Mark III, how to improve team culture on IPD projects

5 Ways to Improve Team Culture on IPD Projects

Healthcare owners continue to report restricted budgets and rapidly growing markets, making it clear that the industry must adapt. Selecting the right partners to improve team culture on IPD projects is one of the first steps to master.

A 2021 R&D initiative between Sutter Health, Boulder Associates, The Boldt Company, and Mark III proved to be a great example of a culture shift from “the way we have always done it” to collective collaboration and dedication to innovation.

A noteworthy outcome of the R&D initiative was the recognition that strategically hand-selecting a project team to ensure a heavy focus on collaborations and true partnership would allow the team to leverage an already established culture. This ideology applies to our entire philosophy and can be seen in the way we build products, projects, and the team itself.

As a result, the latest M3C project is a 100,000 sq.ft medical office building in Northern California. It will be built using modular pods, wall panels, and shared MEP racking. The team is utilizing the Last Planner System for validation, design, and construction. Trust, collaboration, and team culture played a vital role in the success of this initiative.

Mark III, team culture, big room, collaboration


Image: Mark III


Here are five ways to improve your team culture during the design phase in The Big Room:

  1. Foster collaboration

Teambuilding events, such as Happy Hours, Escape Room, or Axe Throwing, are useful to help team members get to know each other better, enhance trust, and promote a cohesive team dynamic. The more the team members trust each other, the better their contribution will be, which in turn drives positive change and innovation. Utilizing a strength finder tool, such as Gallup CliftonStrength, improves teamwork and collaboration. It enables team members to learn how to leverage their individual strengths amongst the group. The  Big Room needs to be a safe space where all opinions are valued and where the team has the freedom to respectfully challenge each other.


  1. Set common goals

The Conditions of Satisfaction and common project goals must be established and agreed upon early in the project. In the above-mentioned R&D initiative, the Project Validation Study also included Conditions of Satisfaction around a strong team culture, and all parties contributed to establishing and meeting the project Conditions of Satisfaction.


  1. Choose your words wisely

Language is powerful and the choice of your words can make or break positive change. For example, consider the difference between Issues Log and Issues and Opportunities Log.


  1. Balance purpose and embrace change 

It's paramount to routinely revisit the team's shared mission. Not every idea will turn into reality but new ideas are the seeds for great things in the future. Exploring unchartered territory requires trust and faith, and often doesn’t happen in a linear journey.


  1. Encourage lessons learned and celebrate wins

Learning from mistakes is the first step to improvement. Lessons learned are a valuable tool in IPD projects, as they allow the team to initiate change and foster an environment of continuous improvement. Every win needs to be celebrated–no matter how small.


Feature image: Mark III


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Makayla Oei, Project Manager at Mark III

Makayla Oei is the director of preconstruction for M3 Components (M3C). She has over 15 years of industry experience, from project engineer to project executive Makayla has overseen projects from concept to completion. Since 2017, her focus has been building a productized approach to healthcare construction. She has completed multiple rounds of research and development, known as Project Mountain, and has successfully completed multiple projects utilizing M3C products.

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