The Value of Collaboration on a Project
Updated: Jan 15
By: Rick Bilotto, PRG Advisor
A common Project Execution Strategy on projects is to have individual teams/contractors be responsible for specific parts of the project with minimal interaction between the different organizations. For example, the early engineering phase of a project could be completed by one engineering firm, then the information is transitioned to a different firm to complete the design, then a handoff of information to a construction contractor and so on, with very little communication between handoffs until the project is completed. There have been many studies that have demonstrated the inefficiencies of this type of ‘silo’ project execution process and the high-level of expensive and time-consuming changes that can occur.
A more ideal process is a collaborative effort where members of each team/discipline & contractor are involved early in a project to provide input to the final product/process/facility, before the ‘ink dries’ and material is fabricated and installed. The value of this collaboration has also been measured to indicate a significant increase in productivity and successful projects. Several processes have been defined and successfully executed with this collaboration as a foundational principle, included Lean Integrated Project Delivery (Lean IPD). In the methodical Lean IPD process, all stakeholders are identified and involved early on a project during the conceptual phases. Since this input to conceptual design parameters starts early, any changes are easier to make and have less impact on the overall project cost and schedule. Avoiding these types of changes from happening later, like during construction, can also improve project performance in safety, quality and project team morale. Team relationships and trust between members/companies are improved because there is more time to develop them.
Numerous other tools that can support team collaboration during a project include Collaborative Design Sessions, Last Planner Scheduling (Pull Planning), Big Room concept and other tools that support effective problem solving and decision making. Please refer to the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) and/or Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) websites for additional information on Lean IPD as a project execution strategy. The Premier Resources Group (PRG) Advisors have experience using Lean IPD concepts and principles and can support your team by identifying opportunities for improvement on your projects. PRG is unique in this space because each PRG Advisor has decades of real-world construction industry experience and project expertise, and can deeply understand the project lifecycle and its challenges. Call us today for a consolation.