On my third big project, as the Project Manager for Innovation Place Research Park, I had a Scrawny (Lean) AHA moment.
In 2002, I was planning my trip of a lifetime, an adventure with my wife Jo and our three kids Amanda, Kayla and Taylor, all between the ages of 10 and 15. This was a bucket list adventure, and I had taken a second mortgage out on the house to fund a whole summer off for a trip to Australia, Fiji and Maui.
The plan was to tender the Saskatchewan Forest Center project, mobilize and get the project started early in June, so I could take leave and go on adventure while the foundations were being installed. Then the big storm hit!
For Saskatchewan's first LEED project, we used an Integrated Design process to deliver what I promised the boss, a LEED Gold Building at no additional cost. Unfortunately, when we opened the tender documents, we were broadsided with a Rogue Wave. We were $2.2M over on a $7.5M budget! That is more than 25% over budget and more than enough to sink a ship and my butt would be walking the plank!
What Went Wrong?
The Low Tender Contractor quickly identified that the wood structure was a $1.5M premium and so we needed to convert this project to a collaborative Design-Build-HighPerformance@LessCost project. Our team collaboratively reengineered the project to deliver LEED Gold, and 55% less energy usage with a $100,000 contingency. This amazing team effort exceeded expectations and achieved an Innovation Point for a wonderful new collaborative process that delivers high performance LEED Gold projects at less cost.
The Saskatchewan Forest Center project provided the AHA Moment, as to WHY we need contractors at the table with a process similar to the ole Master Builder approach. An approach where owners, designers and contractors work together as a team to deliver a project that represents best value, on time, and to budget, with everyone working to meet a common schedule.
In a search for a more modern name we did a Netscape (Not Google) search for “Integrated Project Delivery” and discovered a whole new world of collaborative Lean Project Delivery. The Lean Construction Institute has developed brilliant systems that enable mere mortals to deliver exceptional projects.
The Scrawny Project Playbook includes valuable lessons learned from 10+ lean projects like the Saskatchewan Forest Center to apply Scrawny practices to your next successful project.