Improving Construction Productivity – Collaboration and Lessons Learned

Improving Construction Productivity – Collaboration and Lessons Learned

Everyone knows that productivity in the AECOO sector (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operation, Owner) is uniquely poor.  Everyone also knows why.  Stakeholders don’t play together well.  We prefer to sue each other, write up change orders, and hoard information vs. collaborate from day one throughout the life-cycle of a project and/or built structure.

So why don’t we change?  Also an easy answer.   The “culture” of our sector is embedded our minds and it will take a major event to enable change.

The good news is that the “major event” is upon us… its the convergence of cloud computing / social media and driving economic and environmental market factors.  The bad news is that many of us will not be able to make the transformation to our new work day.

What will our new work day look like?

1. Collaborative construction delivery methods.  Current examples being Job Order Contracting – JOC, Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, and Public Private Partnerships – PPP.

2. Robust Ontology – This is a fancy name for a common glossary of terms, definitions, and data architectures.  Current examples being RSMeans Cost Data, UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, OMNICLASS, IFC, COBie, …

3. Life-cycle management and approach vs. our current “first-cost mentality”.  There are simply too many resources (environment, economic, and opportunity costs) involved with the build environment to allow for the continuance of focus upon first costs and/or a “churn and burn” mentality.

4. Shared risk-reward.

Surveys clearly show (an example below), that Owner and Contractor satisfaction improve when collaboration is prevalent and focus is upon value.


How do you measure success?

• Quality
• Safety
• On-Time Completion
• Scheduling and Performance of Subs
• Warranty Service
• Responsiveness of Support
• Innovation and Value Engineering
• Responsiveness to Client Needs
• Preventing and Solving Problems
• Contractors Management Effectiveness
• Dispute Resolution
• Level of Trust
• Communication