Want to learn more about Lean Construction, visit the Lean Construction Blog. See more...

Hathaway Dinwiddie

How Hathaway Dinwiddie Uses Paramount Decisions to Help Clients Through Important Project Decisions

We now have a defined process to make informed decisions and have confidence in the workflow. We know that as we work through the steps in Paramount Decisions, we will be able to reach consensus in our decisions.

I spoke with Robert Norman and Brian Moon from Hathaway Dinwiddie today. Hathaway is an ENR top 60 general contractor based in California. They have been in business for over 100 years and have built many iconic projects in San Francisco and Southern California including the Transamerica building and Getty Center.

Robert and Brian have been using Paramount Decisions for just over 6 months and I wanted to do an interview about their experiences with the software so far. Robert is a project executive at the Hathaway and has been working in the construction industry for 30 years. Brian is a BIM manager at Hathaway. He has been working in the industry for 11 years in various roles ranging from project engineer, BIM engineer, preconstruction manager, estimator, and regional BIM manager.

How are you using Paramount Decisions? Tell us some examples of decisions that you have used the software on.

Brian: I have used Paramount Decisions on several projects. Before the project starts, the design team needs to consider different structural types: concrete, steel, and wood. This process allows us to work with the architect, owners, and MEP trades to understand the advantages and the cost of each option.

On a renovation project with a prominent university owner, we used Paramount Decisions to evaluate different options for the window restoration. The client was able to see the cost and advantages of the alternatives. After completing the CBA and evaluating all the options, the owner elected to go with a slightly higher cost option that delivered the best aesthetic value. They chose the more aesthetically pleasing option and knew exactly where their money was going.

What problem does Paramount Decisions solve for you?

Robert: The software allows us to work more collaboratively with our partners. We are able to focus on the positive aspects of the decisions. It is easy to use, allows us to solve problems more efficiently, and gives us a better overall solution.

How did you do your work before PD? How do you do your work with PD?

Brian: Before the software we used an Excel sheet for decision-making and generating A3s. The Paramount Decisions process is more robust and allows us to remove bias from our decision-making process. The step by step process takes more time the first time around but as we use it more often it speeds up our group decisions. It also offers more structure to the process. As people add in factors, criteria, and attributes to the decisions, you are able to know their thought-process. This allows us to know explicitly people’s point of view in a way that was difficult before.

Robert: Even if the owner does not require it, we are still doing it ourselves because of the benefits of the process. We now have a defined process to make informed decisions and have confidence in the workflow. We know that as we work through the steps in Paramount Decisions, we will be able to reach consensus in our decisions.

Can you talk about your experience getting introduced to Paramount Decisions? Prior to using Paramount Decisions, have you heard about Choosing By Advantages before?

Brian: I first learned about Choosing By Advantages when I was introduced to Paramount Decisions. Before Paramount Decisions, I have used an A3 format on Excel that was not based on CBA.

Robert: I have heard about CBA at a previous LCI Congress. One of our clients in the biotech industry has been speaking a lot about CBA and the benefits of using it. I have been interested in learning how to effectively apply CBA on my projects and was curious when I first heard about Paramount Decisions.

How has Paramount Decisions affected the way you work with clients?

Robert: I think the main thing for us is that it gives us a path to facilitate decision making and a permanent record. A year from now we will have documentation on how and why we made a decision.

What do you like the most about Paramount Decisions?

Brian: For me it changed my thought process. I like that the cost is in the last part of the decision. We can go through the factors and criteria portion before speaking about cost which allows us to be more creative and better understand the value of each of the options.

Robert: I really liked the dropdown tooltip in each step. When I get stuck in a step that I am on, I turn to the tool tip and tutorial videos. They help me along the process. It’s like having a personal guide in the decision-making process.

Would you use Paramount Decisions on your next project?

Robert: We are using this on all of our projects that need a decision-making process. We are using it on Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and non-IPD projects. One project that we using this on is a design-build project. I think that this can work on any project. More collaborative projects such as IPD and Design-Build can definitely benefit from using Paramount Decisions.

What are your key takeaways from the process?

Brian: This process makes all the decision-maker active and not passive. It allows the decision-makers to get a better sense of the problems.

Robert: Bringing people into the decision-making process is key and Paramount Decisions provides a means for doing so.

You and your team will make better decisions with Paramount Decisions