Avoid blame: Make decisions faster and stick to schedules
Construction projects are complex affairs, with a variety of teams and subcontractors working together on tasks to meet the requirements of the plan. It quickly becomes apparent that effective collaboration is critical to successful completion.
FREE GUIDE: How to reduce construction delays by more than 20%.
Good collaboration always depends on a strong culture of trust and quick decision-making. Unfortunately, however, the construction industry struggles with both, which has a direct impact on the progress of a project. Indeed, many delays are caused by the late identification of critical issues or the unwillingness of stakeholders to accept the blame that comes with their role,
44% of all construction delays are due to interruptions in project delivery. Going further into detail, we find that the top four reasons are:
- Delays due to errors (44%).
- Delays due to late response to RFIs (20%)
- Change in specifications (18%)
- Bad weather conditions and other factors (18%).
It quickly becomes clear that reducing problems and delays during project execution should be the primary focus in order to stay within the project budget. This, in turn, could initiate a change in collaboration among various stakeholders and increase trust among them.
People, Processes & Tools: The 3 keys to success
Digital technologies are continuously changing the way we work, communicate and ultimately build. Yet, we often struggle to realize the full potential of these technologies if all the important factors are not in place: People, Processes and Tools.
A strategic approach is needed that focuses on rapid decision making and enables projects to be completed on time. Only then will the construction industry be able to restore trust in contractual relationships and break the power of habit.
This profound change comes from the factors mentioned above: People, Processes and Tools. Implementing this approach will help you identify critical issues early and avoid ineffective communication channels.
Learn more: Breaking Old Habits: How to successfully digitize your business
It may sound simple, but it’s much more challenging than you might think. The human factor represents the cornerstone. Convincing your employees to trust a new technology is the first step toward substantial change.
The next step involves finding the appropriate tools to meet the needs of your projects and the processes that will allow you to make the most of implementing the software solution in your organization.
In many cases, project managers make the mistake of going by their own ideas instead of considering the real needs of their projects. So they end up working with a digital solution that doesn’t really solve their problems and leads to noch leads to more confusion.
This is why standardization is so important before you even start looking for the right software. This will help you identify the true needs behind your projects and make the right choice without wasting money unnecessarily. This way, you can also improve collaboration within your projects to ease the transition to a collaborative way of working.
Five steps to a collaborative model
McKinsey and Company recently published a very insightful report on how the construction industry could adopt a collaborative model to escape the blame culture and rebuild trust in the sector.
In short, here are five steps that promoters and others involved in construction can take to move the construction industry toward a more open and collaborative environment.
1. assess your company’s willingness to cooperate
Knowing your company’s strengths and weaknesses is paramount to the successful outcome of this process. According to McKinsey experts, the following are the key parameters to consider when assessing your company’s readiness to collaborate:
- A solid business framework that enables the implementation of a new collaborative approach in all phases of the business
- A flexible project culture
- The creation and maintenance of a strong project portfolio to support the company’s long-term strategy
- An established E&C partner ecosystem and an agile approach to bidding processes
- Openness to take risks and adopt a forward-looking risk management philosophy
2. finding the right partners
Having the right partners on your side can make all the difference. You need to initiate alliances with organizations and stakeholders that share the same work culture but have different skill sets so you can complement each other. Financial stability is also key to ensuring the longevity of your partnership.
What your partner organizations’ leadership and project teams think about this collaboration is another area that requires a lot of attention. As described in the McKinsey report, relationships are the factor that has the greatest impact. Thus, a good relationship among all project teams can pave the way for strong and proactive decision making.
Be prepared to encounter a lot of resistance, especially in the beginning. This may not come as a surprise, considering that a completely new way of working is to be introduced.
3. define your project in detail
Another key factor highlighted in the McKinsey report is that project sponsors need to define the scope of the project early on, create a solid execution plan and provide an accurate cost estimate. By doing so, you increase the chance of a healthy financial performance of the project and thus higher profits.
While this means that a higher initial investment may be required by the project sponsor, it also means that the project will be more profitable.h that successful completion is more likely.
4. Keep all partners in the loop.
It is critical to the success of such a process that all stakeholders are aligned in terms of responsibilities, goals, and rewards. Under no circumstances should unnecessary issues come between the team and your goal.
The project sponsor should be able to offer incentives to all parties. This is one of the surest ways to ensure that all project stakeholders are working together towards the successful completion of this collaboration.
