A Proven Method for Success during a Challenging Time for Projects

Lee Sellenraad, Principal, CCM, Certified Lean Innovation at Avison Young Consulting

Lee Sellenraad, Principal, CCM, Certified Lean Innovation at Avison Young Consulting

The last two years have imposed some significant challenges on construction relative to labor, supply chain and logistics but on a more granular level, labor availability (baby boomers retiring, COVID and people leaving the industry, fewer people entering the trades), low technology integration/adaptation during construction and productivity rates still lagging compared to other industries.  At Avison Young, we help clients navigate through obstacles with strategies and supporting processes that enable solutions to help our clients achieve their goals that maximize successful completion and benefit their operational bottom line.

The key to success is implementing proven processes that unify integrated and collaborative stakeholders around the project, common mission, and common goal with success metrics. 

The following are common challenges our clients faceand solutionswe provide to help them get to the finish line.

● Define Project Needs

◦ Challenge –Missing critical path items or realizing missed items late in design development that increases cost and schedule duration.

◦ Solution – Integrating all stakeholders from the start and unifying everyone around common mission, common goals with specific metrics.

● Design

◦ Challenge – Departments, operations, stakeholders working individually and/or not included in programming or design development

◦ Solution – Bringing all stakeholders together from the start and developing operations support requirement, equipment being integrated, specific mechanical, electrical, piping, and structural requirements, and interrelationships such as supply chain and logistics

● Safety

◦ Challenge – Lack of a comprehensive safety plan around the entire project

◦ Solution – Developing a zero-incident safety culture and plan for both the client and the project by including job hazard analysis, toolbox talks and other key strategies

● Preconstruction Services

◦ Challenge–Lack of critical input from subcontractors and suppliers that have direct impact on minimizing change orders, schedule duration, cost reduction and achieving quality requirements

◦ Solution – Implementing a proven lean process that integrates MEP and structural subs, key equipment suppliers and identifies process layout, performance requirements and infrastructure required that optimizes design development and estimating

● Procurement

◦ Challenge – Missing early procurement of long-lead and critical path items impacted by supply chain and logistics issues

◦ Solution – Integrating key suppliers and subcontractors in design development and defining programmatic requirements and prioritizing procurement early to achieve project schedule requirements

Communications & Document Control

◦ Challenge – Lack of communication is the primary cause for change orders, schedule impacts, cost impacts and overall job site performance

◦ Solution – At project kick-off with all key stakeholders, define communications processes, methods, approval processes and overall document tracking with dashboard tracking of associated metrics

● Scheduling

◦ Challenge – Periodic schedule reviews that simply track schedule without integrating lean processes that reduce schedule and budget while maximizing safety and quality

◦ Solution – Incorporation of lean last planner, a reverse planning process utilizing subcontractors that results in reduced schedules, cost savings and increased quality

● Cost, QAAC & Risk Management

◦ Challenge – This is a culmination of all the above and typically fails when processes are linear and not integrated and collaborative

◦ Solution – From the onset, develop and formulate acollaborative process involving key stakeholders unified around common missions and common goals with performance metrics

“The key to success is implementing proven processes that unify integrated and collaborative stakeholders around the project, common mission, and common goal with success metrics”

● Close Out

◦ Challenge – Subcontractors and suppliers leaving the project as they complete their scope of work, leading to increases in cost, schedule, and reductions in quality

◦ Solution – Lean Last Planner integration with subcontractors tasked with completion of all punch list items, operational testing and start-up

To achieve project management success in the current economic environment, Avison Young focuses on keeping it simple—one team, one mission, one goal culture. For example, a confidential client is requiring completion of a 165,000-square-feet (Sq-Ft) manufacturing facility within 14 months from design to completion, process integration and start up. The methods detailed above will achieve our client’s goals and achieve their budget requirements.  What do we anticipate for the future? Regardless of economic conditions, supply chain and logistics challenges and other obstacles, these methods result in the best outcome. 

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