Solutions to complex problems emerge from the creative collaboration of a team of experts. While masters of their own specialty, experts must be able to grasp a big picture understanding of the problem and work as one to explore solutions. Traditional contractual arrangements and project management approaches fall short of enabling this type of behavior and can often stand in the way. Over the past several years, pioneering owners, builders, and designers have worked to create a new project delivery paradigm — Integrated Lean Project Delivery® (ILPD).
As project delivery partners who are driven to solve our client’s most complex problems, we’ve embraced this new paradigm, seeking to learn and share our experiences through participation in industry groups like the Lean Construction Institute and by working alongside our owner, builder, and designer partners on some of the industry’s most challenging projects.
While an integrated team aligns commercial interests with a multiparty contract, lean thinking becomes the catalyst to create a shared understanding of success and provides the tools and mindset needed to achieve that goal. Far from the dull, uninspired response that teaming or partnering can elicit, ILPD® sparks action in practice — it’s teamwork with teeth.
In just over ten years since the first trailblazing owners began exploring ILPD®, an increasing number of those responsible for delivering the most complex projects in industries like healthcare, high-tech manufacturing, and themed entertainment have embraced this approach. And a growing body of research and documented project outcomes support the assertion that ILPD® leads to better project outcomes. It is not yet clear how broadly ILPD® will be adopted, but looking to the challenges ahead and the tools available today, early ILPD® successes offer a glimpse of optimism toward a better way.