I have found that the app simplifies organizing the information whether a seemingly simple decision or an obviously complex one. Better yet, it guides people to use CBA correctly without having to think much about the technique itself. The software allows for continuous iteration and reflection on your decision.
The Boldt Company, founded in 1889, is an ENR top 100 company. They are one of the leading companies in the application of Lean Construction and have been on their lean journey for two decades. They are known in the Lean Construction community as innovators in Integrated Lean Project Delivery (ILPD™), takt-time planning, built-in- quality, safety, and Choosing By Advantages (CBA) Decisionmaking. Boldt vice president, John Koga, was an early adopter of CBA and introduced it to the lean construction community. In this case study we will show how Boldt used Paramount Decisions on one of many complex multimillion-dollar projects.
Boldt is working with a confidential client on a large-scale industrial project. The project for Boldt includes constructing the new facility, installing the manufacturing equipment, and coordinating the storage and delivery of the equipment. Materials for the project were planned to arrive from many places. As information accumulated, Boldt calculated that 2 to 3 acres of additional space would be needed, much of it enclosed and controlled. The project site itself did not provide enough room and was found to have other constraints. Following lean practices, Boldt had planned to pre-assemble and kit parts of the project but needed room.
Boldt needed to decide between different on-site and off-site temporary storage solutions. At the height of the project, Boldt will have several hundred people working on the project. The decision will have a large impact in both the dollar amount and the people affected. The client was in control of finding space and for several months had been using standard “search and investigate” practices. Given the range of potential locations found, the variety of stakeholders, many different factors, and range of costs, Boldt managers decided to use CBA to compare them. As an enterprise customer of Paramount Decisions, they used the software to make this decision.
Using Paramount Decisions
When comparing possible solutions for this project, the production manager at Boldt began with four viable storage locations. Since no single storage solution could satisfy the square footage requirements, they had to combine some of these options together. In the end, Boldt had described 8 unique combinations.
After they defined the alternatives, John worked with the team to identify the various factors and criteria that were important for this project. Here are examples of factors used in their analysis:
1. Floor area
3. Clear height
4. Controlled environment
6. Unloading ease
7. Zone gridding
As a few of these alternatives were added into Paramount Decisions, some new ideas occurred. For example, could a “temporary” building become a “permanent” building and provide future benefit? Would a landowner like to have a building built for them and allow it to be used during construction?
Furthermore, as the analysis was occurring, the client found additional sites. These along with their attributes were easily added on the app. It was also easy to re-anchor to the least preferred attribute in each factor, re-describe advantages and re-weigh the importance of all advantages. The app helped to keep the information clear and readable.
Koga remarked, “The Paramount Decisions app supports going to gemba. Before going to gemba you can know what you are looking for. Determining the factors and criteria allowed us to ask clearer questions. Some of the alternatives were eliminated when the team visited the locations and this process forced better discussions earlier. I worked with the production manager and was able to crank out the information quickly.” Using the reports generated by the software, the manager understood the logic and moved forward.
Koga added, “I have found that the app simplifies organizing the information whether a seemingly simple decision or an obviously complex one. Better yet, it guides people to use CBA correctly without having to think much about the technique itself. The software allows for continuous iteration and reflection on your decision. When you get a new idea for an alternative or a factor, you can easily make the adjustments in the software. Things that are difficult for some with Excel can be completed easily with Paramount. It also contains some nice features like being able to customize the cost categories. And I really like that collaborators can be added to participate and that all of the changes are documented without losing information. I have encouraged all of our group presidents and vice presidents to use Paramount for their projects as well as the project managers that I work with on a regular basis.”
In the last year, Boldt users have used Paramount Decisions to make over $20 million worth of decisions. Some of their decisions involved: pre-construction, logistics, marketing, operations, and IT investment. Boldt’s IT department has used Paramount to evaluate software purchases and having a Paramount Decisions CBA report for major capital investment decisions is more frequent. With Paramount Decisions they save time, money, and frustration. The structured approach of the software and the automatically generated reports save between 1 to 3 days of work per decision. Value engineering and Target Value Delivery is now easier to apply because all the stakeholders can see the advantages and cost of the alternatives. This allows them to make transparent, collaborative decisions.