Utilizing Design Integration Services on a New Corporate Headquarters for Major Silicon Valley Client

Utilizing Design Integration Services on a New Corporate Headquarters for Major Silicon Valley Client

Whiting-Turner invited us to be part of their proposal for a new corporate headquarters for a major Silicon Valley client. We provided a proposal to provide Design Integration services, including Last Planner, Sound Decision-Making, and Project Intelligence. The Whiting-Turner Proposal was accepted, and we began work with the team.

The client desired a strong design statement with their new flagship campus so had recruited Bjark Ingalls Group and Healtherwick Studios as lead designers with Adamson as the local architect. The team worked out of a big room located on the build site and included owner, architect, builder, owner representative, consulting engineers, and various specialty consultants.

The Challenge

Due to the scale of the project, there were three distinct teams: Site, Canopy, and Interior Spaces. Each team was made up of local and traveling team members. Each team was substantially over the target budget, and redesign was affecting the overall schedule. We set out to implement Last Planner as a means of bringing the project back under budget and on schedule.

The Process

BA coached the teams in the elements of the Last Planner System including reliable promising, pull planning, and team work planning. Initially, the team implemented a pared down version of the BA Way design process including the following management and control components:

  • Milestone and phase planning – the team utilized pull planning at critical points in the project to plan upcoming phases. tasks identified in the Pull Plan were input into BIM 360 for digital tracking.
  • Team Bi-Weekly Work planning – the team met with the BA facilitator bi-weekly to review tasks live in BIM 360. Team members reported on progress on tasks and worked together to resolve schedule impacts. The intent was to start with the basics, and then implement more elements as the team learned the system.

The Results

The three teams produced varying levels of success. The Site team, who most fully embraced the coaching, were able to integrate major design changes in the final stages of design and still submit for permit review per the original schedule.

The Canopy and Interior Spaces teams resisted the coaching and continued to struggle with both budget and schedule up until the point that the BA team disengaged at the end of the design phases.

Lessons Learned

The lean Coaches struggled to get true engagement with the team due to three main factors:

Late introduction to the project. When the lean coaches were brought into the project, a majority of the design work had been done. The teams had been operating in their own system for a substantial amount of time, and it was difficult to change gears in the middle of the process.
RECOMMENDATION: engage early.

Limited access to the team. The project did not allocate the time or funds to allow the lean coaches to be substantially available to the team. By not being readily accessible for day-today coaching and adjusting, the coaches became glorified record keepers, and were not utilized as resources.
RECOMMENDATION: Coaches need to be regularly accessible to teams.

No directive from the client. The lean coaches were engaged at the recommendation of the contractor, and the directive to change the standard processes did not come from the Major Silicone Valley Client. This made it difficult for the designers to see value in changing their legacy methods.
RECOMMENDATION: any major change requires directive & support from the team and the client.