make decisions collaboratively, Their ability to apply associated and supporting workflows, tools, data sets, and technology,  and in general align the participating organizational cultures and business models of project/program participants.

strategic facility management and BIM

Of special note is the fact the teamwork should replace excessive management and control.  It is the combined experience of the individuals and entities on the team that is important.   The Owner is a key LEADER, a COACH, and a FACILITATOR with respect to the LEAN construction delivery process.   This role can temporarily be fill by a consultant, however, for efficient and larger LEAN construction implementations, direct Owner participation is a REQUIREMENT.

LEAN construction delivery is proven to be more productive and less costly than traditional construction methods.   The perceived higher cost is a falsehood.   Cost metrics should be focus upon total life-cycle returns and NOT first costs.  Once change orders, legals disputes, and unacceptable quality  levels are considered, LEAN construction can be 30% – 60% more efficient.

Owners – Make your Contractors Happy!

Owners, Contractors, and AEs Must Work Together

Poor productivity in the construction sector is a well known and persistent issue.  The solution to delivery renovation, repair, and new construction project on-time, on-budget, and to the satisfaction of all participants is remarkably simple.

Real property owners are ultimately responsible the construction sector’s low productivity.  It is owners that provide inaccurate and/or vague project requirements, create/support excessive numbers of change orders, fail to treat their service providers with respect, and lack the requisite ability to implement LEAN construction delivery methods.


Consider this:

Contractors are the construction experts. They simply need to be involved in the project early (from concept) thru hand-over/warranty period.   Contractors expertise must be leverage without excessive management and control, however, continuous support and monitoring must be present…”trust but measure”.

At the end of the day, both the Owner and the Contractor should have the same goals… completing a quality project on-time and on-budget.  Both should anticipate a reasonable profit, and a  potential long term relationship involving other projects.

Construction, like most other complex business relationships, is relationship-based. As such, all involved parties must be competent in their area(s) of expertise, have shared goals, and engage in full financial transparency.

job order contracting

Criteria for a Good, Mutually Beneficial Owner-Contract Relationship

  1. Open line of communication – Confidence is established through open, transparent communications.
  2. Collaboration – This must be both part of the culture of all parties as well as mandated in writing.
  3. LEAN Construction Delivery Methods – Job Order Contacting, JOC, Integrated Project Delivery, IPD ….   versus archaic, antagonistic, and unproductive design-bid-build, design-build, CM@R, etc.
  4.  Focus upon Outcomes – Metrics, key performance indicators, KPIs.
  5.  Leverage robust best management practices and business processes.
  6.  Share risk and reward.
  7.  Best value procurement versus lowest bidder.
  8.  On-demand service orientation.
  9.  Supporting technology – Technology is NOT the solution, but should support robust, proven LEAN processes.

  10. Involve all participants – technical/engineering, building users, procurement…

Job Order Contracting Best Practices


  1. Assure JOC Program Limits are established and observed for project type and size.
  2. Assure appropriate JOC Program Capacity – the number and size of JOC projects that can be properly managed by available resources.
  3. Establish a formal Prioritization Process for JOC Projects.
  4. JOC Criteria Checklist – Assure project meet established JOC criteria.
  5. Formalize and Document all JOC  policies, procedures, or guidelines with a JOC Operations Manual associate with the Contract.
  6. Assure direct Owner involvement and direct Owner management versus the exclusive use of third party consultants whenever possible.
  7. Eliminate conflicts of interest, or any associated potential.
  8. Formalized Reporting and Audit Requirements.
  9. Maintain Full Financial Transparency
  10. Owner review of ALL Contractor estimates.
  11. Joint Owner/Contractor site visits and detailed scope of work definition
  12. Update Contract information and Terms Regularly and assure compliance with Federal, State, and Local regulations.
  13. Ongoing Training and Education for ALL JOC Program participants
  14. Monitor and Limit Non-prepriced  – NPP – line items (usage and value)
  15. When Non-Prepriced Line Items are used, require three independent quotes for associated items.
  16. Assure the Unit Price Book – UPB – selected has Clear and  Consistent Descriptions written in a manner that all JOC participants can easily understand.
  17. Assure any  Owner Preferred Products or Materials are contained within the Unit Price Book.
  18. Formalized Project Inspection and Project Closeout Processes and Procedures.
  19. Document and Monitor Key JOC Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  20. Assure that JOC Technology maintains a Complete Record of all Information and does NOT allow for permanent deletion of information.
  21. Full disclosure of subcontractor information.
  22. Do not allow consultants to manage themselves.  While use of consultants may be necessary, there are substantial risks associated with allowing consultants to have total control over a project with little to no Owner oversight. (Example:  A consultant acting as  JOC project manager, reporting to a consulant managing the JOC program.) Do not allow multiple consultants from one consulting firm working in different capacities on the same project.job order contracting

DOD / Federal Government Construction Sector: Save Time and Money … Create Better RSMeans Cost Estimates… Centralize and Reuse Information

Many, if not most, public sector Owners, Contractors, and AEs use RSMeans Cost Data for cost estimating and associated project management.   Unfortunately, many/most of these same organizations don’t accomplish these critical tasks efficiently, or accurately.

Here are few tips for Owners, Contractors, Subcontractors, AEs, Procurement/Contracting, Oversight Groups, or anyone relying upon RSMeans Cost Data for construction cost estimating for numerous renovation, repair, construction projects:

1.  Use the best representation of RSMeans Cost Data available.  Not all electronic representations of RSMeans cost data are the same.

Use the Best Representation of RSMeans Cost Data Available
Use the Best Representation of RSMeans Cost Data Available

2. Continuously improve your understanding of RSMeans Cost Data and how to best apply it to construction cost estimating for either budgetary or project purposes.  Attend training from experts who have not only used RSMeans Cost Data for decades, but who understand construction and project management from both an Owner and Contractor perspective.

Professional Training by Estimators for Estimators
Professional Training by Estimators for Estimators

3. Focus upon collaborative construction delivery methods that provide benefits for ALL parties involved… Owners, Contractors, Subs, AEs, Building Users, Oversight Groups, and the Community.

Collaborative vs. Traditional Construction Delivery Methods
Collaborative vs. Traditional Construction Delivery Methods

4. Leverage technology that embeds “best practices” and supports LEAN principles.  Use technology to reduce implementation costs, share/re-use information, drive consistency and transparency, and monitor performance.  Technology is a tool, an enabler…  it shouldn’t limit your capabilities.

Evolution Graphic V2 White

JOC Study Announced – Value of Job Order Contracting and Integrated Project Delivery

Industry-wide JOB ORDER CONTRACTING Study Announced – JOC

4Clicks has been in recent communications with Arizona State University’s (ASU) Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG) about a planned JOC Research Study.  We are excited about the potential to document the value associated with JOC vs. traditional construction deliver methods.

Study areas will include cost and time savings and increased flexibility among others.  Publication of the final report is targeted for January 2016.

While we are in the early stages of learning more about the study, we are encouraged by the capabilities of the researchers and the potential value of this study.

Owners, Contractors, and Service Providers experienced with JOC will be encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences.  The initial announcement and additional information  are included below for your review.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

About PRBSRG:  The Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG) is a group of researchers and educators at Arizona State University that focus upon “Best Value Models” consisting of three main phases: Selection, Pre-Planning & Quality Control, and Management by Risk Minimization.

via http://www.4Clicks.com – 4Clicks Solutions develops and delivers a comprehensive suite of construction cost estimating and project management software to connect people, information and processes – anytime, anywhere.

Date: 11/20/2014 Subject: JOC Industry Research

The Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG) out of Arizona State University (ASU) is currently conducting an industry wide study evaluating the Job Order Contracting (JOC) delivery system. The finalized study, anticipated to be released in January 2016, will document the value that comes from JOC as a procurement method, regardless of system utilized.

