A Primer on MasterFormat & Improving Collaboration Standardizing the presentation of renovation, repair, maintenance, and new construction tasks and costs improves communication and collaboration among all parties, as well as helps to assure financial transparency. … More
Optimize Facility Renovation, Repair, and Construction Delivery with Robust Business Processes
Real Property Owners, Contractors, Architects, and Engineers are under tremendous pressure to innovate, accelerate project delivery times, and minimize costs. Also, all parties must implement methods to improve the customer experience of building users.
Many AEC organizations find these objectives difficult to achieve. They remain plagued by low productivity, a low-bid/change-order mentality, and adversarial relationships among all construction project participants. As a result, building users are unsatisfied, facility management is treated as an expense versus an asset, and sub-optimal performance has become the norm.
Solutions to the above problems have existed for decades. The are not, however, to be found in technology. Performance improvements are available via LEAN business process and associated collaborative construction delivery methods.
The reason its hard for Owners, Facility Managers and AEC service providers to optimize operations is that collaboration, team leadership, and asset life-cycle modeling/management are not areas of core expertise. They were generally not part of their formal education, nor their professional training.
Furthermore, the application of LEAN processes to Facility Management and AEC services requires deep visibility into workflows, tasks, and detailed costs. The latter is impossible without common terms, definitions, and data architectures, and reliance upon ad-hoc and inefficient manual processes that continuously “reinvent” the wheel, duplicate work, rely upon excessive management and control, and introduce variability.
When core facility life-cycle management processes, players, and systems are not fully integrated and on-board, and competency is not present in each required domain, any measurable improvement in outcomes is extremely challenging.
Integrated Project Delivery, IPD and Job Order Contracting, JOC are examples of efficient LEAN collaborative construction delivery methods than deliver on-time, on-budget, quality projects in excess of 90% of the time. This level of performance remains unmatched by traditional design-bid-build, CM@R, or design-build. Both have been available for consistent implementation for decades.
Both IPD and JOC require an understanding of the challenges facing both Owners, AEC service providers, and building users. Better education and awareness is the only viable path forward. The good news is that both can be supported by technology to enable relatively low cost and consistent deployment.
In short the adoption of collaborative LEAN construction delivery processes and an asset life-cycle perspective lead the transformation from wasteful, unsatisfactory outcomes, to economically and environmentally improved results.
Ad-hoc practices are transformed into information-supported decision-marking that leverages multi-domain expertise and associated analytics,completely transparent, efficient and unified operations, and enhanced satisfaction for all stakeholders.
The Problem with the UK’s BIM Strategy
The fundamental problem with the UK’s BIM Strategy is found within the following quotation “digital technology is changing the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure.”(Source: 2015, Level 3 Building Information Modelling – Strategic Plan, HM Government).
Digital technology can not, and will not, change how the physical infrastructure is planned, built, or maintained. History has taught us that technology, without a primary focus upon robust, proven processes/workflows and associated outcomes, does little but automate and perpetuate ‘ad-hoc’ inefficient methods.
The exact same situation has occurred here in the U.S., where BIM has stagnated due to an unfortunate focus upon 3D visualization versus building awareness and competency with respect to LEAN collaborative AEC/construction delivery methods.
Despite the obviously limited nature of our economic and environmental resources, a significant amount of waste associated renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability, and new construction of buildings and infrastructure (dams, roads, utilities, airports, bridges…) continues unabated.
The barriers to positive change across the Real Property Owner and AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) sector remain strong. The principle barrier is that Owners lack requisite education and awareness relative to sound life-cycle / total cost of ownership practices, and therefore are are incapable of leading efforts to improve productivity and mitigate waste.
The following aspects of LEAN Collaborative Construction Delivery Methodology, which have been present in Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, and Job Order Contracting – JOC for decades, should be the primary teachings of educational institutions and professional training:
- Focus upon Outcomes
- Financial Transparency
- Common terms, definitions, and data architectures
- Shared Risk/Reward
- Mutual Trust/Respect
- Ongoing Monitoring / Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Continuous education, training, and improvement
Note that none of these require technology, although technology would certainly aid in lower the cost of consistent deployment.
