How is everybody?

So now I finally see my CSI chapter in a way that few of us get to really see it. Turns out this chapter runs entirely by the hard work and smart leadership of a core of dedicated professionals, each handling about 3 different jobs within the chapter simultaneously. It works! But it can work better!

Like other chapters and the Insitute in general, our membership is slowly slipping. But we all know we're as relevant as ever, right? So what's a chapter to do?

As an architect, business owner, and emerging specifier I see the Institute from multiple perspectives. I got involved in CSI because I needed help - help making my job easier, help making my firm's work better, and help delivering better projects to our clients. And I think just about every pro I come in contact with in all disciplines needs help just like I do. But we don't like to talk about it, especially not with our peers.

CSI as an interdisciplinary organization stands in just the right spot to fill this need. But we have an image problem, and it's right there in our name. Specifications. Ugh. Dull. Technical. Dense. But fraught with risk nonetheless. Designers and Builders and Manufacturers all wish we could just have a meeting and a handshake and leave confident that we're all on the same page. But the reality is that it takes more than good specs to make that happen. Specifications are only a part of Construction Documents and only a part of what CSI is about.

CSI is really about the entire Project Delivery process. Those of us already in CSI understand this but seem to have trouble communicating it to others and I think the stumbling block is Specifications. We specify for the same reason that we draw and qualify and quantify and observe and submit and review and certify: it's one part of the process of delivering a quality project, nothing more.

This is where you come in.

I propose we all set aside the word Specifications for a year and talk instead about Project Delivery. When we talk to our colleagues let's talk about the entire process and listen to learn their points of pain. When we do that I think we'll hear lots of different stories about how people wish there were procedures or standards, wish they knew how to avoid the same repeating communications failures, wish they understood how to ask the right questions to get the answers they needed. The AIA, ASCE, AGC and other organizations can speak to parts of these concerns but CSI can speak to all of them.

This season's programs once again has a lot to offer everyone in the construction industry concerned with Project Delivery. Our dedicated core of leaders continues to provide programs that speak to a wide range of professionals. But we need your help to get the message out. I hope you'll spend this year listening to your clients' and colleagues' frustrations with the process of delivering projects and that you'll remember that you can help them by inviting them to attend our programs and to get involved with CSI. And your chapter really could use your direct involvement in running our chapter to make sure we bring the value of our mission to our members.

Click that Commitees link on our website to connect with the part of our chapter that you enjoy the most and get involved. We especially can use your help with our monthy Programs, Newsletter, and the May 2019 CSI North Central Region Conference.

Thanks and here's to a great year.

Michael Byrd, CSI AIA
Principal, CORE10 Architecture
Greater Saint Louis Chapter CSI President
[email protected] 314-726-4858 x800

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