AEC – Best Value & Operational Excellence

AEC  – Best Value & Operational Excellence

 

As an Owner, Architect, Engineer, Contractor, Building User, or Oversight Group, you can strive for BEST VALUE, OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE, and TRANSPARENCY or maintain ‘status quo’, it’s your choice.

Presuming you want to improve productivity and provide the best possible return on resource expenditure, the first step is to improve your awareness, knowledge, and competency relative to physical asset life-cycle management.

Stop attempting to address problems with TECHNOLOGY, as all you will do is compound existing problems.  Focus upon improving physical asset management competencies, especially the deployment COLLABORATIVE CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHODS.

The single most important consideration when attempting to improve quality, delivery times, and lowering expenditures is the CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHOD.

It is the CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHOD that sets defines roles, responsibilities, levels of risk, business processes and workflows, information standards, timelines, transparency, and collaboration.

It is the CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHOD that sets the overall tone for renovation, repair, maintenance, or new construction projects and determines ultimate success or failure more so than any other single element.

Collaborative construction delivery methods have been implemented for decades are a proven to delivery in excess of 90% of projects on-time, on-budget, and to the satisfaction of all participants.  The most notable processes are Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, for major new construction, and Job Order Contracting, JOC for renovation, repair, and minor new construction.

Real property owners must become more knowledgeable in these areas and require collaborative construction delivery methods.   As note, technology, such as 3D BIM, will not solve the woes of the AEC and Facilities Management sectors.  The solution is change-management and improving competency.

Characteristics of LEAN Collaborative Construction Delivery Methods

  • Best Value Procurement
  • Early and Ongoing Collaboration
  • Shared Risk/Reward
  • Common Terms, Definitions, and Data Architectures
  • Financial Transparency
  • Mutual Trust and Respects
  • Focus Upon Outcomes
  • Continuous Improvement, Education, and Training
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Job Order Contracting

Asset Comptency ModelOpenJOC Detailed Process Diagram

Job order contacting relationship modeljob order contracting value-based

 

Facilities Management in the U.S. – R.I.P.

Facilities Management in the U.S. – R.I.P.

If I see another article about how great facilities management professionals (FMers) are, or how misunderstood, I think my head will explode.

Real property owners, aka FMers, simply aren’t doing their jobs.   It they were, physical infrastructure (buildings, roads, bridges, utilities, ….) deferred maintenance wouldn’t be continuing to climb AND construction would not still be one of the least productive industries of all.

Sure, they are good, if not great FMers, but in general, there is are major professional capability and competency issues.

First and foremost Owner must demonstrate LEADERSHIP throughout all aspects of physical asset life-cycle management.  This means they must understand the concepts of asset life-cycle modeling, LEAN collaborative construction delivery, capital planning and management, total cost of ownership, best value procurement, maintenance strategies, utilization and space planning, physical and functional condition assessment and more…

No one can be an expert in the above competencies, but being able to lead teams of internal and external teams IS a requirement for any FMer with a real property portfolio.

Then, of course, you get the folks that say…”Oh, I can just outsource FM.”   Again my head explodes.   Are facilities and infrastructure core to your organization?   And… you are going to outsource their management?  Really?   Good luck with that.

Here’s a list of topics, areas, in which a real property owner should have a working level of competence.  How do your rate yourself?

  • Outcome-focused planning and management
  • LEAN best management practices
  • Collaborative construction delivery methods (IPD, JOC)
  • Share risk/reward
  • Facility Condition Index
  • Adequacy Index
  • System Condition Index
  • Risk prioritization
  • Financial Transparency
  • Common terms, definitions, data architectures
  • Best value procurement
  • Integral contract execution/operations manuals
  • Mandatory collaboration
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Performance Audits
  • User & service provider surveys
  • Long term service provider relationships
  • Internal owner cost estimates
  • Plug-in / modular technology
  • Asset modeling

Asset Comptency Model

BIM asset life-cycle competenciesasset life-cycle model for buildings and infrasructure

If you aren’t concerned about FM and AEC service delivery models… you should be.

Owner competency, owner/service provider relationships, and outsourcing trends are alarming at best.

Here’s just a few points to ponder…

  • Owner believe that technology is key to improving the renovation, repair, maintenace, and delivery services and financial transparency.   Well, I have news, if you don’t have sound business process and workflows, not to mention viable strategic and operational plans, technology will just automate you poor practices.
  •  ‘Big data’ and analytics, specifically being able to link data to decision making to improve productivity and service quality is seen as another “game changer”.    Well, two things here.  There IS such a thing as TOO MUCH INFORMATION.   Unless, the information is maintained in standardized formats and in plain english that everyone understands…and its both timely and actionable.   Big data and analytics are worthless.  Again…process and planning MUST come before any attempt to leverage data and/or analytics.
  • Owners are hoping for “culture change” – changing attitudes towards facilities, architecture, construction, and engineering.   They assume changes in the AECOO working/workplace with result  in changes in how people work and communicate – be it through technology or changes to the built environment.   Well, again, newsflash…. Owner MUST DRIVE CHANGE… IT’S UP TO YOU!
  • Increased competition for economic and environmental resources continues… reduced budgets and high expectation of service users are becoming the norm. Despite this obvious trend, real property owners are doing little to change their practices accordingly.
  • Last but not least… and only last, as I am sure you don’t want to read more… it that the trend towards outsourcing continues.  A high percentage of owners outsource more than 50% of their FM services.   Well…. last time I checked, FM is not a commodity, and outsourced service delivery is less efficient than a properly managed owner provided service.    The promises from outsourcing providers of financial savings, better technical expertise, buying efficiencies, and access to management best practices are rarely confirmed… or even measured… and even more rarely fulfilled.  So, again… the rampant trend towards mediocrity, waste, and inefficiency is supported versus mitigated.

