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.
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.
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.
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.