In our technology-driven world, everyone is looking to build a better mousetrap. With Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), it’s possible. This way of working involves collaboration between designers, architects, contractors, and end users from beginning to end. The key to this kind of team effort is clear, honest communication. That responsibility lies with every member of the team.

Owners are encouraged to share their project knowledge and business goals. Understanding the company’s overall goal helps other members of the team make better decisions. Constructors are expected to weigh in on construction techniques early in the design process. This helps improve the quality of the project while maintaining financial constraints. This input from owners and constructors helps designers create a project that is feasible and affordable.

This type of ongoing communication fosters an environment of trust-based collaboration. All team members are focused on the project outcome, rather than on individual goals. Owner, designer, consultants, constructor, subcontractors, and suppliers understand what they are working towards and can utilize their own expertise to ensure that the project stays on track and headed in the right direction.

Early involvement of all team members is crucial for success. IPD compensation packages recognize and reward that early involvement. Incentives may be attached to individual goals, but the basis of those incentives is rewarding behavior that is good for the project as a whole. Innovation is encouraged, and as new ideas are discussed among the team key decisions are made, as much as possible, unanimously.

Planning is another important aspect of IPD. Careful planning in the early stages of a project can greatly increase efficiency and savings going forward. The goal here is to improve the design stage so as to streamline and shorten the construction stage. The appropriate use of modern technology can facilitate this process by opening channels of communication and data sharing.

When it comes down to it, IPD is an “all hands on deck” approach to projects. Communication is vital from start to finish, as each team member lends their specific expertise to the project goal. Design becomes less an abstract rendering and more of a concrete plan. Technology is utilized to streamline the process. With these principles in mind, you, too, can benefit from Integrated Project Delivery.