From the owner's perspective: Vision for change is realized by choosing the right project partners

April 04, 2013 |
Sasha Reed

It’s not every day I get to speak with a project owner and gain valuable insight from the top of the chain. However, this past week, I was able to do just that during the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Southern California Chapter’s Awards Banquet. Some of the top project teams in Southern California were recognized with Project Achievement Awards. In attendance were many distinguished guests, some of whom were project owners. 

I recognized one particular owner, having seen him at a project planning meeting two years prior. During this meeting, he outlined plans to move away from low bid to design-build and BIM on upcoming projects. This was exciting news for everyone in the room, as the organization had many projects to go around, however, they admittedly were not yet taking full advantage of integrated project delivery methods. And I have to be honest: given the vast scale of all the projects this organization owns, I too was skeptical this goal would be realized anytime soon. After all, transforming workflows is a huge undertaking for any project.

Fast forward two years later and I am now eating my words. As it turns out, one of the largest projects identified in that meeting has implemented multiple technologies to migrate their project workflows from paper-intensive to BIM-driven electronic project documentation as their project deliverables. How was this transformation possible in such a short amount of time? Well, as it turns out, persistence at the highest levels, with vision for the desired outcome, drove the change on an impressive timetable. 

The organization made the wise choice to partner with experienced firms who knew how to navigate the tricky migration from paper to BIM-rich data. Then, they shaved off valuable time by selecting contract partners who were already up to speed on the latest technology, having previously invested time and money into migrating their own workflows. Together, these two teams were able to digitize project data, reinvent workflows, and achieve most of the owner’s goals, all without breaking the system. This was no easy feat and definitely deserved recognition.  

Excited by the chance to discuss the success of this project with the owner directly, I introduced myself and commended him on accomplishing such a daunting task. We talked at length about his perspective on what it takes to make changes on a large scale. He claimed that one of the key elements of their success was vision for change at the top. He explained that in order to begin taking steps toward change within any organization, you need to have leaders who see where they need to go. Then to carry that inertia forward, you need to partner with the right firms who are experienced in delivering the outcome you’ve envisioned.  He then went on to say that this not only made the transition successful, but actually compressed their timeline. They were able to accelerate their plans because their project partners were well versed in the technologies they implemented.

Moving away from the traditional low-bid procurement process has allowed this owner to strategically partner with firms who have been integral to their success.   This got me thinking about you. How do you improve your workflows in order to pull away from the pack? What priority has been placed on innovation within your organization? Is internal competition encouraged in order to allow the best and brightest to innovate beyond the status quo? If vision for change starts at the top, where do you see your firm going? 

Sasha Reed | Digital COM
Bluebeam Software

About the Author: Sasha Reed has over 12 years of experience working directly in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) market. As VP of Strategic Alliances at Bluebeam Software, Sasha interacts directly with AEC leaders to better understand the long-range goals of the industry and help align Bluebeam’s technology partnerships. In addition, Sasha is acting Chair of the Construction PDF Coalition.  The purpose of the Coalition is to establish Guidelines to provide Architects, Engineers, Constructors and Owners (AECO) with a common framework in which to create and maintain Construction PDF Documents. Sasha has been featured as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Bentley Florida User Group and spoken at numerous industry events including the American Institute of Architects’ DesignDC Conference, NTI Danish BIM Conference, the International Highway Engineering Exchange Program and the International Facilities Management Association Conference. Sasha has also contributed articles to numerous national publications and authors the Digital Com blog for Building Design + Construction magazine. Before Bluebeam, Sasha was a Project Manager for M3, a Herman Miller dealer, where she learned ?rsthand the challenges faced by the AEC industry from project conception to completion. 

Related Blogs

The Great Debate: Is 3D PDF really BIM?
March 03, 2015 | BIM and Information Technology | Digital COM

You can pull apart buildings, cut through floors, and view simulated animation for assembly instructions al...

read more

Photos courtesy Todd Wynne, Rogers-OBrien Construction

December 16, 2014 | Digital COM

On a recent trip to see what technology Todd Wynne and the rest of the team at Rogers-O’Brien Construction...

read more

Todd Wynne, Operations Technology Specialist, Rogers-OBrien, is an early adopter of Google Glass technology.

November 26, 2014 | Digital COM

A little over a year ago, I embarked on a search to find individuals in the AEC space who were putting new...

read more

Bluebeam's Sasha Reed sits down with Kris Lengieza, Director of Virtual Design and Construction for Stiles Corporation, to learn how he approaches change management.

September 30, 2014 | Digital COM

Bluebeam's Sasha Reed sits down with Kris Lengieza, Director of Virtual Design and Construction for Stiles...

read more
September 17, 2014 | Digital COM

How does DPR strike a balance between standardization and innovation? In today’s Digital COM video Blog, Sa...

read more

Sasha Reed, Director of Strategic Alliances, Bluebeam Software, and Chad Dorgan, Vice President of Quality & Sustainability, McCarthy Building Companies

August 21, 2014 | Digital COM

Sasha Reed and Chad Dorgan, McCarthy Building Cos.’s Vice President of Quality and Sustainability, discuss...

read more
August 08, 2014 | Digital COM

Sasha Reed interviews two members of the coalition responsible for creating new Guidelines for Construction...

read more
July 16, 2014 | Digital COM

My colleague and I were once asked an insightful question by a Civil Engineering Professor that sparked an...

read more

Images: courtesy Bluebeam

June 25, 2014 | Digital COM

SPONSORED CONTENT As more building project teams look for ways to collaborate better, technology continues...

read more
May 28, 2014 | Digital COM

Turner Construction and Parsons Brinkerhoff talk about how BIM has revolutionized the way that they conduct...

read more

Add new comment

Your Information
Your Comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.
Overlay Init