Tocci Takeaways from Howard W. Ashcraft, Jr. IPD Lecture

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Last Thursday, Tocci hosted it’s first in a quarterly series of lectures focusing on innovative and transformative ideas within the AEC industry. We were lucky enough to kick the whole thing off with a very insightful lecture by the pioneer of the IPD contract, Howard W. Ashcraft, Jr. of Hanson and Bridgett, LLP. Presenting to a packed house, Mr. Ashcraft went over the core foundations of what makes an IPD project a success, citing examples of both large and small projects, as well as dispelling common myths of IPD. Stay tuned for the full video presentation. For the meantime, these are a few of the takeaways from Tocci employees:

Struck with his team building info—

–trust is primary
–it takes relationship to build trust
–importance of face-to face time in order to communicate better—so much is implied or non-verbal in communication

Idea of how info will be communicated within a team

–decisions, in person
–confirmations, by email
–meeting schedule changes, over the phone

After 4 years team lose efficacy.  Argues for re-configurations.

The importance of ownership—teams should be broken down into small chunks and given the responsibility to accomplish a specific goal.
Teams don’t need as much hierarchy as they often have.
Get rid of people who are not necessary—they clog up progress
Roles must be clearly defined

Challenges should be hard but  achievable—not w/o great difficulty

Tell the truth—don’t be nasty but be direct

-Lila Tocci – Director of Company Life and Charitable Giving


Buildings are built by people. We use building science to bring precision into the process. We need to use social science to bring team into the process. It is exciting to see our industry thinking in those terms. I enjoyed Howard’s presentation; I enjoyed Andreas Phelp’s presentation. I am very excited about developing “project cultures.”

-Amy Thompson West – Director of Stakeholder Strategies


Howard makes the business case for IPD.

The ROI is there, the reduction in risk is there, the improvements in time, cost and quality are there.

The bottom line – IPD is simply the best way to do business.

-Richard Lampman – Vice President of Business Development


1.      The level of trust within a team is directly related to the level of performance.

2.      BIM is more than clash detection.  It provides a common level of understanding between designer and contractor.

3.      Teams more than 12 lose productivity.

4.      Teams less than 5 lose creativity.

5.      Teams needs diversity to be creative.

6.      It’s critical that someone manages the cost model.  Not necessarily instant pricing, but instant feedback on other metrics directly related to costs (i.e. number of joints, or fittings, etc.).

7.      Large projects need teams within teams.

8.      At the end of each meeting, establish the agenda for the next meeting.

9.      The more fear that is built into a project, the higher the contingencies will be.

-Tom Winterhalter – Senior Project Manager

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