Category Archives: Certification

Announcing our New App: iLiv Composer

iLiv’s new application has been officially launched to Alpha testers, and it has a good name:

Composer

So, what’s in a name?

To answer that, let’s ask another question: what does a music composer actually do? The answer to this question depends on who you ask:

A music theorist might respond: A composer puts music notation on a page, according to the sounds she hears in her head or wants to hear in the real world, and the rules of music theory and notation; the page is then handed to a musician who plays the sequence of notes on his instrument so the audience can hear it.

A music teacher might say: A composer is a really talented person with great musical ideas, and you can play his music if you practice hard enough.

A musician might say: He wrote the piece, I play it.

A conductor might say: The intentions of the great composer are there on the page, and it is my job to manage the orchestra, keeping them all together and on the same page about how it is supposed to sound.

A social scientist might say: a composer sets up a social situation that results in an uplifting experience for everyone in the room.

And here’s where it hits home for many of you:

A project manager might say: A composer is a designer of an integrative process, and I, much like a conductor, coordinate the work and the people, and keep everything on time.

With iLiv Composer, we are focusing on a blend of the impulses of the social scientist and the project manager.

Getting Better at Getting Things Done

The great underserved aspect of getting things done — certainly by enterprise software — is a critical attention placed on process creation.

We simply must put creative attention on bettering the way we get things done: to remain competitively productive; to keep our sanity while herding cats; and to continuously improve. We need our processes to energize at scale – for the bottom line, and for the creativity and efficiency of the team.

We chose the name Composer because nothing says great process better than conjuring up the image of great music composed by a really interesting composer. It certainly beats the greyness of entering tasks in a task management tool or drawing gantt charts in a spreadsheet.

Composer has the potential to be game changing:  Simply put, your concept for Composer has triggered a domino effect of ideas within our operations team on how best to leverage it.  I hope it is clear from our conversations how excited we are to begin leveraging your excellent design concepts.”

This comment came in last week, unsolicited, from one of our most important Alpha users (also a long-time user of iLiv All-In). No drab greyness in this reaction, is there?

In my next posts I will start to lay out what iLiv Composer is beginning to do for high-growth design, certification, and professional services firms.

BTW, the photo with this post is of American experimental composer John Cage. I worked with him daily for the last 11 years of his life. During that time he came to think of his music as an example of anarchic harmony. This is what the Internet is too, of course. It is also an essential design objective of the inspired project manager.

Photo from: http://elestantedelfondo.blogspot.ca/2015/05/john-cage_25.html

LEED Gold certification our 1st AEC Project!

We hit a bit of a milestone yesterday as the very first project ever run in All-In by a General Contractor was officially granted LEED Gold certification.

It was on the 6th of May, 2011 that we walked into Webcor’s office… Our long-time advisor, Ann Edminster wanted to introduce us to her friend Phil Williams — And Phil immediately brought in his Sustainability and LEED Rockstar, Megan White.

Over the years, we had the chance to do some site visits, work with students who were interested in the project, sit in on LEED charrettes with the team, and learn a whole lot about AEC, its processes, and the way its many teams work together. This project will be in our hearts forever.

Huge Gratitude and Congratulations to Webcor and the whole CMS team!

Site photo from SFGate, August, 2011
Site photo from SFGate, August, 2011

LEED is not a process, but it exposes bad process.

The City of Ottawa has recently been considering dropping it’s requirement that all new buildings of a certain size be LEED certified.

The key reason for this decision given by Ottawa councilman David Churnushenko is that, based on his experience, LEED is costing $50,000 per building in documentation time. Even accounting for hyperbole, that is far too much.

However, it is also an indicator that the citizens of Ottawa are not getting the greenest buildings they could.

Sustainable and regenerative design and development come from relationships, creativity, and Integrative Process; not bureaucracy. LEED certification, it turns out, is an excellent way of measuring how effectively you are using your design and build teams. It is fairly safe to say that if they are treating LEED as just paperwork, just pushing paper and email is how your expensive staff and consultants are spending much of the rest of their time together too. If you are an owner (or city councilman) and your staff is moaning about how LEED documentation is costing you tens of thousands of dollars, you are wasting your money, whether you are seeking LEED certification or not.

This might be a perverse argument in favor of LEED, but it is a proven one.

iLiv has customers who are 30-50% more efficient (and if they are consultants, profitable) per LEED project. They are also delivering higher rated and higher performing buildings to their owners at no additional cost. They don’t see LEED as a burden, but as an invitation to discover and deliver a better and more valuable building.

Back in Ottawa, councilman Churnushenko is making one big false assumption: that by reducing LEED paperwork, his teams will become better green designers and builders. Nope. It takes new skills, like listening, being comfortable working outside of your area of expertise, teasing out and using ideas from anyone no matter what their status or specialty, sharing a vision, asking the hardest questions, trusting.

When all of those are in place, you get the best possible realization that the people, place, owner’s requirements, and environment can produce. And if you have proper processes and utilities in place, and integrate LEED from the beginning, your documentation burden should be trivial.