Implications for Open Design and Construct management

Having heard the 'Resident' story, we can establish:

1. To what extent were best practices PII as defined in the ten aspects of Chapter 3 applied in the project?

2. What other management concepts were used that are complementary to our list?

In retrospect, a PII approach can be recognised on the following three aspects.

First, the division of tasks (Aspect 8), which was done by means of role description. Subsequently all members of the team were pointed at their role as a professional, and not at their formal job descriptions. Collaboration on professional roles gave space to mutual adjustments during the design process.

Second, the coordination of tasks (Aspect 9), which was done by means of emphasis on functional performance achieved collectively. The incident with ABP shows how important it is to build confidence and trust in each other that you can rely on for about half a decade. Such confidence and trust will erode if not nourished by new impulses from time to time.

Third, conflict resolution (Aspect 3), which was done by means of synthesis. With so many strong characters, of course, a lot of conflicts had to be resolved.

Table 10.1 Application of best practices in renovation 'De Resident', The Hague



3. Conflict resolution

compromise vs. synthesis


8. Divisions of tasks

job descriptions vs. roles


9. Co-ordination of tasks

project manager's co-ordination vs. mutual adjustment


This was done by always focussing on the content of the matter, in other words: playing the ball, not the person. In this way synthesis was achieved as opposed to a compromise resulting from a power game. The team could focus on quality.

Table 10.1 shows that all ten best practices PII were applied which we consider appropriate for large, complex construction projects. So, our assumption has been confirmed by this case.

Also in this case, some important aspects have to be added to the ten best practices PII of Chapter 3:

1. Selection of key people;

2. Team building;

3. Commitment to a common cause;

4. Ability to turn problems and crises into opportunities.

Commitment to a common cause was crucial when ABP dropped out as a shareholder. The ability to turn a crisis into an opportunity saved the project when the project developer insisted on 'big shots'. Instead of adopting a defensive attitude, the team wholeheartedly accepted the architects from abroad and was prepared to learn from them.

We note that these aspects are the same as those emerging from the case of the chemical plant in Singapore. Apparently, they are absolutely essential for successful Open Design and Construct management of complex construction projects.

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