Communication, the key to a successful project
First of all, let’s be clear: projects do not fail, people do!
In our consulting practice, we had the chance to see and analyze many failed projects. And when we say failed, we mean months of delay and millions lost. We’ve always wanted to understand the mechanics of such a catastrophe, and we’ve given a lot of thought to the reasoning.
After many years of live analysis, we believe there are many reasons behind failed projects, and we will treat each of them in our future posts. However, our firm belief is that the main driver is miscommunication of the involved persons. We’ve attended project progress meetings, which were totally useless, as the parties involved were having parallel understanding of the topics. And even when such misunderstandings were obvious, the main players were unable to stop for five minutes and clear the mist out. Either because they were not paying attention to one another, or simply because they were too arrogant to admit they are on a different page.
We had the chance to see thousands of contractual letters which were driven by the same parallelism – a clear sign that each party understood the cooperation in a totally different way.
In construction projects, usually, the outcome is to be followed from the tender phase. The more complicated the project, the simpler the cooperation terms between the Employer and the Contractor should be. Each deviation from this rule of thumb is only piling up future problems.
It all comes, after all, to a clear and correct risk identification and allocation under the cooperation terms. Like any other business, the construction project needs clarity and strategy. The parties should define a clear strategy together and communicate this strategy to their teams clearly each and any time they have the possibility. When each party has its own strategy, and the cooperation terms are unclear, there is a high level of certainty that communication parallelism will happen. A direct consequence is that the collaboration has big chances of going out of track.
We will touch in the next posts opinions of great authors regarding communication, importance of constant monitoring and improving it, and also the ways of doing it, as we strongly believe that our professionals need to widen the horizons of their knowledge and understanding in order to push our industry within the present century.