Show notes:

Over the next few episodes I will talk about managing an Integrated Project Delivery project. This episode covers project organization. Next I will talk about processes and workflows, IPD terms and agreements,  collaboration software, and then legal relationships.

I talked about how Integrated Project Delivery can solve some of the problems frequently experienced on building projects.  Specifically, adversarial relationships, low productivity, inefficiencies and redoing work, and a lack of innovation.  Often projects take too long to complete or have cost overruns.

IPD has evolved to fix these issues.  All projects have three basic domain/areas that control how they operate. The project organization, the processes and workflows, and the terms and agreements binding the team to their commitments and responsibilities.

Project Organization:

The project organization can greatly influence your project whether it is IPD or not. Projects usually involve three players that come into the project at different times.  The owner, the designer and the builder or contractor.  Communication etween them is often siloed and this causes problems.

Problems addressed by IPD:

Design effort can be wasted because cost  or constructibility information might be missing.
Owner preferences are only given to the designers at a few milestone moments.  This can waste design effort and cause redesign.
Cost for construction can be higher because the contractors do not fully understand the project and will add contingencies to their prices.  OR perhaps the completeness of the information needed is not in the documents provided to them.

Engineers may over-design because they are uncertain about the actual requirements of an equipment installation.

Perhaps the engineers will add extreme safety factors since they do not know the capability of the trade contractor performing the work.  Lowest bid is often not the best option for your project.

If there has been no involvement from the contractor, change orders can come once they see the drawings and have an idea about how to better perform the work.

Adversarial relationships can develop more frequently. Relationships will always have the potential to be strained, it is part of human nature, but the arms length, long distance relationships traditionally used tend to hinder collaboration and communication.

How can IPD help address these problems?

The main way that Integrated Project delivery can help is that the teams, organizationally, are integrated.  Trade contractors and construction managers get involved early in the project.  This allows them the ability to have a better understanding of the project, goals and design.

The benefits of bringing the team together can be lost though if the continue to relate to each other in traditional ways.  If the siloed information is maintained the benefit is lost.  A culture change is needed to realize IPD benefits.  Sharing processes and activities will help ensure a collaborative culture.  These are your partners now, not just people working on the same project.


News item:

The CyArk project: Cyber Archiving of historic sites and buildings

CyArk: a project to preserve historic sites digitally. Many historical sites area being lost. This digital preservation can be a way to preserve them. How long will it be until the use of digital preservation is used as a method to allow the destruction of historic sites so that new projects can move forward. Is this a viable excuse? ..."We have digitally preserved the historic building so that we can create a new and more modern facility and can be built on the preserved historic site." I don't think it will be too long until we hear this.


  1. How big is too big for email message attachements?
  2. What is Job Order Contracting?

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