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Auburn University - Design & Construction Services Reorganization/Reengineering

Auburn, Alabama

  INDUSTRY: Higher Education
  SERVICE AREA(S): Performance Analysis; Strategic/Operational Planning; Operations Management

The Challenge

In November 2004, Auburn University approached Draper & Associates for assistance within the Design & Construction Division. The University needed to address inefficiencies within the Division and wanted to conduct a review/reengineering of the major policies and procedures currently in place. Additionally, due to staff turnover, the Director position was vacant and the University was looking for an Interim Director until a permanent replacement could be identified.


The Draper Approach

As part of this engagement, Draper provided a highly skilled and experienced professional Facilities Manager to serve at the Interim Director to reorganize the department and:

  • Define long-term organizational structure of the Department
  • Develop position descriptions for the Department
  • Create Departmental Policies, Processes and Procedures Manual
  • Establish campus design criteria
  • Develop process flows, data formats and communications practices regarding interaction with campus constituents
  • Develop preliminary project plans and budget based on decision framework
  • Address capital renewal/replacement decisions for major building systems

This engagement encompassed a broad range of leadership, administrative, managerial and organizational functions. The Draper Senior Consultant, assigned as the Interim Director, replaced two previous Director positions - Design Department and Construction Department - and was charged with merging these two separate departments into a single, cohesive Design & Construction Services Department, while Auburn University conducted a search and hired a permanent Director.


Results Realized

The Draper Interim Director organized and managed the newly formed (less than 100 positions) Design & Construction Services Department while simultaneously executing approximately $150 million in active projects. Concurrent with this effort, he created and/or revised, documented and implemented new and improved design and construction procedures and processes.

An interim reorganization of existing positions was implemented by the end of December 2004, and the final reorganization of the merged Department, proposed by Draper, was officially accepted and implemented on April 15, 2005 .

Draper played a key role in the development of the position description of the permanent Director and helped identify prospective qualified candidates. As of September 30, 2005 , the search process was still ongoing.

To help achieve the desired operational improvements in Auburn 's Design & Construction Department, Draper oversaw the compilation and issuance of a Design & Construction Process and Procedures Manual for the Department in late August 2005, followed by staff training conducted in September 2005.

The Manual consists of the following general outline, referencing the Alabama Building Commission (ABC) Manual, as required:

  • Departmental Mission
  • Project Management Procedures - Sections for both Small Projects & Large Projects
    • Planning & Programming
    • Project Initiation
    • Budget Preparation
    • Design Phase Administration (Schematic's, DD's, CD's)
    • Solicitation Phase including Bid and Negotiation
    • Contract Preparation & Execution
    • Construction Phase Administration (preconstruction, construction, commissioning)
    • Project Close-out
    • Payment Application Processing
    • Document and File Management
    • Figures (including checklists and forms)

This Manual promulgates approved D&CS procedures for interfacing with Campus Planning & Space Management and for management of the design and construction administration processes for capital improvements projects at Auburn University . Additionally, this Manual provides guidance on contract/code compliance requirements, project management administration protocols, workable business processes, and appropriate means and methods for the oversight of design and construction projects.




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