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

Asset Life-cycle Model, Asset Information Model, and Why BIM Won’t Work

The U.S. tried to foster BIM with NBIMS,  also others in the world tried PAS this and PAS that, and ISO this and ISO that… the issue remains that standards can’t replace knowledge and competency.

At the end of there day BIM represents nothing new relative to the efficient life-cycle management of the built environment.  Sure, software firms, and folks that love 3D and make a living from it will tell you otherwise, but the simple truth is that BIM, as we now know it, can not and will not survive.

The fact that BIM is a failure is sad because the world desperately needs to get a grip on how to manage its limited economic and environment resources and built structures are significant in that process.   Furthermore, there are critical life-safety and security issues associated with our crumbling and mismanaged physical infrastructure.

The primary issue is that many facility management and AEC professionals confused 3D visualization with asset life-cycle management.  While 3D visualization is nice tool, is is just that, an individual component in the toolbox.  It’s not even the most important tool.   Large, multi-site, multi-national real property portfolios can be efficiently managed WITHOUT 3D visualization and BIM software as now available.

Thus the pressure by countries, such as the UK to use BIM is misdirected.

Any government regulation should be directly solely at Owners.  More specifically, asset life-cycle management practices and collaborative construction delivery methods (integrated project delivery – IPD, job order contracting – JOC)  should be mandated.  This includes a formalized set up key performance indicators (KPIs), robust lean best management practices, and ongoing education and training.

The methods to eliminate the rampant environment and economic waste endemic to the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations, and Owner sectors has been available for decades,  we simply don’t require Owners to do their jobs.

Owners must be required to develop technical and business competencies with respect to asset life-cycle modeling and total cost of ownership, and be able to LEAD collaborative teams of service providers.     Until this happens….   nothing will change, it is indeed as simple as that.

BIM asset life-cycle competencies

Asset Comptency Model

Asset Competency Model & Efficient Facility Management #101

Asset Competency Model & Efficient Facility Management #101

Until Owners understand and are capable of organizational wide deployment of ASSET COMPETENCY MODELS, productivity across the AEC and Facility Management sector will remain poor.

What is an ASSET COMPETENCY MODEL?  An asset competency model is a formalized, detailed description and documentation of the role-specific knowledge domains required to optimize and continuously improve physical infrastructure life-cycle management.  It includes people, processes, and technologies, throughout all phases from conceptualization/planning, construction project delivery, renovation/repair/maintenance, to deconstruction/recycling.

There are three (3) core goals of an ASSET COMPETENCY MODEL:

  1. Driving Positive OUTCOMES
  2. Developing and Managing PEOPLE
  3. Building RELATIONSHIPS

You will note that TECHNOLOGY is not a core goal.  Technology is an enabler and used to support established processes and workflows.  Technology is certainly an important consideration, but nonetheless a secondary consideration.  A primary focus upon technology will generally not provide positive outcomes.

Driving Positive OUTCOMES

Critical thinking and problem solving, information-driven decision making, planning and consistent execution, and continuous learning are all prerequisites to achieving a higher percentage of positive outcomes.    LEAN best management practices are applicable in achievement of this and all primary goals.

Developing and Managing PEOPLE

Team leadership, without excessive management and control is the primary mission of any real property owner.  Real property owners are ultimately the stewards of the build environment, and therefore must be capable of leadership.  Historically, lack of owner leadership has likely been the major causal factor for low productivity throughout the AEC and Facilities Management sectors.  Owners must set the tone, provide direction,  and develop talent.  They must COLLABORATE with the building users, services providers (ie. architects, engineers, contractors, building product manufacturers…).  They must develop and operate within an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, as well as full transparency.  That said, “trust but measure” is an operational element, not to be forgotten.  Key performance metrics (KPIs) must be developed and continuously monitored.   Accurate and timely information is needed in order to drive continuous improvement.

