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Read the Contract

Mark McDonald, from NBBJ, gave an interesting presentation on Tools for Effective IPD. One of the most interesting points to me was his insistence that the entire team read the contract. This is something we are preparing our team for; although, there is some resistance to reading 70+ pages of “lawyer speak” (as one of our modelers says) for each project. We are having the team read all the available IPD and BIM Addendum-like contracts, and then scheduling discussions in order to ready them to read project-specific contacts. Hopefully some exposure to “lawyer speak” will make it easier to read project-specific contracts.

Mark gave several reasons for why the entire team should read the contract, but the most important is that it: defines what it is expected of the team. I agree with this wholeheartedly.

He also said not to worry about company manuals because the contract is the guide; the team should align the tools to the contract. Although I agree that the team’s tools and processes should be aligned to the contract, but I don’t think that company-specific protocols and manuals should be thrown to the wind.

In a more traditional project, company-specific protocols will most likely govern the interaction and process on the project, because the contract probably won’t. And on IPD projects, the team needs to be prepared to hit the ground running, and experience and company standards will facilitate the integration with other project partners. On of the things that both Sarah & I say about working together is that it was easier to develop standards and work together because of our experience with Revit and company standards. We knew that the other had a lot experience and could be trusted.

Obviously company standards do need to be modified to meet contract requirements (or vice versa), but it is critical to have a base standard.

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