Humans are born communicators, wired to give and receive information. But as we all know, the communication process is often less than perfect, and when it comes to a construction project, poor communication can lead to some serious—and unwanted—results. In this story, we’ll take a look at why the seamless flow of information among your project stakeholders should be a priority for your company.
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Every construction project is surrounded by a complex web of relationships—owners, sponsors, architects, engineers, contractors, trade subs, suppliers, field personnel and other stakeholders. Everyone involved has an important role to play, and success depends on the ability to orchestrate a seamless exchange of ideas, data, documentation and other vital information. After all, relationships are built on a sense of trust, and when we communicate openly, transparency follows—the basis for personal and professional credibility and better relationships overall.
Establish a single source of truth accessible by everyone. An open, cloud-based data platform helps ensure that project information is ready and available for external partners and internal teams to review, share and discuss throughout the life of the project.
It goes without saying that you can’t solve a problem you don’t know about—and if other project stakeholders don’t bring it to your attention, the consequences will only multiply. When more eyes are on a problem, and multiple points of view are shared, problem resolution can be faster and more effective, which helps eliminate workflow bottlenecks and productivity impacts. Communication also helps foster collaboration and creative thinking, which often results in innovative problem-solving that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
Eliminate information siloes. When teams maintain information separately, either in hard copy or digital form, it’s all too common for discrepancies and disagreement to occur. A single online hub for all project information helps ensure that data is complete and consistent—and that every stakeholder remains fully informed.
At the end of the day, you, your external partners and your internal teams all want the same thing: a well-executed project that is delivered on-time and within budget. When you consider the complexities of construction work—and the sheer number of people involved in any given project—it makes sense that effective communication is the #1 determining factor in success. A structured approach to communication (along with learnable skills and the right technology) is a better choice than ad hoc conversations and chance interactions. To get the results you want, communication must be constant and consistent, the only reliable way to distribute information, make decisions and obtain agreement.
Share project performance in real-time. When profit margins are thin, it can be risky to “guesstimate” how well your project is doing. Keep every stakeholder up to speed with built-in business performance dashboards that offer a real-time overview of estimated vs. actual costs, overruns, labor hours and other financial details.