Building RELATIONSHIPS

Stakeholder development and management is an equally important area.   Stakeholder includes senior management and oversight groups, and the ability to communicate the importance of physical infrastructure stewardship in order to obtain proper resources.   This is also an area where many facility management professionals have traditionally fallen short.   Communicating the positive and negative ramifications of proper and improperly resource physical infrastructure to funding authorities… in a simple language that they understand… is the primary responsibility of any facility management professional.  Every other activity, action, and result is dependent upon having the appropriate resource to execute upon any facility / infrastructure management strategy.  Internal and external relationships are also developed through the employment LEAN management practices.   Focus should also be upon best value procurement, mutual trust/respect, shared risk/reward, full transparency and mandated collaboration, ongoing training and education, continuous improvement, and monitoring of key performance indicators, KPIs.

 

The Responsibility of Real Property Owners

Driving positive outcomes is responsibility of any real property owner.  It means Owners must take responsibility for behavior, mistakes, and results.  Also, owners must learns from successes and failures, and teach other collaborative service partners to do the same.

Information-based decision making and associated improvements are only possible if owners collect current and accurate STANDARDIZED data, using common terms, definitions, and information architectures (UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, OMNICLASS, IFC…). Owner must use timely information to accurately assess areas for improvement and encourage service partners also do so.

Owners must engage in calculated risk taking and encourage other to do the same.  This includes valuing and encouraging creative and innovative ideas from any source, but especially their service providers.

Owner must continuously and proactively seek opportunities for personal and organizational improvement.   They must rely upon and accept the EXPERTISE and COMPETENCIES of their service providers.

Finally, all of the above requires that owners not only participate in but encourage and MANDATE TRANSPARENCY and SHARING.  Owner have the ultimate responsibility for promoting and contributing to a culture of sharing effective practices within their organization and across their business partner network.   While not all services providers may not be up to task of engaging in collaborative LEAN business practices, is up to Owners to select and support their teams appropriately.

Lastly, the best way for Owners to learn about and to begin to apply ASSET COMPETENCY MODELS is to adopt collaborative construction delivery methods such as INTEGRATED PROJECT DELIVERY (IPD) (for major new construction) and JOB ORDER CONTRACTING (JOC) (for renovation, repair, and maintenance.  Both IPD and JOC embed and leverage LEAN best management practices and are proven to increase the percentage of quality on-time and on-budget construction projects, thereby improving an Owner’s ability to become more efficient in infrastructure life-cycle and total-cost-of-ownership management.

Asset LIfe-cycle Costsstrategic facility management and BIM

 

 

 

 

 

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.

BIM Basics 2014 – Building Information Modeling, Models, and Management

BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by technology.  As such, its ultimate purpose is to manage total cost of ownership (TCO).

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)/Lifecycle Cost :Total cost of ownership (TCO) is a dollar per square foot value ($#/square foot) associated with a facility. It is a calculation of all facilities-specific costs (not including furnishings or non-facility specific equipment) divided by estimated lifespan of the building (30 or 50 years), and the total gross area. Facilities specific costs include all construction, preservation, maintenance, and operations costs. A strategic asset management practice that considers all costs of operations and maintenance, and other costs, in addition to acquisition costs. TCO, therefore includes the representation of the sum total of the present value of all direct, indirect, recurring and non-recurring costs incurred or estimated to be incurred in the design, development, production, operation, maintenance of an facility/structure/asset over its anticipated lifespan. (Inclusive of site/utilities, new construction, deferred maintenance, preventive/routine maintenance, renovation, compliance, capital renewal,and occupancy costs.) Again, note that land values are specifically excluded.

Is this an appropriate metric?  Are there others?

Imagevia http://www.4Clicks.com – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software solutions for JOC, SABER, IDIQ, MATOC, SATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA, BOS … featuring an exclusively enhanced 400,000 line item RSMeans Cost Database, visual estimating/automatic quantity take off ( QTO), and collaborative contract/project/document management, all in one application. Our technology is currently serving over 85% of United States Air Force bases and rapidly growing numbers of other DOD and non-DOD (United States Army Corps of Engineers, Army, GSA, Homeland Security, VA..) federal departments/agencies, as well as state/county/local governments, colleges/universities, healthcare, and airports/transportation. RSMeans Strategic Partner

BIM (Building Information Management, Modeling, Model) vs. EVM (Earned Value Managment) vs. TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)

BIM, EVM, TCO (or TCM – Total Cost Management) are all inter-related  

BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technologies. 

