Examining opportunities to improve the pre-construction schedule performance of Seattle Public Utilities scope in Seattle Department of Transportation capital projects
Herrera, Marlon Dylan
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This study discerns and analyzes opportunities to improve the schedule performance of the City of Seattle’s water, sewer, and drainage improvements that are delivered through transportation capital projects. This issue is particularly salient, as Seattle’s water, sewer, and garbage ratepayers are spending over $100 million each year on capital improvements that are a result of unprecedented transportation construction – which inevitably creates impacts and opportunities to below-grade infrastructure. This research takes the form of a multi-case descriptive study, examining three projects with significant utility scope that was delivered through transportation contracts. Specifically, this thesis focuses on schedule performance during the initiation, options analysis, and design phases of the project delivery lifecycle. As a result, this research found misaligned production systems between the utility and transportation agencies, as well as divergent policy drivers and mental models that reinforce the status quo. These findings and the following recommendation are derived from semi-structured interviews with project team members, observation of project delivery processes and artifacts, and pertinent theories, empirics, and literatures of practice. A recommendation to implement lean production – or a continuous improvement culture based on front-line empowerment and eliminating waste – is put forward from a limited policy analysis.
- Urban planning