Asset Competency Model – The Road to Excellence

Asset Competency Model – The Road to Excellence

…at the end of the day the single issue of importance is whether or not Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Consultants, and Oversight Groups have the basic skills and/or competency required to efficiently manage the life-cycle of the built environment.

Accreditation, standards, business processes, certification… all are important, yet at the end of the day the single issue of importance is whether or not Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Consultants, and Oversight Groups have the basic skills and/or competency needed to efficiently manage the life-cycle of the built environment.

Before even addressing the obvious requirements for restructured education and professional training among all stakeholders, understanding the core business areas/processes and associated competencies is step #1.

strategic facility management and BIM

The primary business process areas involved in asset and/or facility management are:





The competencies,  that is to say the skills and activities performed within specified primary business areas, are:

  1. Programming

  2. Design

  3. Construction

  4. Operations

  5. Planned/preventive/emergency/general  maintenance

  6. Repairs

  7. Retrofits/Upgrades

  8. Improvements

  9. Replacements

  10. Space Planning

  11. Utilization

Asset LIfe-cycle Costs

Owners must demonstrate LEADERSHIP, in their role as steward of the built environment, and foster fundamental knowledge among their peers and all other parties involved.   Formal and professional education must be updated, as must the overall “culture” of the AEC and Facility Management industry, to provide visibility into proven, efficient methods for life-cycle management of the built environment.

As we have seen, technology is not the cause of the lack of productivity throughout the AEC sector, not is technology going to be the savior.  For example, the adoption of BIM for life-cycle management (its most significant value proposition), despite the trivia from marketers and poorly  designed research studies, has stagnated in the U.S.  and the U.K.    The reason for poor adoption is clear.   Requisite focus and competence relative to asset life-cycle management doesn’t exist.

While facility managers and associated organizations tout their prowess, the reality is that fewer than 5% of the AEC sector practices, or even understand the core requirements of efficient life-cycle management.  Nor do these individuals have the skills to communicate the needs and drive change management within their organizations.

Value Gap
It’s the role of Facility Management Executives to close the VALUE GAP.

We all know that in today’s world budget have dramatically shifted away from new construction to renovation, repair, maintenance, and sustainability of built structures.   We all are also aware of the ad-hoc procedures and rampant associated waste associated with the billions of dollars being spent annually.

Until we education ourselves and our community on the importance of early and ongoing collaboration, LEAN construction delivery methods, mutual respect/trust, team-based decision making, long term relationships, best value procurement, life-cycle costs versus first-cost, owner leadership without excessive management and control, continuous improvement, and key performance indicators….    the shift toward positive outcomes will simply not occur.

Job Order Contracting - LEAN Construction Delivery

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

standardized cost data

Best Value Construction

job order contacting strategy

job order contracting value-based

job order contracting

job order contracting

People Model

Value and Outcome Based Construction

Best Value Construction

A shift in focus to OUTCOMES and VALUE, and away from ad-hoc and commoditized services would greatly benefit the AEC and Facility Management sectors.

Operational excellence on the part of real property owners and their supporting service providers has traditionally proven elusive.

Facility management professionals can not remain complacent and/or satisfied with current levels of performance.  Owners must demonstrate LEADERSHIP and support true strategic partnering with architects, engineers, contractors, business product manufactures, and building users.  Focus must be upon transformation to truly collaborative LEAN construction delivery methods and innovation.  Decisions must be team oriented and based upon current and actionable information.  Information standardization in terms of common terms, definitions, and robust shared data architectures must be mandated.

Owner focus upon teaming, best value procurement, outcomes,  life-cycle costing, financial transparency, and shared knowledge,  drive lower total cost of ownership,faster project delivery timelines, and higher quality.

While globalization and centralized oversight will continue across all industries, the AEC sector and facility management are lagging.  Local knowledge, capability, and consistent execution at a local level also requires rapid improvement.  Competence development at all levels internal and external to the organization is necessary to meet increasing economic and environmental imperatives.


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.

LEAN Construction Delivery Process

Job Order Contracting - LEAN Construction Delivery


If you consider BIM to be the solution to low construction productivity, think again.

3D visualization and technology will do little to solve construction project delivery woes.

The root of the decades long decline in construction productivity and associated poor facility management practices is cultural.

