Best Practices: Achieving Scale through Standardization


Next up in our best practices series is Standardization

Achieving Scale through Standardization 

With the recent growth in construction, we’ve seen building designs become increasingly sophisticated and complex, with greater emphasis placed on sustainability and energy efficiency. We’ve also seen an increased level of focus on Commissioning (Cx) as a critical component of the overall process. 

While expectations are high for Cx Providers (CxP), margins and room for error are low. Systematizing your best practices and processes will not only allow you to scale your business to take advantage of the expected growth in construction, but it will also help you reduce inefficiency and meet the high expectations of the building owners. 

Standardization of building systems and equipment tracking and verification can 

  • Increase productivity by providing repeatable processes across projects and teams
  • Reduce mistakes and re-work by eliminating manual data entry and transfer
  • Improve communication and collaboration by creating a single source of information
  • Provide greater access to and availability of project status data for decision making

A Systematic Approach to Cx

Cx involves not only the Cx Provider (CxP) but also the building owner, contractors, A&E teams, O&M personnel, and others. It also effectively runs the duration of the project – from design through turnover and warranty reviews. So, having a plan that everyone is aligned to from the beginning that maps well to the owner’s project requirements is a great first step. Ensuring, however, that you can successfully execute that plan requires setting the project up right from the start. 

CxPs often have a systematic approach based on particular types of projects. Taking that approach and standardizing it not only on paper but within the technology systems supporting the project will help ensure alignment across participants. Whether it’s checklists, tests, inspections, reviews, etc., having these elements standardized across project types and teams improve transparency, collaboration, and outcomes. 

Standardization allows you to incorporate your lessons learned into future projects, improving quality and speed of delivery. It also provides a template, so teams are not reinventing the proverbial wheel for every project. It’s important to remember, though, that standards are not static, and as the teams learn, standard workflows and templates can and should be updated or changed. Incorporating lessons learned is a big part of the value of standardization. It allows teams to scale and accelerate their work. 

Getting Started: A Task-based Approach 

At Facility Grid, we use a task-based approach to standardizing projects. Through this approach, when you create a workflow, you are able to create groups of activities and monitor their progress. It makes it easier to see the progression of assets and systems in a building toward “readiness.” 

Once you’ve built and proved an approach works for a project or building type, you can standardize it and pass not only that knowledge on to the rest of the organization but also the actual libraries of templates, tests, checklists, etc..  This makes future projects more efficient and helps teams deliver quality results. 

Additional Resources

To learn more about Facility Grid’s task-based process, we invite you to watch our previous Discovery Hour: Using Tasks for Maximum Benefit in Facility Grid. Also, join us August 16 for a review and discussion of all the best practices in our webinar, Survival of the Fittest: Best Practices Webinar.