Many small project teams look at large colocation room setups and think, “Colocation isn’t for us.”
We beg to differ. Although small project teams may not use the same approach and setup, there is still an opportunity for colocation. Tocci recently used colocation on Chelsea Place, a 60,000 SF modular project. Jeremy Garczynski, Assistant Project Manager, and Kirsten Soderlund, VDC Modeler, boiled their success stories and lessons learned in these strategies:
DON’T force large-scale, full-time colocation. On smaller projects, trade partners may not have the budget for a modeler and/or a project manager to colocate full-time. Show that you respect your team members’ time and choose the most valuable times (such as leading up to deliverables) for face-to-face colocation.
DO hold coordination charrettes. Short and dense colocation sessions give j the benefits of colocation without requiring a full-time commitment away from home offices. <b>
DON’T lose focus of the objectives that need to be accomplished during this time. Keep the team focused and making decisions.
DO be mindful of your flexibility. Certain disciplines may not attend all sessions, but there should be a time (say, once a week) when all disciplines are together to work through issues and decrease miscommunication.
DO use web-based meetings and check-ins frequently when you cannot meet face-to-face. This will help keep the team focused and moving forward even when they are not in colocation.
DO incorporate an IT session at the colocation kickoff. Make sure everyone has the appropriate tools to share and collaborate on-site and from their home office.
DO require a modeler and decision-maker (PM) to be present. Even if the modeler is not modeling during colocation, it will help mitigate information loss between working sessions and modeling.
DON’T forget to send out meeting minutes after each colocation session.
DO encourage team members to reach out to each other when they are not colocating. Encourage off-site collaboration through phone calls, video conferencing, WebEx, or other means.