Case Study of Sustainability of the PIPS Best Value Program at the University of Minnesota

Authors: Kenneth T. Sullivan, John Savicky, and Dean Kashiwagi


This is a case study testing the hypothesis that the best value PIPS process is a sustainable
process/structure. The best value PIPS process has been tested 450 times over 13 years.
However, the process/structure has not been sustainable, meaning that users have been successful
at individual tests, but unable to imbed the system into their organization and standard operating
procedures. It has been resisted because it minimizes the need for construction management,
simplifies the delivery process and transfers both risk and control to the contractors. The
University of Minnesota approached the Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG) to
test and implement the process. Unlike other research clients, they agreed to meet the
requirements for sustainability: implementing a long term strategic plan, using and instructing a
core team, running tests before full implementation, and implementing continuous education to
both client professionals and contractors. This study shows the results of the hypothesis testing.

Key Words: Best value, Sustainability, PIPS, Risk management