Communication, working together as a team and better alignment of strategies and plans are the top areas of focus for most FMers.  However, without proper tools, training, and competencies, most will never achieve measurable positive results.

You don’t believe the situation is dire?

Surveys show that a high percentage of (approximately 50%) Owners don’t feel there is much room for improvement regarding initial request for proposals and briefings, etc.   REALLY?  ARE YOU SERIOUS?

How can that be?   Have they actually read the RFI’s, RFP’s?   Most (60%+) of contractor, engineers, etc. feel their is a LOT of room for improvement relative to Owner RFI’s, RFP’s etc.   This DISCONNECT simply should not exist.    It is another indicator of lack of owner due diligence.

The same percentage hold for questions relative to KPIs, reporting, etc.

What will it take for the U.S. FM and AEC industry to truly adopt innovation and collaborative LEAN business practices?.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Ways to Reduce Construction Risk with Collaboration

10 Ways to Reduce Construction Risk with Collaboration

Change orders, lack of timely and accurate information, poor leadership, and a dysfunctional team are the reasons the majority of construction projects end up being over budget, late, and dissatisfaction among all participants.

All of these are address by collaborative construction delivery methods.   No, we are not talking about BIM.   This is the proven process of applying integrated project delivery, IPD, job order contarcting, JOC, or similar construction delivery methods throughout the project life-cycle and well as for on-gong facilities management.

Risk is reduced by sharing information will a project participant from concept through completion.   While the various collaborative construction delivery methods have their own structures, they share the concepts of a written Operations Manual / Execution Plan as well as the following…

  1. Early and ongoing communication of all project participants
  2. Mutual respect and trust
  3. Shared risk/reward
  4. Common terms, definitions, and data architectures (Uniformat/ Masterformat/Omniclass)
  5. Owner leadership without excessive control
  6. Key performance indicators, KPIs and monitoring
  7. Ongoing education and training
  8. Continuous improvement
  9. Focus upon outcomes
  10. Financial transparency

BIM asset life-cycle competencies

 

standardized cost data

Collaborative Construction Delivery = Positive Outcomes

 

The AEC and Facilities Management  industry is fragmented and unproductive.  While many have looked towards technology as the “silver bullet”, software simply can’t correct poor business practices, lack of requisite skills, and an industry resistant to change.

One need to  look no further than the stagnation of BIM in the U.S. and the U.K. to see that software is not the compass that will navigate the AEC and FM sector towards a higher percentage of quality outcomes delivered in a timely manner and on-budget.

The core elements required to drive the AEC and FM sector toward better outcomes are listed below.

  • Elevated Owner Capability & Leadership
  • Best value procurement
  • Collaborative LEAN management practices
  • Common terms, definitions, and data architectures
  • Mutual trust/respect
  • Shared risk/reward
  • Full financial transparency
  • Fully defined and documented roles, responsibilities, deliverables, and processes
  • Continuous education, monitoring, & improvement

 

The causal factors for the AEC/FM sector’s problems include…

  • No common language.
  • Lack of defined and consistently deployed procedures and workflows that benefit all participants
  • Obsolete technology… reliance upon monolithic IWMS and/or BIM systems.
  • Focus upon “the weeds”…   forced levels of rigid detail versus common understanding.
  • Costly, inflexible, and/or untimely revision cycle “standards”..(i.e. “ISO”, “NBIMS” …) versus “open” flexible guidelines and crowd sourced and shared knowledge.
  • No minimum level of competency and lack of proper oversight.

The AEC and FM industry lacks coordination due to void of life-cycle based based goals and objectives and an associated lack of focus upon OUTCOMES.  Owners simply lack the capability, competencies, and/or motivation to engage in leadership.

 

Collaboration, coordination, and improved productivity can only occur within a framework of  goals, competent actors, resources, and activities.  The linkage between the built environment and organizational goals is usually taken for granted or simply not understood, and certainly very rarely proactively managed.

Actors and activities are linked by inter-dependencies which must be formally structured, if not mandated via collaborative construction delivery methods.  strategic facility management and BIMSimilarly competencies in all requisite AEC and FM domains must be required.

Clarity and purpose must be provided by Real Property Owners as well as formal education and ongoing professional training.  While technology has its supporting role, Owner must firmly be in the drivers seat… steering the AEC and FM sectors toward efficient  life-cycle asset management strategies and practices.