Working with CII to Improve Best Practices

Christy Ullo
Faithful+Gould has been an active member of the Construction Industry Institute (CII) for more than five years.

CII, based at the University of Texas at Austin, is a consortium of more than 100 leading owner, engineering-contractor, and supplier firms from both the public and private markets. These organizations have joined together to enhance the business effectiveness and sustainability of the capital facility life cycle through CII research, related initiatives, and industry alliances. A learning organization with a wealth of knowledge and information, CII is unique in the engineering and construction industry.

Our involvement with the CII Board of Advisors is a great opportunity for Faithful+Gould to help shape the research programs that CII pursues. As part of the Spring Board of Advisors meeting, members cast their votes to select new research topics. CII research committees combine credible, quantitative, university-based research with the expert guidance from personnel at the CII member organizations.

The objective of this group is to simplify current project controls processes...

Justine Smith, Faithful+Gould's Technical Director

Research teams work for two years, and are then called to present at a future CII Annual Conference and then possibly incorporated into a CII Best Practice/Knowledge Area. At the 2013 Annual Conference, six current research teams will report on their topics.

Nine new research topics were selected at the Advisors meeting including Instantaneous 'Project Control Systems'. Justine Smith, Faithful+Gould's Technical Director, will serve on this research committee. Justine commented, "The objective of this group is to simplify current project controls processes to obtain real time information to enable project teams to be proactive not reactive in their decision making process. This is a great opportunity for Faithful+Gould to demonstrate our constructive expertise in this subject matter. This will also be a positive change in the service delivery of project controls for the industry at large and being at the forefront of this change provides us with a competitive edge in our service delivery."

Being involved with CII and the research and development teams allows Faithful+Gould to make our mark on the entire construction industry.

Tim Horner, Faithful+Gould's Vice President - Central Region

Faithful+Gould's Vice President - Central Region, Tim Horner, has been part of a research team for the past two years investigating 'Deploying Best Practices in Unfamiliar Countries'. Tim commented, "Being involved with CII and the research and development teams allows Faithful+Gould to make our mark on the entire construction industry. Working with likeminded individuals we get to be a part of, and shape how we might all be working in the future. My particular research team is very much aligned with Faithful+Gould assurance and the maturity modeling, concepts that we have been promoting for several years. It is great to see that our own business strategy in this domain is leading-edge, not just in North America but globally."

The research teams are an integral part of CII that will help it continue to be an industry leader and stay relevant in the future by focusing on globalization, diversification, and expanding CII’s Performance Assessment.

Along with the research teams, CII also has communities of practice (COP) that focus on various aspects of the construction industry. The COP teams meet for a day following the annual conference at the COP Leadership Forum. This is a focused event where the leadership from each community of practice share lessons learned, best practices, their agenda for the next year, and any accomplishments or research initiatives they want to put forward to the knowledge management committee. The communities of practice play a large role in generating the research topics that the CII research teams pursue.

We are bringing our private sector project experience and perspective to monthly working sessions with the government experts...

Tim Hannaway, Faithful+Gould's Technical Director

Tim Hannaway, Faithful+Gould's Technical Director, is the co-chair of the federal facilities delivery community of practice. This community was formed in December 2011 to promote knowledge sharing and interchange among CII members relative to federal facilities delivery innovations, principles, and best practices. Members of the community include the Smithsonian Institution, Architect of the Capitol, NASA, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Energy. The group was formed when the GSA and Smithsonian Institution approached CII with the idea of a forum to discuss and improve synergies between public and private sector projects.

Tim added, "What Faithful+Gould brings to the group is our robust program management experience – approaches on projects like Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Rolls-Royce Real Estate Portfolio have been discussed as examples of well structured delivery platforms. We are bringing our private sector project experience and perspective to monthly working sessions with the government experts to strategize how things have been done – and how they can be optimized. "The federal agency owners are highly sophisticated and their programs are large with many lessons to be gained by the private sector. This group is a joint exchange of ideas and improvements on both sides."

As we continue to grow our portfolio of federal work, we are getting invaluable insight into where the challenges are on projects, and how we can help solve them. A group of our key members of CII will be participating in the 2013 CII Annual Conference, which will be held in Orlando, FL, July 29-31, 2013, featuring presentations from six research teams.