Levels of Integration and Optimization

Contracting is a relatively low-margin, capital-intensive, high-risk and difficult-to-scale business with many seeing contractors as a commodity.

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Operational excellence must be a major component of every contractor’s strategy and baked into their daily behaviors.  

Leadership Tools: Levels of Integration and Optimization. Purchasing Example.

There are four major layers of integration and optimization.  Each are related. Each layer is critical creating the foundation for other layers.  Optimization at each layer requires different levels of thinking, different technology and a longer time span.  

  1. Task: Can be further broken down into discrete steps with every element of time and motion broken down to yield the most efficient output.  
  2. Function: Optimization is about consistent and efficient execution by everyone within a functional areas such as field, project management, purchasing, etc.
  3. Company: Most effective flow through across all functional areas of the company.  For example - the most efficient material installation is that material that never had to be ordered or installed because it was value-engineered out during the design process.  
  4. Supply Chain: Downstream integration to your suppliers and subcontractors.  Integration with other contractors on the project if applicable, upstream to your customer and efficient communication with architects and consulting engineers. 



Precon Value in Project Delivery Methods
By leveraging preconstruction services, contractors can gain a significant competitive advantage. This chart ranks the impact of precon across the basic project delivery methods and four basic dimensions:
Agile Project Management vs. Critical Path Method
The Critical Path Method of project management is very commonly used on construction projects. CPM does not work as well in situations where there are significant “Known-Unknowns” about the plan CPM really breaks down when there are “Unknown-Unknowns”:
Appearance and Experience of Management Control
As your career develops and you grow into roles of greater responsibility, one of the biggest challenges is what Jennifer Garvey Berger calls “The paradox of the appearance of increasing control and the experience of decreasing control.”