Construction is like any other relatively complex manufacturing process.  It requires a focus upon best management practices, education and training, key performance indicators, and continuous improvement, in short, LEAN business process application.

Reducing end product variability, cycle-times, waste, and cost is not rocket science.  There are multiple proven LEAN construction delivery methods and life-cycle / total cost-of-ownership models available.  Owners must drive their accelerated adoption.
The most widely used and successful LEAN construction delivery methods are Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, for major new construction, and Job Order Contracting, JOC, for renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability, and minor new construction.  When deployed and managed properly by Owners, on-time, on-budget, quality construction is the norm versus the exception.

Characteristics of LEAN Construction Delivery

  • Collaboration
  • Mutual Respect & Trust
  • Financial Transparency
  • Owner Leadership without excessive management & control
  • Shared Risk/Reward
  • Best Value Procurement
  • Common Standard Terms, Definitions, & Data Architectures (UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, OMNICLASS)
  • Continuous Education, Training, & Improvement
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) / Auditsjob order contract key performance indicators
  • Written Execution / Operations Manuals (Roles, Responsibilities, Deliverables, Workflows / Standardized Work Processes, Reporting Requirements…)

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

standardized cost datajob order contract key performance indicators

WWW.JOBORDERCONTRACTING.ORGbim, building information management for FM

IFC, Cobie & Why the Autodesk / Trimble Interoperability Agreement Won’t Matter

IFC, Cobie, Masterformat, Uniformat, Omniclass are standard data architectures critical to efficient construction delivery.

That said, common terms, definitions , and data architectures are just one of several components of collaborative LEAN construction delivery.   Integrated Project Delivery, IPD and Job Order Contracting, JOC are proven collaborative construction delivery methods that deliver more projects on-time, on-budget, and to the satisfaction of all parties.

Until Owners require collaborative construction delivery and are capable of leading the shift toward built environment life-cycle management, all the technology in world will not make a difference.

The reason that BIM has stagnated in the U.S. and the U.K. is obvious….  culture change has yet to occur.

bim, building information management for FM

strategic facility management and BIM

U.K. BIM has the same Issues as the U.S.

The resistance to culture change within U.K.’s AEC sector is impeding BIM (efficient life-cycle management of the built environment), just as it has in the U.S.

“inertia resulting from the comfort of familiar commercial and contractual structures which do not encourage teamworking or collaboration”.


“As the demand for construction and infrastructure services increases, procurers and suppliers are looking at delivery structures which will provide not only sustainable, long-term value to the procurers, but also more consistent, better margins for contractors, supply chain members and professional teams,”

“As BIM and data management technology drives new approaches to the design and construction process, the need to replace traditional competitive procurement and tendering processes with more collaborative structures and arrangements becomes ever more acute. This report strikes at the heart of the complex dynamics surrounding these issues and points the way towards a more collaborative future,”

(Source –, 2016)

Until collaborative LEAN construction delivery methods become mainstream, the AEC sectors dismal performance will continue unabated in the U.S. and the U.K.

Examples of LEAN collaborative construction delivery include Integrated Project Delivery, IPD and Job Order Contracting, JOC.  These and other alternative construction delivery methods resolve the fundamental flaws associated with design-bid-build, lowest bidder, and even design-build.

job order contracting

Job order contacting relationship model

job order contracting

Job Order Contracting – Education, Training, Best Practices

Job Order Contracting – Education, Training, Best Practices

Strategy – Foundations – Collaboration – Standards – People – Process – Technology – Enabling Tools – Resources


Job order contracting provides distinct advantages to traditional design-bid-build, design-build, or CM@R.

Job order contracting is a LEAN collaborative construction delivery method that enable numerous renovation, repair, and construction projects to be completed on-time and on-budget, as well as to the satisfaction of all participants.

Job order contracting is NOT for everyone as it requires a shift is Culture and Behavior as well as a minimum set of capabilities on the part of the Owner, Contractor, and other stakeholders.   In point of fact, many/most Owners are not capable of deploying Job Order Contracting as they require additional education in the areas of LEAN, total-cost-of-ownership, and life-cycle management of the  built environment.   Similarly many contractors may not have the necessary skills and/or mindsets of transparency, collaboration, and shared/common goals.

job order contracting

A best practice job order contacting framework incorporates a JOC contract and an associated job order contracting operations manual.   Roles, responsibilities, and deliverables are clearly defined.   A unit price book, UPB is used by Owners and Contractors to provide line item detail and cost estimates for all construction projects / task orders.