PBSRG is requesting participation and support from Owners, Contractors, and Service Providers by providing project information collected while using the JOC system. Time commitment is expected to be minimal for participants.

If you are interested in participating in this study please email (jacobk@exchange.asu.edu) or call (480-

577-3726) Jacob Kashiwagi.

Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG)

P.O. Box 870204 Tempe, AZ 85287-0204           Ph: (480) 965-4372  Fax: (480) 965-4371

Objective of Research:   To evaluate the value (in terms of time, cost, and customer satisfaction) achieved when utilizing JOC over other traditional methods to complete projects. Previous JOC studies have been unable to identify the savings JOC brings to an owner through administration costs, time savings, and increased flexibility to achieve organizational objectives. They have also failed to identify why contractors under the JOC system are able to deliver construction for a lower cost and why they are motivated to deliver high quality to the owner. The aim of this study is to work with JOC users to identify this. The study also hopes to identify characteristics and practices of successful JOC implementations. At the conclusion of this study a report will be published through Arizona State University identifying the findings of the JOC system.

The PBSRG out of ASU will be collecting and analyzing all JOC performance information. PBSRG will keep all data collected confidential unless given permission to share with other parties.

Participation:  The JOC contractor and owner community is highly encouraged to participate in this study. Owner’s that participate in this study will be kept abreast of developments and be offered education on the findings of the study. Contractors who participate will be able to use the performance information and the education that comes from this research.

Milestone Schedule:  The expected duration of this study will be 1 year (Jan 2015 – Jan 2016). The following are major activities that will be performed along with estimated completion dates and time frames:

  1. JOC Conference (to be held in Phoenix) (Organizations will also be given the option of participating by WebEx) 1/9/2015
  2. Finalization of JOC Research Strategic Plan 1/26/2015
  3. Survey and data collection (from all stakeholders)  4/3/2015 – 9/18/2015
  1. Analysis of Data and Draft JOC Report  11/20/20015
  2. Final JOC Report 1/25/2016

Distribution of Research:  The results of this research will be distributed to all participants. It will also be made available to the public at no fee.

JOC Process

What is Job Order Contracting / JOC?
What is Job Order Contracting / JOC?

IWMS is Dead

I find IWMS systems problematic for the following reasons.
First and foremost, IWMS systems typically start as a monolithic application, with expertise in one area.

For example, a software company that built a CMMS system, then decides to add a capital planning module (CPMS) or a space planning module (CAFM), or a project delivery module.

Without appropriate domain expertise the result is a system that does a lot of things in a mediocre manner, vs. an integration of “best in class” solutions.
With the advent of cloud computing,  Owners can easily select “best in class” solutions and simply treat them as “plug-ins” to their private cloud.  Traditional software programs as we have known them are dying, and being replace by applets…think of your smart phone.

The real key is for Owners to develop life-cycle management capabilities.  Owners focus must be upon assuring robust ontology and the adoption of transparent, proven business processes.   Strategic portfolio management, collaborative project delivery (IPD – integrated project delivery, JOC – job order contracting), optimized portfolio operations management, and maximization of available resources must be the mantra for Owners.

Technology is no longer an issue, it’s Owner expertise.   Technology should never dictate process, its role is to support low cost, consistent deployment of organization best practices, and to improve transparency, collaboration, information reuse, and decision support.


BLM2via http://www.4Clicks.com – 4Clicks provides advanced solutions for the construction industry with powerful tools to connect people, information and processes – anytime, anywhere.

Efficient Construction Project Delivery – BIM3, Ontology, and Process

Efficient Construction Project Delivery – BIM3, Ontology, and Process


Actionable, transparent information, collaboration, and supporting technology are requirements in reaching the goal of more efficient construction project delivery and life-cycle management of the built environment.   While “big data” may be viewed as a buzzword, it is also a necessity as all built environment stakeholders[1] are tasked with “doing more with less”.


