October 17, 2022

Seventy-two per cent of construction projects experienced delays according to a survey of more than 40,000 global Project Management Professionals in 2020. In addition, 70 per cent encountered scope creep and 73 per cent of projects ended over budget. 

The survey also highlighted that for every $1 billion spent, $127 million is wasted, with 9 out of 10 mega-projects experiencing overruns that result in claims and disputes.

According to Richard Kimber, DPR Managing Director for Singapore and Southeast Asia, and also a Project Management Institute (PMI) global expert, PMI’s vision for global construction is “Advancing the project economy through reskilling and upskilling of project managers across the globe and addressing the key challenges faced by skill shortages.”

There is a mindset in the construction industry that risk needs to be borne by the contractor rather than allocate the risk to the party in the best position to manage and control it. There needs to be a move away from the traditional design-hard bid-build delivery model that does not promote collaboration, innovation and constructability. Too often, there is a rush to build and many lump sum projects experience scope gaps, cost overruns and schedule delays.

Kimber said: “It is important to engage the general contractor at the same time as the design team and explore design-build projects. Then, the contractor is involved in constructability reviews and target value design, thus avoiding the ‘design, then price’ situation where it is common to find a project which is over budget and needs certain specifications to be cut.”

Going beyond design-build, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) in the construction industry is gaining in popularity. The agreement between at least the owner, primary designer and primary builder allows early conceptualisation of the project and seeks to reduce errors and waste as well as minimise redesign problems. Each party’s success is therefore directly tied to the performance of the other team members.

DPR has been one of the early adopters of working under an IPD agreement. As a result, its construction experience has helped pioneer the way for increasing the use of IPD in the industry, particularly in the U.S.

DPR was part of a working group to create a platform for contracting IPD projects and helped develop Consensus Docs 300, which is a standard multiparty IPD agreement.  This document has been in use for approximately 10 years and was initially developed for healthcare projects.

“Working collaboratively under a traditional project delivery approach becomes more difficult as uncertainty and project complexity increases. At DPR, we have found great success in unlocking creativity, driving reliability, successfully delivering complex capital projects and delivering predictable outcomes using the IPD method. The lessons learned in the U.S. can absolutely be applied in Singapore,” commented Kimber.

DPR’s focus on upskilling, staff training and continual improvement via access to learning and development platforms aligns with the PMI vision.  

Kimber added: “At DPR, we are always looking at better ways of working together as a team of teams to drive the industry forward and improve project delivery with greater efficiency and more predictability.”