Integrated Project Delivery is a methodology that aims to fully utilize the skills of every member of the team across the whole project, as opposed to having everyone contributing to their own individual task exclusively. It has strong presence in the construction industry, and its origins can actually be traced to that specific area. There’s a good reason for that – this industry has suffered the most from productivity declines and bottlenecks throughout its existence, leading to the necessity of a system like IPD.
The most important point about IPD is that the team should see itself as one whole, rather than individual nodes in a chain. This means that everyone should be striving to create value for the customer in the final product, even in ways that are normally not within their scope of work. Of course, this doesn’t mean anything extreme like a carpenter working as an electrician for no reason, but rather, each team member could make minor contributions in areas outside of their expertise where they still have some relevant knowledge.
Evaluations of the system have shown it to be highly effective in eliminating waste in all stages of the construction process, and the fact that it encourages the sharing of data between workers additionally means that projects usually see a reduced delivery time. There are many benefits to using IPD properly, and they all revolve around making the delivery of the project more efficient and utilizing the company’s available resources to their full potential.
A Long-Term Collaboration
An important note to make about IPD is that it relies heavily on the idea of collaborating along the whole way, rather than at separate steps. This means that you should take care to promote this in your working environment, and to encourage your employees to share information and collaborate in their work as much as they can. This can sometimes be challenging in situations where you’re working with people who are not used to this idea, requiring a more individual approach and special attention.
Transparency is important for achieving the best results, and everyone should feel like they are on the same level. This includes aspects like compensation, too – it’s not rare for construction companies working with IPD to have a completely open policy about salaries, despite the fact that other industries discourage this type of discussion. When everyone knows how they are valued compared to their peers and what their contributions mean to the project, the atmosphere can change significantly towards a more productive one.
Of course, there are some instances where too much transparency can actually be a bad thing. As long as you’re sensible in your approach and think of the long-term implications of your actions, you should be able to stay on the safe side of things. This gets even truer when you’ve been working on IPD projects for a while and you’ve developed some intuition for what works and what doesn’t in this methodology.
Using Technology Wisely
Another critical point to consider is how you’re using modern technology in your work. It’s important to make the best use of the tools available to you if you want to see your desired results as quickly as possible, especially when working on more complicated projects. Nowadays, you have a lot available in terms of managing your resources, organizing the time of your employees, and more. Make as much use of that as you can, and remember that sometimes it can pay to have a dedicated specialist on your team handling that aspect of the work. It’s not rare nowadays to see construction companies having their own database systems for their work and other similar details.
Integrated Project Delivery has a huge potential to transform the work of any construction company, but it has to be applied correctly at every step of the way. Ensuring that your workers collaborate effectively, promoting information sharing, and using modern technology to its full potential are the most important points to cover. From then on, it’s a matter of building enough experience in the field so you will have confidence in your intuition when a problematic situation arises.