Collaboration, at its core, means teams are working together to achieve a common goal. In construction, the “team” consists of team members, project managers, GCs, subcontractors, foremen, architects, engineers, and more. The “common goal” is the project goal. Collaboration at its strongest allows the team to pull their resources and knowledge together to prioritize and meet a project’s goal(s) rather than their individual goal(s).
There are many moving parts in the construction industry between the owner, the subcontractor(s), the general contractor(s), the design team, the field team, and rental companies. Thus, many people are involved in the project management process that needs coordination to ensure a smooth workflow.
According to a McKinsey & Company report, broken communication is one of the most essential factors of rework in construction. It can consume between 7% to 15% of the total budget for new construction. In the same report, during the last five decades, productivity in construction declined by 0.3% on average yearly.
There are solutions to increase productivity, efficiency, quality, and success in construction projects. They’re called communication and collaboration. Collaboration in construction jobsite management relies on the field teams’ ability to communicate and collaborate to ensure a seamless project workflow effectively. Here are three ways to improve collaboration in the field.
Implement construction collaboration software.
- It’s no secret that construction loves to use Excel spreadsheets, email threads, and paper documentation. However, all of these tools simply aren’t enough for managing construction projects. Why? Because they don’t offer entire field and office visibility in real-time. Field management needs to provide constant updates between each other and the office team. Construction collaboration software does just that. Rather than waste time searching for critical information, all documentation is available through the cloud-based software with just a click of a button.
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Improve project workflows using data from the field.
Collecting data from the field can be valuable to standardizing project workflows for field and office teams for future projects. Improving your current project workflows based on data from the field can create a dynamic collaboration environment for all stakeholders working on a project.
Set specific tasks with goals, milestones and establish communication standards.
Establishing communication standards is the first thing you should do to ensure that information is shared and received effectively. Field teams have many people involved in the construction process. Everyone should know which task they are responsible for, and workflows should be set up to where each additional person involved knows the next chain of command.
Successful collaboration is demonstrated through streamlined workflows, each team member knowing their role and effective communication. Most importantly, collaborative construction builds trust, is comfortable, inclusive, has clear roles and responsibilities, and high-quality communication. What roles are in construction field management? How do they interact with one another?