Project Risk

Leverage Process Standards to Improve Project Consistency

Why create standards?

Standards are important tools an organization can use to improve consistency and predictability, ultimately reducing operational risk. Creating process standards is important for a number of reasons:

  • Consistency: Process standards help to ensure that processes are executed consistently across different projects, departments or locations. This can help to reduce errors and improve the quality of products and services.
  • Efficiency: Process standards can help to streamline processes, making them more efficient and reducing the amount of time and resources required to complete them.
  • Compliance: Process standards can help organizations to meet regulatory requirements and ensure compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Best Practices: Process standards are a starting spot, allowing your team to iterate thoughtfully. They help organizations to adopt best practices and industry standards, which can help to improve overall performance and quality.
  • Training: Process standards can be used as a training tool for new employees, making it easier for them to understand and follow established processes.
  • Continuous improvement: Process standards provide a framework for measuring and analyzing process performance, which can be used to identify areas for improvement.
  • Communication: Process standards help to communicate the organization's expectations and requirements to all employees, making it easier for them to understand their roles and responsibilities.
  • Reduced  risk: Process standards help to reduce the risk of mistakes and errors, which can save time, money and reputation.

You want to be sure project risks and uncertainties are well understood, quantified and reflected in your risk register, schedule and cost estimate. Then you can put in place robust mitigation strategies, addressing resources, times and cost contingencies.


How to get started creating standards?

Creating process standards can be a complex task, but there are a few key steps you can take to get started:

  1. Identify and prioritize areas of standards needed. This can be from small sets of standards like document storage to business fundamentals like data hand-off from preconstruction to project management.
  2. Define the scope and purpose of the standards. This will help to ensure that the standards are focused and relevant.
  3. Identify the stakeholders. Determine who will be impacted by the standards and involve them in the process. This will help to ensure that the standards are aligned with the needs of the organization and its stakeholders.
  4. Gather existing standards. Review existing standards and guidelines within your organization and industry to identify best practices and to avoid duplicating effort.
  5. Analyze current processes. Analyze the current processes to identify areas for improvement and opportunities for standardization.
  6. Develop the standards. Develop the standards using a structured approach, such as using a standard template, to ensure they are clear, concise and easy to follow.
  7. Review and test the standards. Review and test the standards to ensure they are effective, accurate and easy to implement.
  8. Communicate and train. Communicate the standards to all employees and provide training as needed to ensure they understand and can follow the standards. Use a commonly accessible location, like the software Notion, to store standards so that employees can easily reference them.
  9. Monitor and review. Monitor compliance with the standards. Set a regular review period, and update them as needed to ensure they remain relevant and effective.

It's important to remember that creating process standards is an ongoing process, and that regular review and updates are necessary to ensure they remain relevant and effective.


How to get your team on board? 

To get your team aligned with new process standards, you should first clearly communicate the reasons for the changes and the benefits they will bring. Provide training and resources to help team members understand and implement the new standards. Encourage open communication and feedback to address any concerns or challenges. It is also important to lead by example and consistently demonstrate the desired behavior. Regularly review and measure the effectiveness of the new standards, and make adjustments as needed. Finally, recognize and reward team members who demonstrate adherence to the new standards.


What are the first standards I should create to impact preconstruction?

Good preconstruction process standards can vary depending on the specific project and industry, but some common standards include:

  1. Clear project definition and scope: Develop a detailed project scope template and definition that outlines the project objectives, deliverables, and timelines.
  2. Strong project management. Establish a robust project management process that includes regular project reviews, progress reports, and change management procedures.
  3. Strong project management. Establish a robust project management process that includes regular project reviews, progress reports, and change management procedures.
  4. Effective communication. Develop clear communication channels and protocols that allow all stakeholders to stay informed and provide input throughout the preconstruction phase.
  5. Comprehensive cost estimating. How do you create accurate and detailed cost estimates that account for all project expenses, including labor, materials, and contingencies?
  6. Thorough risk management. Identify and evaluate potential risks associated with the project, and develop mitigation strategies to minimize their impact.
  7. Quality control. Implement quality control procedures that ensure the project is designed and built according to the specifications and standards.
  8. Scheduling. How do you develop a detailed construction schedule that outlines the project milestones, timelines, and critical path?
  9. Compliance. Ensure that all aspects of the project comply with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards.
  10. BIM. Using BIM can help ensure all stakeholders are on the same page and can help identify potential issues     early on.
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