Basic Principles of Integrated Project Delivery

Integrated Project Delivery is built on collaboration, which in turn is built on trust.  Effectively structured, trust-based collaboration encourages parties to focus on project outcomes rather than their individual goals.  Without trust-based collaboration, IPD will falter and participants will remain in the adverse and antagonistic relationships that plague the construction industry today.  IPD promises better outcomes, but outcomes will not change unless the people responsible for delivering those outcomes change.  Thus, achieving the benefits of IPD requires that all project participants embrace the following Principles of Integrated Project Delivery.

  1. Mutual Respect and Trust.

    In an integrated project, owner, designer, consultants, constructor, subcontractors and suppliers understand the value of collaboration and are committed to working as a team in the best interests of the project.

  2. Mutual Benefit and Reward.

    All participants or team members benefit from IPD. Because the integrated process requires early involvement by more parties, IPD compensation structures recognize and reward early involvement. Compensation is based on the value added by an organization and it rewards “what’s best for project” behavior, such as by providing incentives tied to achieving project goals. Integrated projects use innovative business models to support collaboration and efficiency.

  3. Collaborative Innovation and Decision Making.

    Innovation is stimulated when ideas are freely exchanged among all participants. In an integrated project, ideas are judged on their merits, not on the author’s role or status.  Key decisions are evaluated by the project team and, to the greatest practical extent, made unanimously.

  4. Early Involvement of Key Participants.

    In an integrated project, the key participants are involved from the earliest practical moment. Decision making is improved by the influx of knowledge and expertise of all key participants.  Their combined knowledge and expertise is most powerful during the project’s early stages where informed decisions have the greatest effect.

  5. Early Goal Definition.

    Project goals are developed early, agreed upon and respected by all participants. Insight from each participant is valued in a culture that promotes and drives innovation and outstanding performance, holding project outcomes at the center within a framework of individual participant objectives and values.

  6. Intensified Planning.

    The IPD approach recognizes that increased effort in planning results in increased efficiency and savings during execution.  Thus the thrust of the integrated approach is not to reduce design effort, but rather to greatly improve the design results, streamlining and shortening the much more expensive construction effort.

  7. Open Communication.

    IPD’s focus on team performance is based on open, direct, and honest communication among all participants. Responsibilities are clearly defined in a no-blame culture leading to identification and resolution of problems, not determination of liability.  Disputes are recognized as they occur and promptly resolved.

  8. Appropriate Technology.

    Integrated projects often rely on cutting edge technologies. Technologies are specified at project initiation to maximize functionality, generality and interoperability. Open and interoperable data exchanges based on disciplined and transparent data structures are essential to support IPD. Because open standards best enable communications among all participants, technology that is compliant with open standards is used whenever available.

  9. Organization and Leadership.

    The project team is an organization in its own right and all team members are committed to the project team’s goals and values.  Leadership is taken by the team member most capable with regard to specific work and services.  Often, design professionals and contractors lead in areas of their traditional competence with support from the entire team, however specific roles are necessarily determined on a project-by-project basis.  Roles are clearly defined, without creating artificial barriers that chill open communication and risk taking.

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