Building trust, goodwill, and respect among all the multidisciplinary players is also essential to integrated project delivery. How do you do that? “Transparency, openness, and a willingness to share information,” states Jim Summers, an associate in the Boston office of Burt Hill, “will enable the change of focus from individual to project.” Their team members will spend a significant amount of time together to understand a clear scope of responsibilities, design objectives, degree of risk, and bottom line; this “fleshing out” is part of the discovery process resulting in a contract that supports a unique work flow. Summers is amazed at “the soft skills you need to work through that process and come to an agreement,” and this is even before the project itself starts.
There is consensus that there is nothing better than face-to-face sessions to foster collaboration and meaningful relationships. Socializing can also help a group to coalesce into a team. Other mechanisms to facilitate the work range from sophisticated software for BIM and video- or teleconferencing to simple donuts and coffee. Thick markers and large sheets of newsprint or a whiteboard are standard. Architects have a huge advantage in working collaboratively because they can use the language of drawing as a means to create with others — and let’s not forget, architects like to play.