Sounds great on paper. How do we put this concept into action?
- Show the way. During the proposal and interview process, and certainly at the initial meeting with the Owner, talk to them about innovation and how you can work together to achieve it. Use inclusive terms like "we" and "our" to refer to the project and the team. Structure design meetings as interactive brainstorming sessions instead of presentations.
- Get everyone involved. Encourage department staff s well as leaders and administration to speak up. Conduct field observations and surveys of user groups. If the contractor is on board early, structure time for their input on means and methods or cost/benefit analysis as part of every team meeting. Use the resources of the entire team to look at ideas in terms of life cycle costs not just project costs.
- Never stop asking "what if?" You've heard that the only bad questions are those that don't get asked. Never accept anything as unchangeable. Everything can be improved to better adapt to the unique circumstances of the project. Challenge the team to criticize and comment on every idea.