Impartial Target Setting

The Problem

Target Value Design/Development (TVD) is a helpful lean practice meant to prevent cost overruns and  improve value.  But, without impartial predictive capability, TVD’s effectiveness is limited. Traditional TVD processes have not been able to apply impartial prediction and  analysis, because there has not been a way to objectively measure program and design efficiency or cost effectiveness.

A Solution

Impartial prediction and analysis is essential to  knowledge-based budgeting, management and process improvement. W. E. Deming taught that, “A system cannot understand itself without help from outside the system, because prior experiences will bias objectivity, preventing critical analysis of the organization. Critical self-examination is difficult without impartial analysis from outside the (system).”

Building Catalyst equips its users with the ability to predict and analyze project results impartially. This is the next key  step toward process improvement leading to facility optimization. This video shows how Building Catalyst is used in target setting and tracking.

Figure 1 from the above video illustrates how the target set is established and compared to early planning and programming models. This illustration displays the project total. Like high definition benchmarking, target values are set for dozens of data points – enabling detailed tracking from program to conceptual design to completed design to project completion.

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Figure 1 – Variation by System comparing the Target Set to Progress Sets

Figures 2a through 2 are excerpts from the Two Set Comparison report. These compare a number of line items between the Approved Program and the Approved Target sets.

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Figure 2a – Two Set Comparison – Summary by Department

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Figure 2b – Two Set Comparison – Uniformat Cost Detail (Substructure and Shell)

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Figure 2c – Two Set Comparison – Scope Summary


(1) From Dr. Barbara Berry’s, “There is a Relationship Between Systems Thinking and W. Edwards Deming’s Theory of Profound Knowledge.”

(2) To the extent that the design and production team sets the target values, Building Catalyst supports the Lean Construction practice of Target Value Design (TVD). Otherwise TVD stands in opposition to the Deming points 10 and 11.