No matter how large or small a construction project may be, one can agree that there are various facets and dynamics that must be communicated at all times and, often, immediately. Without effective communication practices in place, completing projects on time, within budget, and to the expectations of a client is nearly impossible. Stakeholders, construction executives, contractors, and subcontractors all need to be on one accord for a project to be completed without a hitch. Missed details in one area of a project could essentially lead to failure, which of course is never good for business, especially when current technologies make instantaneous and widespread communication possible.
Effective communication keeps everything in perspective. When proper communication is in place as it should be the construction project has an increased chance and running smoothly. When communication is non-existent, flawed, or moves slowly, the negative effects can be immediate and most certainly measurable on many levels. However, like any system, communication in the construction industry requires constant maintenance and consideration. As processes and technology evolve to make it easier for contractors and clients alike to stay in contact, businesses must learn to enhance their means of communication to keep up. An effective communication process should:
- Keep Stakeholders/Clients in the Loop
- Outline Project Details (Goals, Scheduling and Budget)
- Address Changes to the Project
- Monitor Progress for Successful Completion
- Happen in as close to real time as possible (wifi and cloud technology both make this possible)
Keeping Stakeholders/Clients in the Loop
Communication (and its associated tools) should be utilized from the very beginning. Clients interested in having a property developed will need to explain what they want, what they’re looking to spend, and how soon they need it. In many instances, this information is provided to key personnel: project managers and executives. As such, this information will need to be communicated to the entire construction team as expeditiously as possible for proper execution. Making copies or expecting people to forward information along the chain is a waste of time.
Outlines Project Details
After the initial meeting with stakeholders or clients, a construction company will need to communicate the project details to necessary team members. While verbally discussing the facts with key team members will serve an initial premise for getting the project completed, it must not be the only means of communication. Construction managers must look to effectively Setting up a system through which team members can refer to for updates, guidelines, time restraints, and budget whenever they have questions and that notifies them of updates to details whether they are on-site or off-site is imperative. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands their responsibilities.
To accomplish this particular goal, many project managers are switching over to cloud-based software and communications mechanisms. Using cloud-based construction projects reporting allows office-bound managers and on-site managers to stay apprised of a project’s details in real-time instead of having to make multiple phone calls or schedule multiple meetings, both of which can eat into a project’s production schedule.
Addressing Changes to Projects
Efficient cloud based communication tools allow project managers to communicate changes as they arise. Whether it’s something as simple as a change in the project completion date or needing additional permits, reporting changes immediately is a must. Stakeholders who are not made aware of changes become dissatisfied, team members who don’t have access to or are given necessary information in a timely manner fall behind on important tasks or miss necessary details and both of these outcomes can be detrimental to business and to the successful completion of any project.
Monitoring Progress for Successful Completion
Monitoring the various stages of a construction process is vital to ensure that it gets completed accurately. Effective communication technology has built in mechanisms that allow for all parties involved in providing updates on progress from beginning to end. It allows project managers to effectively make decisions or adjustments as needed and with the confidence that they have all of the important and relevant information.
Communication is a key part of any business and when dealing with the construction industry, failure to communicate could lead to extensive failures. Communication ultimately builds better business relationships, streamlines productivity and gets the job done and with the technological advances that have made instantaneous communication possible, there’s no reason you can’t be great at it.