Feedback can reach the MSU Way: ECOS steering committee through the online suggestion box. Please feel free to submit your ideas to us either anonymously or with an identifier. All suggestions will be posted as anonymous even if an identifier is given.
Consider a standard practice for bringing the Interior Design staff into all projects early in the process. A plan can be devised regarding the level of service that can be provided for each project early in the design. There may be knowledge and experience that is being ignored only due to the fact that the Interior Design staff is not part of the Physical Plant.
With respect to capital projects (both new buildings and renovations): invest more time in pre-design to identify and document customer needs (“conditions of satisfaction,” “ owner’s project/functional requirements,” etc.), Just-In-Time considerations, lessons learned (which may consist of the post-occupancy evaluations and/or commissioning results), existing building equipment/systems condition assessment and campus infrastructural challenges. It is suggested that this exercise be carried out pre-architect/engineer (A/E) selection with the intent to identify measurable goals from project inception and use them as part of the request for proposal to hire the A/E.
At the onset of the actual project, key partners (internal or external subcontractors) should have a consensus about these items: 1. customer contact for each partner, 2. scope of work for the partner to complete, 3. timeline for that work and 4. budget for that work. It should be clear to all how to communicate or request changes in any of these items (e.g. via the project manager or other).
Rather than continuing to address processes and make improvements in individual units, create change across all units that are involved in a capital project. Where two or more units work together on an aspect of the project, have a task group look at how they interact and come up with processes that work for everyone. An example that should be evaluated is the Campus Infrastructure Planning Work Group (CIPWG) process. In the past, there have been mandated processes re: CIPWG which cause inefficiencies in the project design phase. Any unit that is affected by new processes should be part of the discussion of the processes themselves.
If interior design services offered by the MSU Office of Design and Construction Management are not going to be directly within Physical Plant, consider having an interior design staff member work for the Physical Plant 50 percent of the time to work on capital projects.
Consider having a Physical Plant architect work for Residential and Hospitality Services (RHS) a portion of the time to standardize processes for construction and renovation regardless of whether the building is academic or residential in function.
There are many inefficiencies and redundancies that have been created specifically because the Physical Plant is not responsible for implementing the Skire project management system. The Physical Plant, with staff that is skilled and trained in construction project management, should be implementing the Skire system. Many of the processes that have been designed in Skire are actually causing the Physical Plant to deliver projects more slowly and for higher cost, which is the opposite goal of MSU Way.
If the construction group’s main objective is to take over all projects no matter what size then let’s get that on the table and cut out the bull. Otherwise, let’s concentrate on the capital project process like we should be. Why don’t we discuss the overstaffing that has taken place within the construction group which seems to be the driving factor behind the reason we are looking at maintenance projects?
Help allow the design team at Engineering and Architectural Services to focus more on the design by hiring a specification writer that will peel out spec sections, edit them for content, and prepare them for project delivery.
Develop a knowledge database that can share information between various Physical Plant staff members and/or consultants. Log information by client, consultant, building, project type, and discipline (architecture, mechanic, electric, plumbing, sitework, etc.). This would avoid rediscovering the little nuances about each building for every project, large or small.