Construction Protocols

 

As a Construction Manager with over 40 years in this business it is fairly easy for me to understand how, the apparently arcane, project control protocols work. The construction industry has a hierarchy of command which has always been effective. The tradesman deals with the foreman, the foreman deals with the manager and the manager deals with the client. At whatever point in that process, someone can discuss a problem, or technical, or programming issue with any other member of the team without anyone batting an eyelid… just so long as that person then pushes the discussion and any results up the line to the manager. This is accepted practice… and it works! It is not, as one might imagine an issue of ego. Simply, if the manager is to do the job properly they must be advised of any likely changes and ideally involved in any discussions, so that they can integrate that into the overall scheme. I know of no effective manager that does not listen carefully to both their workforce or their client. It would be a very stupid person indeed who allowed their ego to get in the way of a good idea.

It is however extremely rude as well as ineffective for the client to wander around the site giving individual instructions or discussing technical or design issues over their own managers head, without first having the good sense to either involve them in the conversation, or at the very least to inform them of any possible changes as soon after as possible. It may well be that same manager has already thought through the problem and devised several different ideas that need discussion and who would be best placed to advise you on whether or not your own ideas have any efficacy.

I know it can appear strange, and it may even seem that your manager is overreacting and being oversensitive when getting uptight about these things.  But… if they are doing their job properly and really care about what they are doing, then they will have become immersed in your project to such a degree that yes, behaviour of the sort mentioned will appear not only rude, but arrogant and stupid to boot.

Let’s look at this a bit more closely: You have, quite rightly, taken on a professional to carry out the management of your build for you, and much the same as if you visited the doctor or solicitor, you are paying for advice and help. Would you then consider popping out of the doctor’s surgery to have a word with the nurse about your treatment… just to make sure your Doctor’s got it right…? Would you wander into the legal secretary’s office and question the advice the solicitor had just given you… because she might know better, or could give you an answer that you found more palatable?  No you would not even dream about doing that. You accept the advice given, or you change your professional.

This is no different with a construction manager. If you cannot trust them, or find that you cannot work with them, then for goodness sake talk to them about it and if that does not work, then find someone else. We are all human and it can be difficult to get along with everybody. Most construction managers have to do that all day long with the workforce, as well as getting along with the client, which can sometimes be difficult.  But be careful and don’t forget, before you kick them off the job and replace them with someone new, maybe consider whether the problem might just be you and your attitude… not theirs!

Steve

Project Management

What is this and why should we use it for our building project?
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Feasibility

What should we look for?
Can we afford to do this?
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Budgeting

Finding out what it should all cost.
Keeping those costs under control.
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Programming

How it can really help a project.
How to do it properly.
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Tender Process

Making sure the build team is properly chosen and prepared.
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Procurement

Finding the best value materials.
Making sure they stay that way.
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Site Management

Working with the whole team,
helping everyone to get it right.
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CDM 2015 Regulations

Carrying out the Principle Contractor Role For CDM 2015 Regulations
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