Technical (Source: 2015, Level 3 Building Information Modelling – Strategic Plan, HM Government)
1. Level 3 A (Enabling Improvements in the Level 2 Model)
a. Technical systems to enable requirements documentation and integrated working (in sector interoperability)
b. Technical systems to enable e-Planning and e-Regs
c. Complete the scope and package work for IFC data definitions
d. Complete the scope and package work for MVD process definitions
e. Update Level 2 dPoW system to support MVD process definitions
f. Define and deliver security capability and guidance
2. Level 3 B (Enable new technologies and systems)
a. Complete the scope and package work for UML (simple interface) definitions
b. Define and deliver Internet of Things data and process standards
c. Create and integrate common “apps” store capability with cross sector teams
d. Improve electronic survey capabilities and services for existing structures above and below ground
e. Deliver geotechnical capabilities
f. Complete tools and controls for “infrastructure” development and operation
3. Level 3 C (Enable the development of new business models)
a. Update Level 2 Classification system to support sematic web
b. Data streams and telemetry integration
c. Integration of security measures and protocols
d. Advanced analytics and algorithms
e. Integration to paperless contracts
f. Integration to people based security
g. Integration across associated sectors
h. Developments required for Semantic contracts (including provenance)
i. Establish and deliver methods to publish outcomes to data.gov
j. Establish cross sector interoperability requirements
4. Level 3 D (Become a world leader)
a. Deliver “English” language dictionary and ontology framework and methods
b. Provide international Internet of Things Standards
10 Steps Toward Real Property Stewardship
Life-cycle Management of the Built Environment
Efficient life-cycle management of the built environment requires ALL of the following. As a Real Property Owner, how do are you doing?
- Collaborative, LEAN business practices and construction project delivery methods (Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, Job Order Contracting – JOC, …)
- Metrics including Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Continuous education and training
- Financial transparency
- Common terms, definitions, and standard data architectures
- Long-term mutually beneficial relationships with service providers
- Life-cycle / Total-cost-of-ownership perspective versus first-cost mentality
- Best value procurement
- Enabling technology that supports processes/workflows
- Focus upon Outcomes
AEC – Best Value & Operational Excellence
As an Owner, Architect, Engineer, Contractor, Building User, or Oversight Group, you can strive for BEST VALUE, OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE, and TRANSPARENCY or maintain ‘status quo’, it’s your choice.
Presuming you want to improve productivity and provide the best possible return on resource expenditure, the first step is to improve your awareness, knowledge, and competency relative to physical asset life-cycle management.
Stop attempting to address problems with TECHNOLOGY, as all you will do is compound existing problems. Focus upon improving physical asset management competencies, especially the deployment COLLABORATIVE CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHODS.
The single most important consideration when attempting to improve quality, delivery times, and lowering expenditures is the CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHOD.
It is the CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHOD that sets defines roles, responsibilities, levels of risk, business processes and workflows, information standards, timelines, transparency, and collaboration.
It is the CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHOD that sets the overall tone for renovation, repair, maintenance, or new construction projects and determines ultimate success or failure more so than any other single element.
Collaborative construction delivery methods have been implemented for decades are a proven to delivery in excess of 90% of projects on-time, on-budget, and to the satisfaction of all participants. The most notable processes are Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, for major new construction, and Job Order Contracting, JOC for renovation, repair, and minor new construction.
Real property owners must become more knowledgeable in these areas and require collaborative construction delivery methods. As note, technology, such as 3D BIM, will not solve the woes of the AEC and Facilities Management sectors. The solution is change-management and improving competency.
Characteristics of LEAN Collaborative Construction Delivery Methods
- Best Value Procurement
- Early and Ongoing Collaboration
- Shared Risk/Reward
- Common Terms, Definitions, and Data Architectures
- Financial Transparency
- Mutual Trust and Respects
- Focus Upon Outcomes
- Continuous Improvement, Education, and Training
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Facilities Management in the U.S. – R.I.P.
If I see another article about how great facilities management professionals (FMers) are, or how misunderstood, I think my head will explode.
Real property owners, aka FMers, simply aren’t doing their jobs. It they were, physical infrastructure (buildings, roads, bridges, utilities, ….) deferred maintenance wouldn’t be continuing to climb AND construction would not still be one of the least productive industries of all.
Sure, they are good, if not great FMers, but in general, there is are major professional capability and competency issues.