The cornerstone of big data is a robust ontology.  Ontology is a robust set of terms and definitions and their defined linkages/associations for a specified purpose.   Ontology is a requirement for any robust business process. Any improvement to the current excessive levels of waste within the construction sector is impossible without all stakeholders working with common, transparent information.   One excellent example of an application of common information is RSMeans Cost Data.  Leveraging RSMeans Cost Data as the basis for Owner, Contractor, AE, and Oversight Group activities provide immediate benefits.  Planners, Procurement, Cost Estimators, Program Managers, Engineers, Architects, Facility Managers; virtually all local and global professionals and entities; would be able to track contract, project, and estimate information and get more project done on-time and on-budget to the benefit of the Government, Contractors, Subs, and AEs.


Multiple cross knowledge domain competencies and associated robust business process are equally important (See Figure 1).   Of all of these the enterprise application of collaborative construction delivery methods; such as Integrated Project Delivery, IPD and Job Order Contracting, JOC; are important prerequisites on the path toward greater efficiency.  Collaborative and/or “lean” construction delivery methods are not new. They are proven business process that have had decades of field application. Education and awareness, however, is limited in this area. Very few if any Owners have applied these and/or similar “best practices” on an enterprise level, while some have deployed on a local level/site level.

Figure 1
Figure 1


Technology is also a core element in that is place an enabling role by lowering implementation costs while also supporting consistent deployment, information sharing, ongoing monitoring, and continuous improvement.


Thus the question remains, why has significant improvement in construction efficiency yet to occur on a widespread basis?

The answers are both simple and complex.

  1. Owners have not taken a leadership role. They pay the bills and are ultimately responsible for the “end product”, the built environment.
  2. Education needs to be changed and improved from higher education throughout all related professional areas.   Focus is required upon fundamental life-cycle management and total cost of ownership business processes.
  3. The concept of global oversight with local action must be observed and practiced, along with a cultural shift from ad-hoc, linear, and antagonistic business process such as design-bid-build,   to collaborative methods that involve stakeholders earlier in the decision making process.


The culture change is major. Owners. Contractors. And AEs must work together toward common goals, with shared risk/reward, and with the same information.  How many participants are currently capable of doing this?


Time for a change?


[1] Stakeholders: Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Operators, Building Product Manufacturers, Building/Structure Users, Oversight Groups, Community at Large, Software OEMs.

Enabling Efficient Life-cycle Managment of the Built Environment supported by Digitial Technology – BIM – 2014

Technology is not the primary obstacle to efficient life-cycle management of the built environment!

  1. Technology limitations/issues – come from people
  2. Different meanings for the same parts
  3. Economic impacts – based on people
  4. Different values and attributes for same processes
  5. Social Impacts – outcomes for people
  6. Stakeholders (Owners!!!, AE’s, Contractors, Oversight Groups, Business Product  Manufacturers, Users) determine the uses of technology, economic value and environmental impacts

The roadblocks to increased collaboration, transparency, and productivity within the AECOO sector are as follows:

1. Lack of a robust, shared Ontology.

2. Refusal to adopt collaborative construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) for new construction, Job Order Contracting (JOC) for repair, renovation, sustainability, and minor new construction projects.

3. Current focus upon first-costs vs. life-cycle costs.

Standardized terms, definitions, metrics and the deployment of “best practice” business process is not rocket science.  Unfortunately too many AECOO participants and stakeholders need build their level of awareness of the above vs. ad-hoc and antagonistic processes such as design-bid-build, or even design-build.  The latter is a good attempt to be IPD-like, but is not IPD.




The development and  application of robust standardized terms, taxonomies, hierarchies, etc. will enable BLM/BIM.  We need to move faster to deal with critical global Economic and Environment realities (global warming, diminishing natural resources, new competitive landscape …).


  • Terms – language
  • Syntax – make deductions from language
  • Semantics – interpretation of languages
  • Taxonomy – classification system
  • Ontology – meaning-making system
  • World Theatre – social system