Development of a “Playbook” for Capital Projects – from an Owner Perspective

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Executive Summary

Clearly documented policies and procedures benefit planning, design, and construction departments. It helps communicate the project process to key stakeholders. respond to external and internal auditors, and train current and future employees

What is a Playbook?

A “Playbook” serves as a high-level narrative of the department’s goals, objectives, governance structure (including approval thresholds), information management systems and tools, roles and responsibilities, work activities and sequences, etc.

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What is the Importance?

The construction industry is currently undergoing massive change.  The workload is increasing, jurisdictional and regulatory requirements are ever-increasing, and there is a shortage of experienced talent available.  Developing a playbook can help define and refine practices and policies, and help structure onboarding and training for current and new employees.  The playbook references policies, procedures, and other documents as needed to appropriately outline the project/program process.

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How Do you Build One?

A Playbook is developed through reviews of existing policy and procedure documents, interviews with key stakeholders, and researching best practices for the associated industry.  As the content is being developed it should be shared with stakeholders frequently so they can review and make comments on small sections versus having to read whole chapters.  This helps team members utilize their time more efficiently, and to see continuous progress as the content is created.

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During development, the team may make suggestions for operational improvements that won’t occur until after the playbook is published.  These comments should be captured and reviewed prior to publishing the final version to see what items can be included in the playbook.  The remaining items serve as a list of future improvements for the team to consider.

Below is an example of how developing a Playbook helped an organization document and communicate its operations and processes:

The Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital (BCCFH) is a 250-bed temporary field hospital located in the Baltimore Convention Center.  It was established in conjunction with Hopkins, UMMS, and the state of Maryland in April 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  I served as both the project manager for the start-up of the hospital, as well as the Associate Chief Operating Officer, then Chief Operating Officer until April of 2021.

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As we were establishing the field hospital it was important to determine and document how all team members and departments (nursing, providers; support teams such as housekeeping and security, and others) would execute their work.  As the team was hiring personnel and establishing contracts for support teams, we created and were continuously updating our Concept of Operations (“Conops”) document.  This Conops served as our playbook for how we operated the inpatient field hospital and associated operations such as infusion, testing, and vaccination.

The playbook referenced documents from other organizations like Hopkins, UMMS, and the state of Maryland to provide more details about how departments would manage their work.  This document was vital in training new team members, responding to questions about how the field hospital functions, and communicating expectations to stakeholders.

The right team is critical to developing a successful playbook.  The team should include business content experts, system and technology experts, and department leaders who can make decisions when team members have different opinions about the content.

Once a playbook is developed it must be appropriately implemented so all team members understand expectations.  This is done through informational sessions and training.  It must also be maintained and updated to capture changes to operations.  Future posts will include information about those phases of establishing a playbook.

OnIndus has a team of professionals with experience in the fields of design/construction, technology, healthcare, and business operations who can help structure and create a playbook for your organization.  Please reach out to me with questions or if you’d like more information about how we can help

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