First and foremost Owner must demonstrate LEADERSHIP throughout all aspects of physical asset life-cycle management. This means they must understand the concepts of asset life-cycle modeling, LEAN collaborative construction delivery, capital planning and management, total cost of ownership, best value procurement, maintenance strategies, utilization and space planning, physical and functional condition assessment and more…
No one can be an expert in the above competencies, but being able to lead teams of internal and external teams IS a requirement for any FMer with a real property portfolio.
Then, of course, you get the folks that say…”Oh, I can just outsource FM.” Again my head explodes. Are facilities and infrastructure core to your organization? And… you are going to outsource their management? Really? Good luck with that.
Here’s a list of topics, areas, in which a real property owner should have a working level of competence. How do your rate yourself?
- Outcome-focused planning and management
- LEAN best management practices
- Collaborative construction delivery methods (IPD, JOC)
- Share risk/reward
- Facility Condition Index
- Adequacy Index
- System Condition Index
- Risk prioritization
- Financial Transparency
- Common terms, definitions, data architectures
- Best value procurement
- Integral contract execution/operations manuals
- Mandatory collaboration
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Performance Audits
- User & service provider surveys
- Long term service provider relationships
- Internal owner cost estimates
- Plug-in / modular technology
- Asset modeling
If you aren’t concerned about FM and AEC service delivery models… you should be.
Owner competency, owner/service provider relationships, and outsourcing trends are alarming at best.
Here’s just a few points to ponder…
- Owner believe that technology is key to improving the renovation, repair, maintenace, and delivery services and financial transparency. Well, I have news, if you don’t have sound business process and workflows, not to mention viable strategic and operational plans, technology will just automate you poor practices.
- ‘Big data’ and analytics, specifically being able to link data to decision making to improve productivity and service quality is seen as another “game changer”. Well, two things here. There IS such a thing as TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Unless, the information is maintained in standardized formats and in plain english that everyone understands…and its both timely and actionable. Big data and analytics are worthless. Again…process and planning MUST come before any attempt to leverage data and/or analytics.
- Owners are hoping for “culture change” – changing attitudes towards facilities, architecture, construction, and engineering. They assume changes in the AECOO working/workplace with result in changes in how people work and communicate – be it through technology or changes to the built environment. Well, again, newsflash…. Owner MUST DRIVE CHANGE… IT’S UP TO YOU!
- Increased competition for economic and environmental resources continues… reduced budgets and high expectation of service users are becoming the norm. Despite this obvious trend, real property owners are doing little to change their practices accordingly.
- Last but not least… and only last, as I am sure you don’t want to read more… it that the trend towards outsourcing continues. A high percentage of owners outsource more than 50% of their FM services. Well…. last time I checked, FM is not a commodity, and outsourced service delivery is less efficient than a properly managed owner provided service. The promises from outsourcing providers of financial savings, better technical expertise, buying efficiencies, and access to management best practices are rarely confirmed… or even measured… and even more rarely fulfilled. So, again… the rampant trend towards mediocrity, waste, and inefficiency is supported versus mitigated.
Communication, working together as a team and better alignment of strategies and plans are the top areas of focus for most FMers. However, without proper tools, training, and competencies, most will never achieve measurable positive results.
You don’t believe the situation is dire?
Surveys show that a high percentage of (approximately 50%) Owners don’t feel there is much room for improvement regarding initial request for proposals and briefings, etc. REALLY? ARE YOU SERIOUS?
How can that be? Have they actually read the RFI’s, RFP’s? Most (60%+) of contractor, engineers, etc. feel their is a LOT of room for improvement relative to Owner RFI’s, RFP’s etc. This DISCONNECT simply should not exist. It is another indicator of lack of owner due diligence.
The same percentage hold for questions relative to KPIs, reporting, etc.
What will it take for the U.S. FM and AEC industry to truly adopt innovation and collaborative LEAN business practices?.
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…
- Early and ongoing communication of all project participants
- Mutual respect and trust
- Shared risk/reward
- Common terms, definitions, and data architectures (Uniformat/ Masterformat/Omniclass)
- Owner leadership without excessive control
- Key performance indicators, KPIs and monitoring
- Ongoing education and training
- Continuous improvement
- Focus upon outcomes
- Financial transparency
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.