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Texas A&M University System Facilities Planning and Construction Closeout Process Improvement

Starting Position

Mindstream was engaged by Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) leadership to assess its Facilities Planning and Construction (FPC) department, which was responsible for managing new capital construction projects at TAMUS’ eleven universities and seven state agencies across Texas. In fiscal year 2012, FPC managed a construction program of $204.4 million. The goal of the assessment was to reduce the cost of new construction.

Assessment

Our initial review of department organization and services indicated issues with how the department closed out construction projects. Capital construction closeout includes the steps after substantial completion of a new construction project, such as

moving into a building

closing the construction account

returning any remaining money to the institution

paying all vendors

Construction closeout costs had been a source of concern for several years for TAMUS member institutions.

Findings

Our assessment showed that the construction closeout process was ill-defined and poorly understood by member institutions, causing new construction projects to close in an ineffective and untimely manner. This resulted in:

Expenditures that were not prioritized – or did not add value at all

A large number of acceptance issues, which created intense customer dissatisfaction

Ineffective and inefficient load balancing within the department, as FPC personnel struggled to manage new projects while continuing to deal with projects that should have been closed

Our detailed five-year analysis of construction closeout processes indicated that contract change requests made after substantial completion were driving cost overruns. In fact, member institution requests comprised most of those costs.

Recommendations

Our team gave TAMUS detailed recommendations to:

Implement a policy to dramatically reduce non-value-add expenditures at the end of project

Enhance project management by using appropriate software tools for project control and cost containment

Improve process management by standardizing processes and eliminating wasteful steps

Impact

Following Mindstream recommendations substantially reduced change requests by 34.6% and cut costs by approximately $9.2 million over two fiscal years.

 

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