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case study// photo courtesy of Integrus architecture Olson repeated the process at each meeting. Soon individuals on the project team would break into conversation spontaneously upon seeing one of their new friends. The cooperative imperative and the silly personal questions transformed a team of individual contractors into a group that enjoyed each other’s company. MaINtaININg the MINdset Of course, these efforts did not ensure that everything was absolutely perfect during the project. Once established, a spirit of cooperation and teamwork requires periodic maintenance. In the early stages, for instance, one subcontractor told someone on the general contractor’s staff about a problem and asked for help. “That’s your problem, and you need to fix it,” the staffer retorted. A DOC staffer overheard the exchange and reported it to Olson, who ordered the general contractor to shut down the job immediately and assemble everyone for a meeting. To kick the meeting off, Olson asked everyone a few questions: What’s your favorite television show? Who’s your favorite actor? Can you sing? As people began to relax, Olson related the incident, emphasizing the staffer’s brusque statement “It is never your problem,” Olson explains. “It is always our problem. It is always how do we fix our problem? This has to be the way we work on this job.” Then he sent everyone back to work. Throughout the 32 months of design and construction, the team continued to foster and maintain cooperation, teamwork and open communications. In month 20, a budget review showed that a large sum of contingency funds remained available. It made a major change possible. The original design called for seven housing units. The contingency funds would pay for another unit and the complete construction of the correctional industries programs within the existing building shell. But it wasn’t clear whether or not there was enough time left in the schedule to design the unit, procure the materials and do the work. The DOC would not extend the schedule. The state’s correctional system needed the new beds within the original schedule. Then the Hunt/Lydig team leaders said, “We think we can solve this problem.” Suddenly everyone was talking about ways around the time crunch. Design workshops at Coyote Ridge included owner, contractor and the A/E team. construction manager built their team through an affirmative search for team players with excellent communication skills. When the requests for bids went out, the need for open communication, cooperation and teamwork was emphasized. MeetINgs of the MINd A key part of building a spirit of cooperation and teamwork involved pulling the people on the project team out of their normal mindsets. Architects, construction managers and subcontractors know that challenges are natural to projects—challenges about money, schedules, quality work, assigning responsibility and just about everything else that can go wrong on a job. The ultimate trouble, of course, is going to court over a conflict. That’s the normal mindset of a project team, and the Integrus team set out to change it. Its goal, instead, was to build a team that could recognize, discuss and solve problems—before they had the potential to turn into disasters. For that to happen, everyone from the owner to the smallest subcontractor had to trust everyone else on the team—trust them well enough to say in team meetings, “I can see a problem taking shape. I think I can solve it by doing X. What do you think?” Frakes reasoned that people who do not know each other couldn’t trust each other, so he set out to introduce everyone. He started the first meeting of the entire team by asking personal, seemingly unimportant questions of everyone: What’s your favorite dessert? Do you like baseball or football or some other sport? What was your first car? What’s your pet peeve? Interesting answers would generate a few minutes of meaningful conversation. 24 spring//2012 the quarterly publication of the design-build institute of america

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IQ Spring 2012: The Conference Issue

IQ Spring 2012: The Conference Issue

IQ Spring 2012: The Conference Issue - (Page C1)
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http://staging.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/DBIA/g32384_dbia_spring2013
http://staging.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/DBIA/g30201_dbia_winter2012
http://staging.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/DBIA/g27498_dbia_iq_fall2012
http://staging.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/DBIA/g27263_dbia_iq_summer2012
http://staging.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/DBIA/g27412dbia_iq_spr12
http://staging.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/DBIA/g24065_dbiaiqwinter11
http://staging.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/DBIA/g21862_dbia_fall_11
http://staging.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/DBIA/dbianxtbook_summer_11
http://staging.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/DBIA/g18240_dbia_spring2011a
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com