At times, the concept of Integrated Project Delivery can sound like the Utopia of construction projects. Everyone involved brings their best foot forward and has the interests of the project at the forefront, before any personal interest or professional gains. Is this really possible? Read our overview of IPD and then you can be the judge.
Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is a project method designed to maximize collaboration from the very beginning of a project. The delivery method unifies the owner, architect and contractor (depending on the project and the contracts, this can even branch out into subcontractors and consultants) in order to give everyone equal interest and responsibility. The overarching goal is to maximize efficiency in order for a successful project delivery from all parties. There are three main aspects to IPD:
- Legal Relationship– in the IPD model, there is shared risk/reward; all parties are equally vested and responsible for the success of the project. Having the key members of the project team share in the responsibility ensures that decisions will be made that benefit the project as a whole. If the project is successful, then everyone is successful. If not, then everyone fails. It is not uncommon for all parties to come together to form a legal entity for the duration of the project.
- Collaborative Decision Making– Major decisions are made in a diplomatic fashion. Decisions are made collaboratively, rather than hierarchically. When problems arise, the solution will be one that serves the best interests of the project and can be implemented quickly, because the decision is understood by all key members of the team.
- Shared Risk/Reward– In order for all parties to truly be level, there must be shared risk/reward for everyone involved. When all parties are equally vested, decisions will be made that best serve the project. Ideally, the possibility of placing blame on another project team member is eliminated and replaced with a collaborative working environment.