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15 Alignment Phase Administration 4.1 Introduction This chapter is to discuss the alignment phase and to present tools that contribute to team alignment. This chapter addresses: â¢ CM-GC alignment process overview and â¢ 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 CM-GC process allows the agency, engineer, and contractor to work as an integrated team to complete design and construction. 4.2 Construction ManagerâGeneral Contractor Contract Administration Process How the teamâthe agency, engineer, CM-GC, and project stakeholdersâmove from the procurement phase to the construction phase is critical to project success. Generally, the agency holds kickoff and team alignment meetings to discuss and formalize the payment schedule, work package execution flow, communication plan, organizational structure, and roles and responsibilities. For CM-GC, alignment will continue to occur while the project plans advance from the conceptual to the preliminary engineering stage and will involve team integration of the agency, contractor, and engineer. Key activities for the alignment phase include: â¢ Conduct kickoff meeting; â¢ Administer team alignment meetings; â¢ Align project plans; â Align stakeholder management plans; â Agree on cash flow, schedule of values, and schedule; â Align quality management plans and risk management plan; â Align construction implementation plans with CM-GC and agency; â Execute partnering plan and align team integration; and â Develop a project plan package. C H A P T E R 4
16 Guidebooks for Post-Award Contract Administration for Highway Projects Delivered Using Alternative Contracting Methods 4.3 Alignment Phase Contract Administration Tools In this phase, the alignment that began during procurement continues. Alignment must occur internally, within and across the agency, design team, and CM-GC. Additionally, alignment includes building a common understanding with outside 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 contract- ing 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 CM-GC champion can help keep alignment a priority at the start of the contract and throughout the project. A CM-GC champion is a key team leader who is knowledgeable about the CM-GC process and how it differs from D-B-B. To assist with project team alignment and help mitigate any team conflicts, the CM-GC 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 CM-GC contracting method (see Chapter 9, Section 9.2, Goal 2). During procurement, the agency can begin to develop alignment expectations with a number of tools. A 3 Glossary of Terms can be included in the agencyâs alternative contracting methods manual and the project RFQ and RFP to provide a foundation for universally accepted terms related to contract language. Likewise, 2 Roles and Responsibilities is a tool often represented as a table that clarifies which team member is responsible for which tasks. It is particularly important when team members are new to CM-GC delivery. It can prevent tasks from falling through the cracks. 7 CM-GC Management Fee Table clearly shows costs for which the CM-GC can and cannot charge a fee. 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 FHWA, and some of these team members may be new to CM-GC. 10 FHWA Involvement Overview helps ensure that required meetings, reviews, and tasks that involve FHWA take place. If the agency has obtained or begun any permitting processes, the corresponding requirements can be recorded in 11 Permit Commitment Database, which can be shared with the CM-GC 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 a 1 Kickoff Meeting provides the additional opportunity for the team to review CM-GC processes and the division of roles and responsibilities. Appointing a champion leads to higher reliability of the project(s) going well, especially as the agency is in the early stages of implementing CM-GC. Agencies choose to partner on select D-B-B projects because it has been proven to improve performance, but partnering is critical on all CM-GC projects due to the unique agency, engineer, and contractor roles.
Alignment Phase Administration 17 Partnering can also build alignment with agency and CM-GC team members through the 8 CM-GCâSpecific Partnering process with partnering meetings and assessments. Additionally, partnering can occur with outside stakeholders through 5 Regulatory Agency Partnering. The CM-GC 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 6 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. The agency should employ tools for building team alignment early in the project. Additionally, the agency 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, then they may need to revise the CM-GC roles and responsibilities and revisit the CM-GCâspecific 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. In turn, alignment leads to more efficient project execution. Table 4.1 lists the alignment phase tools. It also includes recommendations for tool use with levels of project size and complexity. The tool descriptions in Appendix A elaborate on the tools and their applicability by project complexity and size. Tools for Construction ManagerâGeneral Contractor Alignment Contract Administration Phase Project Complexity Project Size A lig nm en t D es ig n P re co ns tr uc ti on C on st ru ct io n C lo se ou t N on co m pl ex M od er at el y C om pl ex C om pl ex $1 0 m ill io n $1 0 m ill io nâ $5 0 m ill io n > $5 0 m ill io n Phase 1. Administer Alignment Between Construction ManagerâGeneral Contractor and Agency 1 Kickoff Meeting 2 Roles and Responsibilities 3 Glossary of Terms 4 External Stakeholder Coordination Plan 5 Regulatory Agency Partnering 6 Co-Location of Key Personnel 7 Construction Managerâ General Contractor Management Fee Table 8 Construction Managerâ General Contractorâ Specific Partnering 9 Continuity of Team Members 10 FHWA Involvement Overview 11 Permit Commitment Database Note: = Recommended; = Consider case by case; = Not recommended. Table 4.1. Summary of construction managerâgeneral contractor alignment phase tools.
18 Guidebooks for Post-Award Contract Administration for Highway Projects Delivered Using Alternative Contracting Methods 4.4 Summary The alignment phase of a project is a joint effort between the agency, engineer, and CM-GC. The tools in this chapter are those that agencies can use to administer alignment. Before tools are implemented, they should be explained to the team and modified for the project conditions or agency context. The alignment phase helps build a foundation of trust and collaboration that can serve the team throughout the project. Clear communication from the start is extremely important to foster a collaborative environment. The primary goal of these tools is to help project participants communicate, document, plan, and execute the project efficiently. This list of tools may inspire agencies to develop new tools or adapt some of these tools based on the needs of a particular project or the organizational structure of their agency.