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The Role of Leadership in Integrated Project Delivery Case Study



Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is a modern project design method that makes use of the synergized capabilities of different work groups in a manner that will create higher productivity, minimize waste, reduce expenses and maximize quality of the final product.

This kind of a working structure involves a greater variety of team players in the decision making process and thus a high level of common trust and understanding is needed to steer progress. For a leader in charge of such an organization, the ability to keep the interests of individual members and the entire team synchronized plays a significant role.

In this paper, I shall review the effectiveness of such leadership in IPD by assessing Phil Bernstein’s experience of working on the Autodesk Inc Headquarters project. This paper takes into account the positive and negative sides of his chosen style of leadership and his management decisions. Based on this assessment, I shall then give my own preferred approach to handling the project.


Given the dynamic industry expectations for new project designs, we note that most clients expect a high degree of innovation for each project. Bernstein’s team was bent on proving that IPD (Integrated Project Delivery), BIM (Business Information Modeling) and sustainability would give them the edge over other building companies.

In IPD, the level of complexity in building projects is accommodated by the advancement of new building technologies (Hobbs, 2008). To harness this, a collective and intensified effort is required. I would thus propose the mission statement. Fostering quality project delivery through integrated industry networks.


Phil managed to maintain a good working relation between all teams involved. The choice to ask Chris’s engineering group to head over to Cambridge was not only critical in staying on course with schedule but created a spirit of collaboration towards the project’s completion. Another key move in Phil’s leadership was instilling the right working principles amongst team members.

As opposed to working for the sole interests of individual firms, all participants were encouraged to view the success of the project as their own success. This kind of mind set allowed them to get over conflicting issues such as the contingency cost matter.

The project team scored highly on quality. Given the short project deadline they still managed to stick to technologies that produced exceptional results. This can be seen by the high score of that the building received from an independent evaluator (+1.76). The highest average score came from the aesthetics which were rated as substantially better than comparable projects in the industry.

This was a result of Phil’s decision to stick with Autodesk’s Corporate Real Estate design prescriptions. Part of these requirements were the 35 additional workstations that Bernstein managed to pull all working partners in the project to deliver within the limited time.

The creative implementation of BIM technology was a hallmark achievement for Bernstein. He managed to use his technical team to convert the 2D designs produced by the furniture vendors into 3D version thus maintaining a singular working language for all teams.

They also posted images of the BIM within the site environment for construction workers who didn’t have laptops. This was a critical enforcement of clear communication pathways between the implementation and management teams (Applied Software, n.d).


Despite Phil Bernstein’s enormous effort in delivering a remarkable outcome from the project work, there were a number of shortcomings that could have cost the team.

A number of issues concerning the costing of contingencies arose when scope modifications were made to the project. A conflict emerged on how savings from these modifications would be handled.

Some of the working groups, (KlingStubbins and Tocci) expected that they would be included in the contingency sums. Unfortunately, the cost was taken to be a saving. If the matter had been cleared out before hand by Bernstein, it would have prevented the possibility of conflict from the IPD teams.

Another potential hindrance to the successful completion of the project would have been the lack of a common understanding with vendors. There is always a need for mutual cooperation towards mutual benefit in IPD (Environmental Building News, 2012)

The first issue that came up was that of the Customer Briefing Center ceiling. The team had not expected that their millwork contractor would have chosen to go into non-disclosure of his pricing structure. On the other hand, it took the project management team too much time (3 months) to find out that the vendor was not going to work within the budget allocation of the project.

One of the essential principles of integrated project delivery is the open exchange of data with the aid of transparent structures and technology (AIA California Council, 2007). The value of maintaining the project cost at a minimum is always higher for any project management team and so more cost effective methods had to be sought.

My Project Plan

A lot of innovative alterations to the project sequence were made in order to keep up with the deadline. My approach to unforeseen time lags would be quite similar only that it would have resolute control systems. These would include a set of implementation documents that clearly define what can and what cannot be changed in the course of construction (Construction Specifications Institute, 2011 ).

For instance, in the case concerning the choice of window shades, I would have a set slack time in which the choice had to be finalized. If no conclusive agreement is reached, an internal decision by the most suited authority in this area of the project work and I as the project manager would have to prevail.

I would also have had proper costing information from all contracted material vendors. Details on the final expected fee for materials would have a bearing on the contingency fund set at the commencement of the project. Therefore, such details would have to be covered during the tendering stage.

Being a common phenomenon, scope changes need to be addressed by specifying a universal policy at the onset of the project. Such a policy creates confidence in all working groups involved in an IPD based project. We can already see that this was Phil’s resolve later on when he realized that the scope reduction interfered with the overall compensation plan.


AIA California Council. (2007). A Working Definition: Integrated Project Delivery. Web.

Applied Software (n.d). Integrated Project Delivery – The next generation of construction optimization. Retrieved from

Construction Specifications Institute (2011). CSI Project Delivery Guide. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Environmental Building News (2008). Integrated Project Delivery: A Platform for Efficient Construction. Environmental Building News, 17(11), n.p.

Hobbs, J. (2008, March 12). Integrated Project Delivery pulls together people, systems, business structures and practices. Daily Commercial News. Web.

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"The Role of Leadership in Integrated Project Delivery." IvyPanda, 19 Dec. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-leadership-in-integrated-project-delivery-case-study/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Role of Leadership in Integrated Project Delivery." December 19, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-leadership-in-integrated-project-delivery-case-study/.


IvyPanda. "The Role of Leadership in Integrated Project Delivery." December 19, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-leadership-in-integrated-project-delivery-case-study/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "The Role of Leadership in Integrated Project Delivery." December 19, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-leadership-in-integrated-project-delivery-case-study/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Role of Leadership in Integrated Project Delivery'. 19 December.

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