Moving left with WBS (and why EVERYONE in our industry needs to) – Part 2 of 3

By James Goree and Preston Hite

In the previous post, we claimed that the underperforming AEC industry must focus its energy on the left end of the project timeline – the planning end. We then introduced the concept of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) as a key to that leftward shift. A WBS provides a framework within which we are able to collect information as early as possible in the project timeline, in a language that is understandable and applicable for every process. In this post, we will pick up where we left off to explain how a WBS might be developed. Then, in the last of our three posts, we’ll share some reflections from our current experience in the early stages of instituting a WBS in our company.
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Moving left with WBS (and why EVERYONE in our industry needs to) – Part 3 of 3

By Preston Hite

In the two previous posts, we presented the idea that the key to fixing an underperforming industry is for us to “move left” – to focus a much larger chunk of our thought energy on the left side of the project timeline, before we break ground.  We introduced the concept of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) as a key ingredient for moving left.  A WBS is a system for logically organizing project information into a language that can be applied in any context.  We described how a WBS can be developed for the benefit of every discipline within the company.
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The 2015 HFM/ASHE Hospital Construction Survey: Lessons for Owners

By Coker Barton, Senior Vice President & National Healthcare Director

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka the ACA, or “Obamacare”) has caused multiple ripples throughout our healthcare delivery system, but we feel it most through the construction project decisions made by our hospital and healthcare owners. The 2015 Hospital Construction Survey recently published in Health Facilities Management magazine breaks down just a few of these ripples and how they affect healthcare construction.
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On Highly Effective Teams, Everyone Has A Role To Play

By Scott Evans, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C

Most of us grew up with someone suggesting we “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” to understand their perspective. I have been in the design, development and construction industry for over 24 years now and am fortunate to have worked with some very successful people. Interestingly enough, whether I was practicing architecture, developing a mixed-use project, managing a construction program for a financial institution or constructing a new office building, all project team members wanted to experience a safe, risk free, profitable project with peer recognition.

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Lightning Strikes: A Key Consideration for Jobsite (and Home) Safety

By Rob Wiley, Assistant Safety Director

Lightning strikes the US about 25 million times a year, and kills an average of 49 people annually. Already 2015 has seen 14 fatalities from lightning strikes. Most strikes occur during the summer – and this year has seen some significant severe weather across the country – but people can be struck any time of year.

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The Value of Teaching and Learning

By The Superintendents of Hoar Construction

Hoar recently marked its 75th anniversary with a series of video diaries focused on mentoring, on the learning and teaching that passes from generation to generation as our company grows and evolves. Hoar is particularly blessed with outstanding field leadership. Below, superintendents from across the company discuss their own experiences with mentoring and being mentored, and what that’s meant for themselves and their careers.

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Managing subcontractors for project success

By Dustin Smith, Superintendent at Brookwood Hospital Freestanding Emergency Department

Subcontractors play an important part in the success of any construction project. It’s important they aren’t chosen purely on price. Other factors, like the sub’s ability to deliver the project on time and to the required quality and safety standards, are equally important. I’ve worked on construction projects in the past where choosing the cheapest subcontractor actually ended up costing the project more money than if a more expensive sub with better qualifications had been selected.

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Managing Risk Is About Much More Than Safety

By The Superintendents Of Hoar Construction

No doubt about it. In today’s world, capital projects are risky. They’re more complex, and more expensive. The technology revolution that hit manufacturing well over a century ago has finally started to impact the AEC world, shaking up how we communicate, organize our teams, manage our work, and structure our contracts. And, even post-recession, those who finance large capital projects, be they taxpayers or shareholders, pay closer attention to ROI than ever before.

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Communication Is Key To Project Success

By The Superintendents of Hoar Construction

Ask a superintendent what tools he or she uses to keep a project on track, and communication will be high on the list. Not so many years ago, construction superintendents had a reputation for being tyrants, who relished the chance to yell – really loudly – at workers not following instructions. But the industry, and the role of the superintendent, has changed. Today’s most successful superintendents know as much about leadership and communication techniques as any Wall Street CEO. And perhaps they feel the need to excel at these skills even more. They do, after all, often make decisions that can directly impact the safety and well-being of those they lead.

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