TCM is effective application of professional and technical expertise to planand control resources, costs, profitability and risks. Simply stated, it is a systematic approach to managing cost throughout the life-cycle of any enterprise, program, facility, project, product, or service. This is accomplished through the application of cost engineering and cost management principles (I assert this aspect is somewhat incorrect…it not only cost engineering and cost managemt principles, but rather the application and integration multi-discipline competencies;…but hey this definition is from the AAECI, so how can I complain?). , proven methodologies and the latest technology in support of the management process. It can also be considered the sum of the practices and processes that an enterprise uses to manage the total life-cycle cost investment in its portfolio of strategic assets.  (Source: (PUBLIC REVIEW DRAFT) AACE® International Recommended Practice No. 82R-13 EARNED VALUE MANAGEMENT (EVM) OVERVIEW AND RECOMMENDED PRACTICES CONSISTENT WITH ANSI EIA-748)

Image

Image

EVM has two critical flaws…

1. No mention of the need for collaborative project delivery methods, examples in construction sector being IPD – Integrate Project Delivery and JOC – Job Order Contracting.  I argue that EVM is little more than an accounting number crunching exercise unless embedded within a collaborative project delivery methods.  (History BTW proves me write on this… just as in the case of ISO 9000, consultant made millions while little true improvement in fundamental business processes was gained).

2. No mention of functional as well as physical metrics.  Both are required in terms of a product, building, etc. 

 

So, what is needed?

A complete ontology for each sector (built infrastructure, products, etc.).  A life-cycle management strategy noting all required competencies, process, technologies, stakeholder, etc. etc.

For example…

Image

And a rich listing of metrics.

https://buildinginformationmanagement.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/the-metrics-of-bim-the-manage-the-built-environment/

 

The Value of NBIMS = The Value of BIM?

The primary focus of the NBIMS-US™ is to provide open standards to transform the currently inefficient and ineffective  life-cycle management of the built environment…  Is this not the same value provided by BIM?

This transformation is accomplished through the creation and exchange of building information modeling (BIM) information and management processes.  Elements included include reference standards; outlining classifications of data and processes, data exchange formats, requirements for many different types of information exchanges and practice standards; which outline practices and workflows for data modeling, project execution, and robust feedback on success or failures so that assumptions are quickly improved. The metrics by which these open standards are to be evaluated include: total cost of ownership vs. first costs, impacts upon organizational mission, sustainability, life-safety, utilization, up-time, project timelines, fewer change orders, fewer legal disputes, ….

Goals, Objectives, and Benefits of NBIMS and BIM:

  1. Reduce the total cost of ownership of the built environment in concert with the mission of an organization and its relationship to the environment via timely, accurate, re-usable information and associated enhanced decision support capability.
  2. Enable collaboration and information sharing among all shareholders via established products, methods, and information formats.
  3. Front end information gathering, planning, and decision-making to have the greatest positive impact in the overall design, procurement, construction, operations, and decommissioning process, taking advantage of collaborative, integrated project delivery.
  4. Information development and sharing via consensus documents that select a common path forward when multiple divergent paths were once available
  5. Build a growing community of practice which allows progress to be made built upon previous levels of agreement
  6. Share information with software vendors as well as other product and service providers to build solutions that supports a consensus agreement of practitioners
  7. Identify specific reference standards that are used for BIM
  8. Documents “best practices” to potentially become standard practice for creating and managing information be re-used and re-purposed

Building Owner Perspective

  1. How can I better optimizing building performance to contribute to improving overall performance (e.g. financial, environmental, organizational, operational efficiencies) across the lifespan of my physical assets.
  2. Where can I find process documentation and contract language to cost-effectively develop and consistently deploy efficient construction delivery methods, enable high quality and quantity work at a reasonable cost.

Contractor Perspective

  1. An understanding of how to develop long lasting relationships with Owners, AEs, Subs and leverage BIM and associated optimized construction delivery
  2. How to perform more projects that provide a more predictable revenue stream and a reasonable profit margin.

A/E Perspective

  1. Participation in emerging efficient project delivery processes to better acheive design excellence, meeting project schedules and exceeding client service expectations.
  2. An understanding of how to develop long lasting relationships with Owners, Contractors, BPMs …and leverage BIM and associated optimized construction delivery
  3. How to perform more projects that provide a more predictable revenue stream and a reasonable profit margin.

