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By Kendall Jones
February 20, 2018
As construction projects become more complex, effective collaboration is increasingly becoming a key factor in completing projects on time and on budget while delivering a quality product to the client. Good collaboration leads to many benefits like innovation, time and cost saving, added value for the client, reduced errors and unnecessary rework.
Effective project collaboration is more than just all team members completing tasks on schedule. It involves building a strong relationship with all stakeholders based on trust and respect to work together to successfully complete a project. Being able to cooperate and coordinate efforts to improve productivity is essential.
Achieving true collaboration can be tricky, however, since it requires careful planning, coordination and buy-in from all involved parties.
Here are some tips for successfully collaborating on your next project:
Collaboration should begin in the early planning stages of a project. Bringing in the major players on a project, owner, architect, engineers, general contractor and key subcontractors, can lead to better design and decision making. These stakeholders should have some say and input on scheduling, coordination, materials, etc. during the design phase. It gets everyone on the same page and sets the tone for the project.
It’s important to rely on the expertise and knowledge base of the entire project team which can result in true innovation in approaching the project. A well-integrated team will lead to better project performance and reduce risks for all involved. Part of the collaboration process can include allocating risks to the parties best equipped to deal with them.
In order to establish strong collaboration, you must start at the top. The leadership team can help drive and facilitate collaboration, handle issues that arise, and drive the project through to completion.
Project managers, construction superintendents, the design team and the rest of the core leadership are in charge of working together and driving collaboration. By meeting regularly to discuss progress and monitor how well the various teams are working together, they can stay ahead of any issues and make adjustments as needed.
Integrated Software Solutions
Technology has had a significant impact on improving communication and facilitating stronger collaboration over the last few years. Everything from smartphones and tablets to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and cloud-based project management software has made it easier and more cost-effective to manage construction projects.
Collaboration is critical to successfully move a project from estimating to the field. Software solutions can be a major asset to drive consistency and facilitate collaboration. When team members have access to the same information in real-time, it streamlines the process and makes conversations more productive.
Software solutions that integrate and work with each other keeps everyone on the same page and reduces the amount of duplicate effort required for everyone to do their job each day. On example is the integration between iSqFt Bid Management and Procore, which is designed to increase efficiency, provide consistency in information communication and improve collaboration among team members.
Collaboration goes hand in hand with good communication and keeping everyone together on the same page. It revolves around trusting all parties and valuing their input as integral members of the team. This can be accomplished by having a good communication plan in place.
Establishing a clear line of communication that includes identifying points of contact with contact information for key team members is vital to ensuring that information is getting to the right people in a timely manner. Collaboration will fail if there’s a breakdown in communication.
The Anatomy of a Request for Information (RFI)
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