The Challenge

Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center (SMC) is building two towers, one each for inpatient and outpatient services, to improve its facilities. The $1.1 billion project includes demolishing a significant part of the existing facility, requiring tenants—clinics, labs, and other facilities—to move. Some teams would move to temporary spaces, and others to their new permanent homes, but all the moves had complex interdependencies. SMC asked Point B Property Development for help with planning, design and construction phasing and scheduling.  

Stakeholders Working Together

Our first challenge was to enable communication between stakeholders from very diverse viewpoints. We assembled a team to focus on the disparate issues.

Our project lead is an architect who has led teams through transition and strategic thinking, and with our broad reach as a consultancy, we have access to experts from healthcare, lean process improvement and construction.

Creating a Work-Back Schedule

When we began working with the team, we discovered that while they thought they could complete the work by November 2016, once all the dependencies were taken into account, it became clear that they would miss their deadline by six months.

We used pull planning techniques, working backward from SMC’s target date to understand the current state and to create a schedule to get the job done as close as possible to their desired date. We identified critical success factors in the project plan so they could orchestrate workflows.

By working together, we were able to unravel the interdependencies behind all the moving parts, identifying issues with the milestones, phasing and implementation.

After that, we worked with stakeholders to reorder the projects and re-scope them. Then we found alternative solutions that would enable SMC to get close to meeting its November deadline. All dependencies—not just design and construction—were reflected in the project plan.

Developing Tools to Ensure Success

Working with the key stakeholders, we identified obstacles that could delay the project and course-corrected before they became issues. We also developed a reporting tool that monitors progress and assigns responsibility for each task. By creating a Smart Sheet application, everyone can see the status of each project and make sure they’re on schedule. We’re providing process oversight that helps SMC monitor progress and identify any outliers that may impede progress. SMC will now meet its deadline.

Image courtesy of Perkins+Will.