ConstructionPro Week, Volume: 1 - Issue: 26 - 10/29/2012

Research Teams Offer Advice on Managing Projects, Improving Productivity, Estimating Costs

By Steve Rizer


Project managers (PMs) need to prepare for several significant changes that are expected to take place in the construction industry, a Construction Industry Institute (CII) research team informed attendees of a recent conference that the association held in Baltimore. This is one of many recommendations that several CII research teams made, additionally addressing construction productivity, the estimation and management of indirect construction costs, and industrial modularization.


In presenting its conclusions on skills that PMs will need over the next 10 years, CII Research Team 281 urged PMs to think, learn, and manage differently in a market with disruptive trends such as globalization, continuous technological advances, changing workforce demographics, and new and changing organizations. The results of the team’s work are included in “Implementation Resource 281-2 -- The Project Manager Competency Development Program,” which CII described as “a set of innovative tools … to help prepare PMs for the challenges ahead.”


Also during the conference, Research Team 282 introduced Implementation Resource 282-2, Playbook of Leading Industry Practices for Estimating, Controlling, and Managing Indirect Costs.


Because optimizing indirect construction costs is an important but often neglected source of project savings -- for both owners and contractors -- Research Team 282 worked first to determine the most important, most costly, and most wasteful indirect costs, and then collected innovative and effective practices to optimize them, according to CII. Information Resource 282-2 focuses on how the practices for each category enable more effective estimating, controlling, and managing of indirect costs.


Research Team 283 presented its findings on how project teams can increase their levels of modularization and thereby export a significant percentage of jobsite work hours to fabrication shops and yards. The team also described its efforts to develop “Implementation Resource 283-2 -- Industrial Modularization: Five Solution Elements,” a guide that offers a business case process, explains differences in execution planning, provides critical success factors, presents a design standardization strategy, and discusses ways to maximize modularization.


Research Team 252, the Construction Productivity Research Program, presented the findings from its fourth phase of work and introduced its latest product, “Research Summary 252-1c.” Having focused on the productivity of mechanical, electrical, and concrete trades in the first three phases, respectively, the team examined quick connection innovations for the steel trades in this phase. The team also reported on the development of the Contractors’ Workforce Development Assessment, a metric that owners can use to ensure a more skilled craft workforce, CII stated. Finally, the team reported that CII Best Practices most highly correlated to steel productivity and updated the audience on its ongoing development of the Best Productivity Practices Implementation Index.


CII declined to respond to ConstructionPro Week’s questions seeking additional details about the research teams’ work.




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