Lean Design

Big Room Setup – What to Consider

The “Big Room” has become an essential component of successful design teams and design build teams. It is a community meeting place and the heart of your team’s communication flow.

When planning a Big Room – whether stand-alone or preferably part of a co-location – these are major topics for your team to plan.


  • Physical Space: flexible reconfigurable design, relative to team size and uses, size differentiation strategies, physical infrastructure (drops of power, net and phone, shared technology like SMART boards), isolation of noisy equipment
  • Design and use of Spaces for Milestone Planning, Last Planner®, Pin-Ups, Design Sketches, A3 Status, Presentations, Learning Record, small and private break-out spaces, spaces to celebrate, moveable white boards, Plus/Delta, connection to Virtual members, pantry/kitchen, housekeeping responsibilities
  • Managing the visual space: visible to all, updates frequently, size needs (wall, etc.), technology [Note: this interfaces with IPD and TVD training]
  • Timing to deploy and to use in design build
  • Recommended team members and importance of owner participation


  • Technology strategy: how to knock over silos and use tech appropriately, how to use technology in employing a Big Room without IPD or TVD (eg. at Parkland Hospital)
  • Servicing the Big Room: Logistics, Concierge/curator, short-term vs long-term changes in requirements, designing and re-designing and repurposing the Big Room as the project moves from concept through design and into construction
  • Behaviors Required: onboarding, keeping people engaged, managing the space to keep people fired up, mood of the room, what you do all day, impact of visuals posted everywhere, energy in the room, breaking bread together [Note: this may be the bulk of the workshop]
  • Leadership: considerations in dealing with the people side of the Big Room
  • Facilitation and Coaching: impact of facilitation (studies), outside professional facilitator, developing internal facilitation skills, effective (lean) meetings management skills
  • Protocols to establish: Communication, Decision Making, BIM
  • Documentation: A3 curating, documentation of the Big Room outputs, documentation of the project itself

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