A best practice Job Order Contract is also one that is Owner developed, deployed, and managed.  While outsourcing a Job Order Contracting Program to a third party may provide a way to become familiar with job order contracting, both it and the use of Cooperatives do not provide the full capabilities and benefits associated with Job Order Contracting.

Learn more about Job Order Contracting best management practices…





5S for LEAN Construction / Job Order Contracting / IPD

5S for LEAN Construction / Job Order Contracting / IPD


  1. Stewardship – Practice best value life-cycle management of the built environment.
  2. Share – Enable transparent and open communications among all stakeholders, beginning with initial concept and continuing thru end-of-life.
  3. Standardize – Use common terms, definitions, & data architectures.
  4. Sustain – Practice environmentally sound strategies
  5. Secure – Maintain and monitor life/safety issues

job order contracting






Evaluate necessary tasks and items with regard to maximizing VALUE.

Eliminate unnecessary processes, tasks, and or control… eliminate obstacles.

Remove excessive command and control.

Remove and properly store all parts or tools that are not in use.

Segregate unwanted / unneeded material from the work site.

Maximize use of skilled personnel.

Seek continuous improvement.

Reward ideas.

Require collaboration.

Practice mutual trust & respect.

Prevent loss and waste of time by planning and staging work to assure availablity of materials, equipment, and labor.

Provide on-demand services.

Regularly monitor progress and employ key performance metrics.’

Keep the work site safe.

Require ongoing training.

Standardize and share best practices and processes.

Support creativity and effort.

Perform regular audits

Germany Joins the Political BIM Bandwagon

Apparently Germany’s Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has issued a statement that the country ” fully embrace BIM, stating it must become standard for construction projects.”

BIM, as we now know it, is not the solution that will enable efficient life-cycle management of the built environment.  Rather, BIM is one tool among many.    The key to improving the dismal economic and environmental track record of the architecture, engineering, and construction sector is a focus upon education, building awareness, and the consistent implementation LEAN Collaborative Construction Delivery Methods.

Global Warming

Real property Owners have not assumed their roles as stewards of the built environment due to lack of awareness, education, and/or capability.  Multiple studies have demonstrated that Owners,  their selection of construction delivery methods, and their execution of management and control dictate the overall success of physical infrastructure renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability, and new construction.

LEAN construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery – IPD (for major new construction projects) and Job Order Contracting – JOC (for renovation, repair, and minor new construction projects) deliver approximately 90% of project on-time, on-budget, and at higher quality levels.   When compared the current global averages of 40%-60% waste, rampant legal disputes, and 80% of projects not completed on-time, one must question the focus upon BIM, versus simply requiring Owners to do their jobs.

Big data, LEAN Construction Delivery, High Performance Buildings = Productive Life-cycle Facility Managment

I recently read an article about  concepts that will shape the future of the construction industry.

Three concepts were highlighted-

  1. Big Data
  2. High Performance Buildings
  3. Collaborative contract approach (substitute “collaborative LEAN construction delivery”

While indeed the three are arguably required for efficient life-cycle management of the built environment, none are “new”.

The relatively low level of awareness and education, especially among commercial (non-residential) real property owners must be addressed.  Our education and professional development systems are failing to properly address the fundamental concepts of life-cycle and total-cost-of-ownership management specific to the built environment. Education and practices continue to be “silo-based” with the result that the AECOO sector remains largely unchanged and inefficient (AECOO=architecture, engineering, construction, operations, owner).

LEAN, collaborative construction delivery has existed and been successfully implemented for decades, albeit by a limited group of “innovative” owners, contractors, and AEs.

Notable examples include Integrated Project Delivery, IPD for major new construction, and Job Order Contracting, JOC for renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability, and minor new construction.

Job order contracting, LEAN construction delivery

Until industry, oversight groups/regulatory bodies, and the global community focus upon BEST VALUE life-cycle costing and collaborative LEAN construction delivery versus first-costs/low-bidder design-bid-build, CM@R, or design-build, economic and environment waste and negative impacts associated with built structures will continue rampant.

job order contracting