Water Design-Build Council Blog

Use Lego for Your Next DB, PDB or CMAR Project

lego-collaborative-delivery.jpgThe collaborative delivery acronym soup is daunting: CMAR, GCCM, CMGC, PDB, FPDB, DBO, DBOF, DBFOMR, P3, PPP...well, you get the picture – string a few letters together and there's a delivery model to match!

This extreme fragmentation and segmentation is often a critical challenge for owners in the current collaborative delivery world.

So, how do you figure out what's best for your next project?

The answer to the question is to use this variety of options to your advantage. When I was a kid, I had a huge tub of Lego pieces. In building my perfect project, I would dig through the tub, scrounging for an exact block. Need a blue, six-by-two with a white flat cap to top off my slightly lopsided recreation of Dodger Stadium? Keep digging.

Finding that piece of perfect plastic at the bottom of the bin was part of the satisfaction of a job well built.

For actual infrastructure owners, the solution is to use the Lego world of collaborative delivery options to your advantage. There has never been a better time in the water and wastewater sector to design and build a project with exactly the right color and shape of blocks.

Consider taking these steps:

  • No 1: Figure out what you truly want and need. Every utility has a unique set of issues, needs and constraints. Spending the time up front to really discuss – and then document – your priorities and needs is critical.

    You don't need to worry about the delivery model at this point because, by starting with your unique set of requirements, you'll define your project first so you can match it to a specific delivery approach later.

  • No. 2: Align your priorities with the available options. Once you’ve identified what's important, you can align your project's components with the letters in all those acronyms mentioned above. Need control of design to support permitting? Add a 'P' from progressive design-build.

    Tired of unpredictable operating expenses or high lifecycle costs? Add an 'O' from design-build-operate. Need some privately-sourced capital to confirm feasibility and jump-start a new idea? Add one of the 'Ps' from public-private-partnerships. If you do this right, you'll end up with your own customized acronym. (Be sure to let us know, so that we can add it to the alphabet soup menu!)

  • No. 3: Be fearless – don't worry about whether it's been done before. This is the hardest part. If you truly line up your unique project with the diversity of options available to you, you will end up with a new collaborative delivery combination. It won't look exactly like what has been done elsewhere.

    Your procurement and legal team will be worried, but don't be afraid. Virtually every component of your approach will have a specific, successful precedent. If you need proof that it's worked elsewhere, we'll help.

And this is where we come back to the Lego bin. You know your needs and you know what various elements of the collaborative delivery spectrum are available to build your success. The right Lego piece is definitely in the bin and the WDBC can help you find the right size and color building block to complete your vision.

  • We'll provide an answer to, "Where has this been done before?" WDBC members have delivered thousands of projects using every conceivable collaborative delivery method. We'll point you to owners who have already set precedent and provide you with legitimate research to help you make your case.

  • We'll give you procurement guidesWe have full templates for CMAR, progressive design-build, and (coming soon) fixed-price design-build procurements. There's nothing that says you can’t mix, match and combine them all for a customized, project-specific solution – a bin of collaborative delivery Lego pieces for your use.

  • We'll reinforce your delivery approach with training and insight. What you want to do has certainly been done before in some shape and form. We can train your staff on the specifics while simultaneously making our membership's collective experience available for your use.

Despite the alphabet soup, it's to your benefit that all of these delivery models exist. Imagine a Lego bin full of white blocks all the same size. What's the fun in that? With a bit of digging in our collaborative delivery bin, you can build anything you want.

P.S., Lego geek note: It's "Lego" without an 's' at the end. It's a copyrighted brand name and that's the right way to say it.haskell-project-spotlight-st-petersburg-fl-blog




Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery