Standardized precon outline saves time

District 1 design-construct groups used their winter “downtime” to bring consistency to a common construction event just ahead of the summer season.

Preconstruction conferences, often shortened to just precons, are required for every project.

“They signify the kickoff of a project, and it’s a milestone for submittals from contractors,” said project manager Chance Cole. “It’s a good time to go over the project’s schedule, what’s expected, and to invite outside groups like emergency services and utilities.”

Although they are mandatory, what is covered during precons has historically varied from project to project. Formatting and listing topics in accordance with regulations can make drafting the agenda an hours-long process.

“We developed a standardized template to make sure every time that we’re covering the content we need to and covering it in a consistent manner,” said Shannon Stein, a project manager for D1's other design-construct group.

The two groups collected several examples from D1 and other districts, and referred to the construction administration manual to organize and format a new template, complete with color coding to reflect different project types. The new template was presented at a district-wide, post-construction download in February to allow project managers to start using the new tool.

Mason Palmer had one of the first chances to use the template, simply summarizing it as “useful.”

Stein shared that others told her it cut prep work in half for their precons.
Now the group* plans to bring a construction toolbox to ProjectWise. It will contain items that aren’t necessarily ITD forms but are commonly needed for projects, such as budget spreadsheets, letters of approval, checklists, etc.

“The main theme is to capture the quality products developed by our most experienced project managers and to make them easy to share with others,” Stein said.

The toolbox may take another few months to put together, but the precon template is available now.

*Contributors to the precon outline and the toolbox include Chance Cole, Shannon Stein, Roman Lara, Randy Durland, GiAnne Householter, Joel Heston and Rob Nettleton.

Published 05-03-19