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SUMMARY A Guidebook for the Evaluation of Project Delivery Methods Objective Various project delivery methods are available to the developers of public projects in the United States. While the traditional design-bid-build delivery method remains the most com- mon method, there is considerable interest on the part of transportation agencies in alterna- tive methods of project delivery and the potential of these alternative methods to save money and time. The objective of this guidebook is to assist transit agencies in evaluating and selecting the most appropriate project delivery method for their projects and in documenting this decision in a Project Delivery Decision Report. The guidebook is based on the fundamental premise that there is no one best delivery method for all projects, but that a project delivery method should be selected on the basis of each project's unique characteristics. This selection should be made by considering the benefits and disadvantages of competing delivery methods for the project under consideration. The project delivery method is the process by which a construction project is comprehen- sively designed and constructed for an owner--including project scope definition; organiza- tion of designers, constructors, and various consultants; sequencing of design and construction operations; execution of design and construction; and closeout and start-up. With the rapid changes in procurement laws, public agencies now share the ability of their private-sector coun- terparts to acquire construction services via alternative project delivery methods, such as con- struction management, design-build, and other hybrid systems. In some instances, methods such as design-build may include operations and maintenance as well as multiyear warrantees in the contract. The research approach in developing the project delivery method selection framework was to synthesize relevant literature on project delivery methods and previous work in developing decision support systems for project delivery selection. In addition, face-to-face structured interviews were conducted with several transit agencies to learn how each project delivery method had been implemented in actual transit projects. The authors traveled to five selected project sites, interviewed project directors, and collected data on nine major transit projects. On the basis of this research (i.e., review of the literature, interviews with project directors, and data collection on nine major transit projects) and discussions among the research team and TCRP Project G-08 panel, the researchers identified a set of pertinent issues. These pertinent issues are issues that were found to have profound effect on the choice of project delivery 1
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2 A Guidebook for the Evaluation of Project Delivery Methods method. Once the authors identified the pertinent issues, these issues were grouped into the following categories: project-level issues, agency-level issues, public policy/regulatory issues, lifecycle issues, and other issues. The issues were also used to develop the project delivery method selection framework. Selection System Framework A three-tiered project delivery selection system was developed that consists of the following: Tier 1--Analytical Delivery Decision Approach Tier 2--Weighted-Matrix Delivery Decision Approach Tier 3--Optimal Risk-Based Approach The Tier 1--Analytical Delivery Decision Approach provides a framework for agencies and their project delivery teams to define project goals and examine the advantages and disadvan- tages of each delivery method within the context of these goals. The aim of this approach is to help agencies to understand project delivery method attributes and to determine if their specific project goals align with the attributes of a particular delivery method. The Tier 1 approach also provides a "go/no go" review to determine whether one or more project delivery methods should be excluded from the examination. At the completion of the Tier 1 approach, the agency may not have a single, clear, and logical choice for a project delivery method. If this is the case, the agency then moves on to the Tier 2 approach with the best delivery method options from Tier 1 and creates a more detailed analysis to select the final project delivery method. The Tier 1 approach is designed to provide a simple and straightforward selection process. It is anticipated that users will find that the Tier 1 analysis is sufficient for most transit projects. The Tier 2--Weighted-Matrix Delivery Decision Approach provides a means for an agency to further examine delivery methods and document a project delivery decision for an individual project. The Tier 2 approach involves prioritizing project objectives and selecting the delivery method that best aligns with these objectives. In the Tier 2 approach, the user concentrates on a few key parameters affecting the choice of project delivery method, assigns appropriate weights to each parameter, and calculates a score for each competing delivery method. The process of selecting each parameter and assigning the proper weight is described in detail in this guide. The Tier 3--Optimal Risk-Based Approach leverages current, risk-based, cost-estimating methods that have emerged in transit and highway agencies in the past few years. It is expected that the Tier 3 approach will generally be used only when the completion of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 approaches does not yield a project delivery decision and when a formal risk management process for the project is already in place. It is important to note that using the Tier 3 approach (especially the quantitative analysis) requires considerably greater effort than the effort involved in implementing either the Tier 1 or Tier 2 approaches. It is recommended that transit agencies use industry professionals from outside the agency to facilitate the implementation of the Tier 3 approach. These professionals should have a thorough understanding of and experience with the type of project the agency is evaluating, the various project delivery methods the agency is considering, and the potential risks associated with the type of project and various project delivery methods under consideration. The use of outside professionals helps to ensure that the appropriate expertise and experience is incorporated into the process. Facilitation of the process by outside professionals helps also to foster that the selec- tion of the most appropriate project delivery method is objective, thereby minimizing the like- lihood of a predetermined outcome.
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Summary 3 The selection system framework also provides the means to document a project delivery decision in the form of a Project Delivery Decision Report. Regardless of how many tiers of the selection system framework an agency uses to select a project delivery method, the selection system framework forces decision-makers to document their logic as they proceed through the process. The Project Delivery Decision Report will provide a transparent and defensible docu- mentation of the decision process. This documentation is extremely important when explaining a project delivery decision to project stakeholders, particularly if an alternative delivery method is selected. Furthermore, this documentation can be consulted by agencies when they have to make project delivery decisions in the future. The Project Delivery Decision Report format was created to provide agencies with a rigorous documentation format while allowing for maximum flexibility in the choice of delivery method. This guidebook is meant to be a comprehensive resource for transit agencies embarking on the process of project delivery selection, providing concrete guidance on how to select the most appropriate delivery method for a project and how to document the final project delivery deci- sion in a concise and consistent format.