Business Product Manufacturer (BPM) Perspective

1. How can I make my products available to designers and contractors so that they fit in with BIM project delivery processes

2. How should I format my products as BIM objects (e.g. level of graphical detail and business properties) so they are most useful by designers and contractors

3. I am interested in getting designers and contractors to specify and purchase my product

ALL:

1. How to use BIM for specific construction tasks (e.g. cost estimating, material procurement, digital fabrication, valuation of in-place construction, commissioning and handover, safety management)

2. How to mitigate risk.

3. How to organize my organization and project teams to take advantage of BIM processes and technologies.

4. How to participate in emerging efficient project delivery processes to focus on design excellence, meeting project schedules and exceeding client service expectations.

5. I am interested in optimizing staff resources, project profitability, maintaining relationships with my clients and finding the next job

Ballot Cover Letter Statement:

The National BIM Standard is a consensus document, where many ideas are brought together, presented to a variety of people representing different parts of the industry, discussed, debated, and ultimately subjected to the democratic process to determine which ideas rise to the stature of inclusion.

facility-life-cycle-technology-and-process-roadmap1-300x172BIMF - Building Information Management Framework

Related docu,ment – http://fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/build04/PDF/b04022.pdf – Cost Analysis of Inadequate Interoperability in the U.S. Capital Facilities Industry Michael P. Gallaher, Alan C. O’Connor, John L. Dettbarn, Jr., and Linda T. Gilday

BIM Strategy and Change Management II

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technologies.  As such it is a process of collaboration, continuous improvement, transparency, and integration.   3D distractions aside,  achieving optimal return-on-investment (ROI) on BIM requires focus upon change management, first and foremost.  Ad-hoc business practices, traditional construction delivery methods, and legacy software must be cast aside.

BIM is managing information to improve understanding. BIM is not CAD. BIM is not 3D. BIM is not application oriented. BIM maximizes the creation of value. Up, down, and across the built environment value network. In the traditional process, you lose information as you move from phase to phase. You make decisions when information becomes available, not necessarily at the optimal time.  BIM is not a single building model or a single database. Vendors may tell you that everything has to be in a single model to be BIM. It is not true. They would be more accurate describing BIM as a series of interconnected models and databases. These models can take many forms while maintaining relationships and allowing information to be extracted and shared. The single model or single database description is one of the major confusions about BIM.(http://4sitesystems.com/iofthestorm/books/makers-of-the-environment/book-3/curriculum-built-world/categories/introductionbim-integration/)

The principles of BIM:

  • Life-cycle management: Process-centric , longer term planning  and technologies that consider total cost of ownership, support decision making with current, accurate information,  and link disparate knowledge domains and technologies.
  • Collaborative Delivery Processes:  Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) procurement and construction delivery processes that consider and combine the knowledge and capabilities of all stake holders – Owners, AEs, Contractors, Business Product Manufacturers, Oversight Groups, Service Providers, and the Community.  (i.e.  IPD, Job Order Contracting/JOC)
  • Standards and Guidelines:  Common glossary of terms, metrics, and benchmarks that enable efficient, accurate communication on an “apples to applies” basis.
  • Collaborative, Open Technologies and Tools:   Cloud-based systems architectures that enable rapid, scalable development, unlimited scalability on demand, security, real-time collaboration, and an full audit trail.

(Johnson et al. 2002) – There is an interrelationship between business goals, work processes, and the adoption of information technology. That is, changes in business goals generally require revising work processes which can be enhanced further by the introduction of information technology. But we also recognized that innovations in information technology creates possibilities for new work processes that can, in turn, alter business goals  In order to understand how information technology influences architectural practice it is important to understand all three of these interrelated elements.
Business Goals…   Work processes  ….   Information  technology
require/create               require/create                    require/create

(Via http://www.4Clicks.com – Premier cost estimating and efficient construction project delivery – JOC, SABER, IDIQ, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, BOCA, BOA.  Exclusively enhanced 400,000 RSMeans Cost Database with full descriptions and modifiers.)

Sustainability –  “to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.”  – US Executive Order 13423

Ceasel – Patents Pending

BIM Framework