April 25, 2014

DPR Special Services Group (SSG) incorporates Self-Performed Work (SPW) in just about all of our projects. Why do we do that? The obvious benefits often cited are: time, budget, quality and safety. But there’s another dimension to SPW, a single defining idea that holds together the process and makes it a golden strategy for project success. That aspect is, in a word, communication.

We’re continually interested in innovative approaches to improving work method. Over the years, we’ve discovered that SPW can help the process in making jobs run smoother, by opening up and facilitating the channels of communication, as it monitors the interactions and intersections of every trade at work on a job. It turns out that high awareness and connection can both improve project completion, not to mention client satisfaction. As we have evolved our understanding of how this happens, we’ve experienced excellent results. Managing relationships definitely improves performance.

Classically, benefits in time can result. Owing to improved lines of communication, there is less wait for biddable documents.  Early estimating, logistics and scheduling means work starts earlier in the field. SSG and SPW are perfectly suited for projects that require completion on the fast-track.  Adjustments are made quickly to compensate for changes in conditions and scope of work. The size of teams can grow or shrink according to need. We more effectively stay on-track for delivery dates with everyone in the communication loop.

Budgets are more closely monitored because SPW engages the design team earlier than it traditionally occurs in projects. This allows greater influence in the project outcome. It translates into efficiencies and savings, among them smarter production details and the ability to specify cost-saving alternative materials.

It’s no accident that a safe workplace contributes to the overall success of a project. We find that our crews working onsite provide a consistent reminder of the company’s high expectations as they interact with other subcontractors. These teams also serve as an extra set of eyes on the project site. Despite the urban myth that safety means a sacrifice in productivity, DPR has found that with proper planning, production increases as jobsite safety increases.

You can easily quantify the benefits of SPW in time, budget, quality and safety. And it’s true that SPW improves the client experience. But the core concept of how it works comes down to simple relationship building.  It is no coincidence that relationship-building is a core tenet of DPR philosophy. The beauty of SPW is that it succeeds by promoting a commonality of goals, heightened communication and a great result for our clients.

SPW Photo Courtesy of David Cox