System Requirements for IPD to Flourish

We all know with each release of software the computer system requirements increase.

Our computers must get more powerful as the software does.

And also as the work processes become more collaborative, with more information sharing taking place.

This is certainly the case when working in Building Information Modeling (BIM).

But how about for Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)?

In what ways do we need to grow more powerful as the 64-Bitlike process becomes more open and connected?

  • What is our capacity?
  • What are our limits for understanding and empathy?
  • What are our system requirements for working in BIM and integrated design: for ourselves, our teams and organizations?

Are we going to go through a laborious and time-consuming download of these tools and processes into our own work lives only to discover that we’re missing a key video card equivalent of attitude or mindset?

What system requirements need to be in place for IPD to take place?

  • For an integrated team made up of key stakeholders to gel early and often?
  • For team members to show all their cards, knowledge and expertise concurrently and on many levels?
  • For risk to be collectively managed and mutually shared?

7 Performance Recommendations

Here are the minimum system requirements for IPD to flourish:

1. Collaborative attitude and aptitude

A capacity and willingness to work with others and strong collaborative skills to back it up. Begins with each team member, not the project or at the organization level. Capacity to work compatibly as a team.

2. Discretionary emotional energy and enthusiasm

The passion, excitement and dedication that team members have available to give freely to the project and fellow teammates. Attempts to mandate this will lead to passive-aggressive undermining behavior. More on this here.

3. Authentic presence

Team members exhibit the capacity to maintain an authentic, non-defensive presence throughout the project. Honoring each other’s POV.

4. Climate of openness

Team members commit to telling the truth – and hearing what others have to say, even when it conflicts with one’s own beliefs or findings. Create a safe environment for concerns, issues and problems to be discussed and resolved.

5. Multidisciplinary mindset

Aspire to become a new breed of polymath – not a one trick pony – blending technology (BIM, next-generation analytics, cloud computing, sustainability, social networks,) creativity, innovation, comprehensive building knowledge with a multidisciplinary mindset.

For more on this see my article in the upcoming May/June 2011 Technology issue of DesignIntelligence, BIM Beyond Boundaries

6. Self-awareness

Each team member’s capacity to handle whatever comes their way – stress, challenges, failure. Embrace change.

7. Meaning making

Deliver not just data but meaning.

Process information for others. Not everyone on the team will be as fast an information processor as you (the human USB port.) Discover and deliver data that is relevant to the project and team.

Now it’s your turn: Can you think of any performance requirements not shown here? You’ll do all of us a world of good by letting us know by leaving a comment below.



Filed under BIM, collaboration, Integrated Design, Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, people, process, workflow

7 responses to “System Requirements for IPD to Flourish

  1. So it is the social system requirements just as much as the technical system requirements that require upgrading – Alan

  2. randydeutsch


    Now I wish I had thought of that! Thanks for stopping by and sharing,


  3. To expand on Alan’s comment, all of your requirements require a ‘functional adult’ approach to engaging others and performing work. Too many organizations have an ‘adolescent school-boy’ approach that can be seen through out the company.
    Scott Adams has made a career out of illustrating this in the Dilbert cartoons. We have all sat next to Homer Simpson in high school and university, but now that character is in charge of the company and determined to drive it into the ground.
    -since you asked. 🙂

    • randydeutsch

      While I’m not about to give into your – er, skepticism – I think you’ve touched on an important idea here: that the prolonged adolescence of baby boomers may play a significant role in whether IPD will catch-on or not (or whether boomers will play a role in IPD catching-on.)

      How emotionally/psychologically/psychosocially mature does one have to be developmentally to play well with others in the ever larger sandboxes of IPD? Certainly fodder for another post.

      Thanks for chiming in here!

  4. randydeutsch

    Zigmund Rubel, AIA, a significant contributor to the advancement of Integrated Project Delivery, wrote an excellent piece on this very topic. I urge you to read it if you haven’t already.

    See “IPD Skillsets”

    • Thanks for the link Randy.

      Zigmund’s opening sentence worries me: “IPD … requires a best for project and a best for firm mindset”
      1 – you cannot serve two masters.
      2 – I think IPD needs, and owner’s expect, a best for project mindset.

      Sutter explicity talks about the IPD team as ‘advocates for the project’.


  5. Pingback: BIM and Integrated Design Top 10 Posts for 2011 | BIM + Integrated Design

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