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Overview: integrated project team

At a glance

0.0 – What is an Integrated Project Team?

0.1 – The process cycle

0.2 – The Process stages – the workbooks





What is an Integrated Project Team (IPT)?

‘Integrated Project Team’ is the Toolkit’s term for a fully integrated collaborative team:

  • a single team focused on a common set of goals and objectives delivering benefit for all concerned
  • a team so seamless, that it appears to operate as if it were a company in its own right
  • a team, with no apparent boundaries, in which all the members have the same opportunity to contribute and all the skills and capabilities on offer can be utilised to maximum effect.

This IPT removes the barriers between design and implementation, enabling all parties to be involved in discussion on the principles which will affect them, enabling high-quality decisions to be made on the basis of all the implications throughout the lifetime of the facility in question.

For a walkthrough on how to run an integrated project, click here.

Process cycle

Process stages – the workbooks

Identify business need (workbook 1)

When a new business driver that may give rise to a construction-related project appears, part of the client cluster will focus on the emerging need and its resolution.

This client element will call in appropriate parts of its supply chain by selecting ‘lead’ cluster members as appropriate to represent their particular supply chain. This representation will be targeted to ensure that those who have the best understanding of the principles that will need to be explored, form the ‘lead’ members. For example, if there is a need to replan office accommodation, a lead cluster member may well be an architect or space planner, but they could equally be a furniture supplier or interiors contractor, so long as they possess, or if necessary can draw on, all the appropriate skills and experience required.





Advisory team: develop strategic brief and value criteria (workbook 2)

These clusters are focused on the emerging need and an initial group of individuals are pulled together to consider the implications. Individuals are selected who can respond on behalf of a cluster and chain(s) to ensure all the necessary areas are covered. The individuals selected are those who are best able to assist the client, irrespective of their position within the cluster. As the understanding of the need clarifies, it may be necessary to call in additional cluster leaders from other supply chains not already represented, or to merge lead roles to minimise the size of the team, whilst ensuring all the principal partners are represented. Once the appropriate membership has been assembled, the advisory team will have been formed and will be functioning in collaborative working mode.

The advisory team helps the client to integrate and develop the need. They will work with the Client as an integral member in considering alternative delivery strategies, such as leasing or contracting out, for example, or reorganising existing accommodation or functions to alleviate the need. Furthermore, if a construction solution is considered likely, they will provide guidance on whether or not this will best be evaluated and delivered by an Integrated Project Team approach.

If an IPT construction solution is anticipated, the advisory team will develop the Strategic Brief for the next stage. They will also develop the value criteria which is a translation of the key objectives associated with a project into a prioritised list covering issues such as speed of delivery, capital/revenue balance, expected lifetime and attitudes to sustainability and aesthetic appearance.

Core team: create and screen strategic solutions (workbook 3)

With the strategic brief and value criteria confirmed, the core team is assembled to create potential strategic solutions.

It is not essential that all the individuals included in the advisory team move to the core team, but it is expected that the nucleus of both teams would be the same. As the strategic solutions develop, some amendment to the core team clustering may well take place and the cluster representation may change and/or expand/reduce in number to reflect the evolving project. At the end of the core team phase a range of strategic solutions will be screened by the core team (which includes the client) against the value criteria and, following additional discussions as necessary elsewhere within the client cluster, potential solutions will be selected for detailed investigation.





Expand core team and clusters: develop potential solution (workbook 4)

This detailed investigation will be undertaken by the expanded core team; expanded to include any additional skills required to develop the potential solutions identified. These skills may be added within the core team or by more direct involvement of extended supply chain members. At the end of this stage the preferred solution will be confirmed and rolled into full parallel development and implementation by the Integrated Project Team.









Integrated Project Team: implementation of agreed solution (workbook 5)

The IPT will comprise the existing core team and expanded cluster members, further extended to cover all the skills necessary to take the project through to conclusion. Some limited realignment of cluster organisation and individual responsibilities may take place at this point, however, this will reflect an evolution of the skills needed to develop and deliver the preferred solution, not a change of any or many partners merely to redirect their ideas to a ‘cheaper’ party. Generally speaking, the same parties should be retained, providing continuity of involvement, ownership and buy-in right through from inception to completion.

Project proving and review (workbook 6)

The IPT will work together through a series of Gateway decisions each identifying principles not to be subsequently reconsidered and all mapped out to ensure decisions are made by the people most affected, when the decision is needed. The IPT will stay together until the need is completely satisfied; that means delivered and proven to meet the Strategic Brief and the value criteria established at onset. This could be weeks, months or even years (in the case of turnkey methods such as PFI) after the project has been put to use.

Finally, in the spirit of continuously improving learning culture, the whole process will be reviewed and the lessons learned will be shared within the IPT and industry at large, before decisions are made about how to disband and/or continue to work together in the future.

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