Integrated Project Delivery -- The Key Attitude
What is one “crucial” thing every project needs:
A “getting the job done” attitude.
What You Will Learn
Going to Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)
The world has always cried for men and women who can get the job done, for people who are pro-active and who can see that the important tasks are completed and are critical to a project. Project Management is about having the right scope in the right sequence at the best possible time to deliver a project. A project manager has this kind of urgency to get the project done. And they understand what needs to be done daily in order to deliver the results as expected by project stakeholders. This is Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).
Success is not how much you know. Success is what you get done. The result you deliver is what makes the project.
How you can become a successful “integrated project delivery manager” or just “delivery manager” -- which is the word sometimes used in projects? Usually it is not the lack of brains, character or willingness. It is the inability to get the project done.
The focus on Integrated Project Delivery
The lack of focus and aimless wandering from one thing to another without clarity can be detrimental to a project, as well as not knowing what to do step-by-step. There may be a missing plan, or perhaps there is a lack of actions mapped that are aligned to the project deliverables (or delirables integration). Regardless of what may be missing, if you have the right attitude these things usually sort themselves out because you are focused and ready to get things done (and get your deliverables integrated!).
If a person could change their mindset to that of a “go-getter” and grab the information they need to draft a clear action list, this could be the missing key in getting projects done. They would be able to collect the necessary details on the requirements and the deliverables so that the project becomes clear on what needs to be delivered, and therefore this results in a integrated project delivery.
Building an Integrated Project Delivery Plan
One thing that has supported me is to create a ‘project vision board’ or a patch system overview which I make available on my project meeting room wall. I also have the habit of crafting a one-page Integrated Project Delivery Plan (IPDP). It is a graphical overview with the key milestones and with the dependencies either within the project or activities outside the project or out of my control. Once this part is clear, then it is time to become a producer. Make your work count. And this won’t be difficult if you have the right attitude.
In my recent projects I have met engineers who told me why we cannot proceed. For example, just recently I was told we couldn’t proceed on a particular project because we needed to install some new equipment. It was then my job as the Project Manager to turn their mindset around and to find solutions in order to install the equipment.
My principle: To move forward in a project, it is sometimes helpful to “bulldoze” an action forward and just get it done even without approval or complete documentation than waiting for 100% documentation submission and 100% approval from all stakeholders. In short, sometimes there is an argument between protocol and doing what is necessary to keep the project moving. If doing what is necessary to keep the project moving outweighs the need for protocol, if necessary I skip protocol. To some extent, common sense should rule over endless discussions and correspondence in a project. It is sometimes easier to ask for “forgiveness” and update the documents and drawings to “as built” than waiting for everybody’s approval. At least the job gets done within the timeframe. Once people can see the result and it is working, usually they are happy even if you didn’t follow the usual protocol.
Naturally, critical systems that are relevant to safety needs 100% testing without fail. It would be good to follow protocol in this case. It is up to you to determine clearly what is critical and what is just there to support, and when to stick to protocol or break it. Again, it is your attitude to move forward and find solutions, go and get the information to get the job done instead waiting for somebody to answer your questions.
How to Have a Go-Getter Attitude for Integrated Project Delivery
To be a go-getter you don’t need to work harder; you need to work more efficiently and effectively. You must learn to make your work count. It’s the producers who raise the standard in projects. It’s the producers who win the big share of the rewards. The producers are those people who have formed the habit of getting the job done and who will not permit the “almosts” to get them off course.
If you have a plan -- like the one page plan I use- define your action list, add due dates and stick to it. Strong discipline and daily follow-up on your action items will make you a producer.
Naturally certain things will need approval. To get approvals for your works, prepare a simple presentation with the explanation of what you’re going to do. Use a simple timeline to explain the next few steps. Work with your client and communicate effectively on your planning to move forward. Yes, you need a design document, a drawing and a method statement sometimes, but in many cases nobody has even read your documents, and if they did it doesn’t mean they understand it. Therefore, make it simple with three (3) to five (5) slides of what you would like to accomplish and set a clear timeline to it. Be a producer; be confident that you can do it.
The best way to learn this “getting the job done” attitude is to master model a great integrated project delivery person. Take an example from someone you can see who has mastered project management, time management, communication strategy, etc. Additionally, reading about self management, time management, and practicing every day to follow up on your actions, reminders, emails and calls will help you get projects done.