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Â Â 17Â Â Similar to the discussion of best-value criteria in the previous section, ATCs represent a change to the minimum requirements of the RFP that has implications on construction administration processes. Alternative Technical Concepts must be identified during the proposal evaluation stage and carried forward into the contract during construction administration. Although ATCs need not be a betterment, they frequently are. ATCs are not a reduction in scope or function. They always involve a change to the basic configuration or technical criteria set forth in the RFP. ATCs and Betterments also help promote alignment between the agency and D-B, which is important for effective contract administration. Agencies and design-builders must track ATCs during procurement and ensure they are incorporated into design and construction after project award. 3.3 Summary Actions and decisions made by the agency during pre-award can influence the contract administration post-award. Defining project goals, criteria used in selecting a delivery method, and criteria used in the selection of a D-B team impact the D-B contract and the expectations for the project. Key procurement activities like betterments and ATCs can help establish scope and alignment on project goals. Thus, the pre-award phase serves to establish the foundation for contract administration of a D-B contract.
Â Â 18Â Â Chapter 4. Alignment Phase Administration 4.1 Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the alignment phase and to present tools that contribute to team alignment. This chapter addresses: ï· D-B alignment process overview. ï· Alignment phase contract administration tools. Agencies should strive for team alignment throughout the entire project, but the alignment phase is especially critical in establishing a strong foundation. In this phase, agencies foster an environment of team integration and group cohesion to facilitate successful project delivery. Alignment is sought on every aspect of the project, including goals, scope, processes, and communication. Construction projects bring together a variety of individuals and organizations to achieve a common goal. The D-B process allows the agency and design-builder to work as an integrated team to complete design and construction. 4.2 D-B Contract Administration Process How the team (agency, design-builder, and project stakeholders) move from the procurement phase to the construction phase is critical to project success. Generally, the owner holds a kickoff and team alignment meeting in which the payment schedule, work package execution flow, communication plan, and organizational structure, and roles and responsibilities of the owner are discussed and formalized. The agency and design-builder can update project management plans and preliminary project plans together as a team. Key agency activities in the alignment phase includes: ï· Conduct kickoff meeting. ï· Administer team alignment meetings. ï· Align project plans: o Align stakeholder management plans. o Agree on cash flow, schedule of values, and schedule. o Align quality management plans and risk management plan. o Align construction implementation plans with design-builder and agency. o Execute partnering plan/align team integration o Develop a project plan package. 4.3 Agency Contract Administration Tools In this phase, alignment that began during procurement continues. Alignment must occur internally, within the agency and within the D-B entity, as well as externally, with outside stakeholders. Outside alignment includes building a common understanding between the agency
Â Â 19Â Â and the design-builder and other stakeholders such as regulatory agencies, utility companies, and local municipalities. For decades, D-B-B has been the traditional method of delivery. Thus, agencies, engineers, and contractors have long-established processes and a history of roles and relationships in the D-B-B environment. Seeking alignment in goals, processes, and responsibilities is important for any project, but it is especially important when an agency is implementing alternative contracting methods. Miscommunication and misunderstanding can result when project participants are not aligned. Alternatively, by investing in alignment, project teams clarify what to do, how to accomplish it, and who is responsible for leading various tasks. Teams with strong alignment can expect to be more collaborative, efficient, and unified. A D-B champion with the agency can help keep alignment a priority at the start of the contract and throughout the project. A D-B champion is a key team leader who is knowledgeable about the D- B process and how it differs from D-B-B. To assist with project team alignment and help mitigate any team conflicts, the D-B champion must also be very knowledgeable of the project goals. Ideally, the champion would have been a part of the project delivery selection process and the establishment of project goals that are in alignment with the advantages of the D-B contracting method. Even before an agency selects a D-B team, they can promote alignment through the tool of 3 Confidential one-on-on meetings. In these meetings, agencies can test the common understanding of the project scope and performance specifications. They can also vet the project goals. Another tool the agency can use during procurement and into later project phases is a 4 Glossary of terms. A foundation for a common understanding is having universally accepted definitions on a project especially for terms related to contract language such as bidding methods, adjusted bid, and firm neutral. A glossary of terms is a tool the agency can include in its ACM manuals and in their RFQs and RFPs. Likewise, 2 Roles and responsibilities is a tool often represented in the form of a table that clarifies which team member is responsible for certain tasks. This can prevent tasks from being forgotten. The 4 External stakeholder coordination plan is another tool to manage stakeholder involvement and input by identifying key times when specific outreach actions will be taken with stakeholders. This is especially useful with local jurisdictions or developers that are requesting and funding project betterments. Federally funded projects will involve the FHWA, and some of these team members may be new to D-B. The 10 FWHA involvement overview tool likewise helps ensure that required meetings, reviews, and tasks that involve FHWA take place. The agency can communicate permit requirements in a 11 Permit commitment database, which they can share
Â Â 20Â Â with the D-B entity to ensure the project team makes decisions and takes actions in line with these commitments. Communication fosters team alignment, and team meetings such as the 1 Kickoff meeting help to further focus the team on project objectives and challenges and introduce team members to the people involved in various tasks. It is common for projects to hold a kickoff meeting, but in the context of a D-B project, a 1 Kickoff meeting provides the additional opportunity for the team to review D-B processes and the division of roles and responsibilities. Partnering can also build alignment with agency and D-B team members through 8 D-B specific partnering process with partnering meetings and assessments. Additionally, partnering can occur with outside stakeholders through 6 Regulatory agency partnering. The D-B team can better understand regulator concerns before design progresses and the regulatory agency can better understand project-specific constraints before reviewing permit applications. Another tool to facilitate collaboration between team members is 5 Co-location of key personnel, which brings the agency, engineer, and contractor under one roof to expedite communication and feedback. 9 Continuity of team members is used to build a history and understanding of project decisions as the project moves through different design phases and into construction. To facilitate alignment on scope after execution of the D-B contract, agencies frequently implement the 19 Scope validation period tool. This tool designates a given time period when the D-B entity can perform a thorough review of the RFP documents in order to check for defects, errors, or inconsistencies. If the team discovers scope issues during this period, the design-builder and agency work together to come into alignment on these issues. The agency should employ tools for building team alignment early in the project. Additionally, they can apply these tools throughout project development and reap benefits in all phases of a project. For example, if the project team adds new team members during final design or at the start of construction, they may need to revise the D-B roles and responsibilities and revisit D-B specific partnering activities. Building team alignment is a fundamental part of unifying individuals and organizations. Alignment reduces uncertainty about where a team is going and how they are getting there, this in turn leads to more efficient project execution. Table 4.1 lists the alignment phase tools. It also includes recommendations for tool use with different levels of project size and complexity. The tool descriptions in Appendix A elaborate on the tools and their applicability by project complexity and size. Agencies choose to partner on select D-B-B projects because it has been proven to improve performance, but partnering is critical on all D- B projects due to the unique and concurrent nature of the design and construction process.