It’s good practice to request a subcontractor or supplier produce a sample, or build a mock-up, of the product they are supplying. In fact, this is often a client requirement which should be included in the tender and contract documents.
The purpose of a sample or mock-up is to ensure that:
On large, complex projects the Project Manager may have several staff working for them, such as Assistant Site Managers, Section Engineers, Engineers, Safety Advisors, Quality Managers, and Supervisors. It’s impossible for the Project Manager to attend to all the tasks, so it’s therefore necessary to delegate tasks to members of their team.
I've seen projects where the Project Manager has tried to do everything, often leading to disaster because they take on too many responsibilities, resulting in tasks being completed late, done badly, or forgotten altogether. This leads to frustration in the rest of the project team, since they are left waiting for materials or equipment, which the Project Manager was supposed to organise. Furthermore, members of the team may feel overlooked and not trusted to manage their section of work, resulting in poor morale and productivity.
Frequently I hear excuses as to why a task has not been delegated such as; ‘it will take longer to show them than if I did it myself’. Yet how will the other person ever learn if they are not taught? Time spent training the person now, will, in the future, be time well spent, since hopefully the person will be able to do the task unaided.
I also hear comments like the person is ‘useless’ or ‘incapable of doing the task’. Are they really useless, or is it because they've not been shown what to do? Do they have the appropriate training and experience to fulfill the role expected of them? If they are genuinely useless, why are they still employed and what’s being done to replace them?
Of course, the opposite of not delegating tasks is to delegate everything, or to delegate inappropriate tasks.
If you are a member of Linkedin check out this great article on delegation Is your inability to delegate holding you (and everyone else) back?
In many companies there’s a culture of hiding problems. This is often a result of managers blaming subordinates and implementing harsh measures against staff who may be responsible for the problem. It’s important to foster a spirit of openness and ensure people understand it’s not about blame, but rather about solving the problem, and being aware of a problem as soon as possible in order that mitigating measures can be implemented.
Of course where an individual has performed poorly, disregarded company policies and procedures or participated in fraudulent activities it will be necessary to institute the appropriate disciplinary procedures.
Unfortunately no matter how well projects are planned, or how well the company is run, problems will arise. It's essential decisive action is taken quickly to prevent the problem becoming bigger, and to resolve the issue.
Regrettably many problems only come to light when it’s too late to solve or mitigate them – possibly jeopardising the survival of the company
On many projects poor labour productivity is a major problem. It results in tasks costing more than was originally budgeted, causes schedule slippage, and means more personnel are required than allowed for, in turn increasing accommodation and transport costs, and even requiring additional supervisory staff.
The obvious sign of poor labour productivity is personnel standing idle on site during work hours. This could be due to a number of reasons for example:
Well the 2014 Soccer World Cup is over. It cost billions of dollars. Brazil is saddened in defeat. The Germans are elated by their victory.
Can the winning team teach business anything?
Read this article Eleven lessons to learn from the German football team
I think whoever we support we can concur with most of the items. In fact I'm sure that if we analyse most winning sports teams we will find the same things. Indeed, just as companies do, many teams have experienced periods when they have fared poorly and they have had to change their approach to once again become winners.
Brazil was beaten 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals of the 2014 soccer world cup. This was the biggest semi-final defeat in the history of the world cup and was devastating for Brazil as the host nation.
So what went wrong? Some of Brazil's star players were unable to play, while others performed poorly. Germany exploited these weaknesses with devastating effect.
Are there lessons for your project team?
Most project teams are similar to a soccer team. Different members with different skills and responsibilities. Some of these will be stars, while others may just be average. As much as we would like to have a team consisting only of stars, this isn't always possible, and in most cases isn't always necessary. After all stars often demand more money and aren't always happy to do the ordinary everyday tasks. It's therefore important to organise the various team members in such away that people are used to their best abilities.
So what happens when one of your star players leaves, is sick or performs badly? Well make sure you implement a contingency plan to cope with the situation. You also need to be continually training the next generation of stars who can step up as replacements. Where necessary you need to look after your stars - this may even include not overworking them and allowing them time off so others can step up into their positions.
Of course like every soccer team you cannot let complacency set in. You also need to be continually training and honing the team's skills and setting new targets.
Communication is something that a Project Manager has to do all the time, every day. It’s both verbal and written, and will be with workers, project staff, management, Head Office staff, subcontractors, suppliers, the client, the client’s team (which may include Engineers and Architects), local authorities and members of the public.
Emails can save time on a project, but they can also waste time and lead to embarrassing actions which we would all rather forget. For this reason emails must be dealt with in an appropriate manner.
See the following interesting article: Effective use of Emails in construction project communications
Poor safety could result in additional costs due to:
Copyright 2016 - The attached articles cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without the consent of the author.
The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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