5. Make trust your priority
Establishing and maintaining a collaborative approach requires little ongoing work. It is important that project sponsors continue to measure the progress of their projects against established goals.
In addition, special focus should be placed on areas such as knowledge sharing, problem solving, creativity, and curiosity. In this regard, training throughout the project can be considered an essential component of change. Finally, contractual enforcement is also a key element, according to McKinsey.
How to boost your collaboration and get products done on time
Successful collaboration is a foreign concept to many in the construction industry, but with the right strategy, it can be the beginning of a new era for your company when it comes to completing projects on time and on budget.
Below is a brief overview of how you can break the culture of blame and adopt a digital ecosystem that will enable you to successfully complete your projects:
1. break old habits and avoid administrative work.
Lack of trust in contractual relationships and a culture of blame are two of the biggest problems for the construction industry. It’s time to break the cycle of bad habits in the industry.
A typical €10 million construction project is expected to experience approximately 600 disruptions per year. To make matters worse, each interruption costs you an average of 7 days and 25% of interruptions go completely unresolved.
Clearly, something needs to change. Communicating critical issues quickly and completing successful projects on time should become a basic habit for the entire sector. But to do that, we need to rebuild trust between the various project stakeholders and communicate that workers on the site should not be afraid to report problems and defects.
On the contrary, they should take a proactive approach, because the earlier a problem is identified, the greater the chances that it can be fixed without much impact on the project and the team.
2. invest in industry-specific tools
Usually, project managers and leaders are responsible for multiple projects at the same time. However, given the complexity of all these projects, it quickly becomes clear that serious problems can arise in the decision-making processes.
Free e-book: Why You Need Complexe construction projects cannot be managed with WhatsApp and Excel.
With this in mind, it quickly becomes clear that teams on the construction site should be equipped with the right construction-specific tools to make independent decisions faster.
A digital solution designed specifically for the construction industry could be a real game changer, as it would make it easier for everyone involved to communicate updates and information to the right people instantly, while maintaining an accurate overview of both the forward planning and master plan. Real-time reporting can create a whole new level of trust and collaboration.
3. Digitize your reporting process
Construction projects can vary in both their goals and complexity, but the core processes always remain the same. This allows project teams to effectively report issues that arise on the job site.
In many cases, project teams are reluctant to report an issue for fear of being held accountable for the mistake. This leads to information being concealed or not shared until it’s too late.
Digitizing this process could finally put an end to this and assign responsibility quite easily.
“Our program is updated right on the job site. That means that the supervisor provides us with the information from the jobsite. So we get photos and updates. This allows the team to take more ownership and we get transparency for the entire jobsite team,” explains Matt Ghinn, project manager at VolkerFitzpatrick, after digitizing his company’s reporting process by implementing LetsBuild.
4. implementation and optimization
Ultimately, it comes down to taking action and starting to implement a new way of communicating and collaborating. For a better functioning industry, where successfully completing a project on time and on budget is not the exception but the rule, the circle of mistrust must be broken.
Add to that, however, identifying the true needs of your projects and finding the right tools to help you gather the right data. This will help you improve your processes and increase accountability for your projects.
Undoubtedly, the digital transformation of your business is a challenging journey. Even if you think you can do it alone, it is advisable to involve experienced experts. Only then can you be sure to avoid mistakes and feel confident that you have started the implementation process on the right track.
Support more effective collaboration and on-time delivery
Enabling effective collaboration may seem like a never-ending process, but with the right strategy in place, your organization can enter a whole new era of completing projects on budget and on time.
Below is a brief overview of how you can avoid blame in the construction industry and e
1. Overcoming the power of habit
Lack of trust in contractual relationships and a culture of litigation are the two biggest enemies for the construction industry
It’s time to break the cycle of bad habits in the industry.
The average 10 million euro project is expected to have about 600 interruptions per year. 25% of these interruptions tend to go unresolved and all the others are estimated to take 7 days each.
So clearly something needs to be done. Communicating critical issues quickly and completing projects on time should become a basic habit for the entire industry. For that to happen, we need to rebuild trust between the various project stakeholders and clearly communicate that teams are reporting problems on the jobsite without being afraid of them.
On the contrary, they should take a proactive approach because the sooner a problem is identified, the greater the chances that it can be fixed without much impact on the project and the team. Outdated schedules and never-ending email threads are only part of the problem, never the solution.
2. Invest in rapid decision making In
many cases, a project manager or project leader will need to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Due to the complexity of each project, it quickly becomes apparent that there are problems in the decision-making process of their projects….
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