Why Communication Problems in Construction Project Causes Time & Money Waste
Let’s just imagine that I’m so considerate and caring that I arrive and get the site opened up at 7 o’clock in the morning. That allows the lads to turn up, get themselves kitted out and have a brew before they get going on the job at 7.30. They are grateful to me because they are on price work and can get on with earning their money.
Not being a “morning” person that has quite exhausted me, so I sit at my desk, with the office door closed, and have a nice cup of coffee then start to nod off. I’m brought back into the real world when the site security guy barges in to give me the stuff the Postie has just delivered to site. By the time I’ve re-surfaced enough to get it all opened and read through it the clock has ticked on to 10.00.
Among the letters is notice that there is a design change pending. This has implications so I pick up my phone and ask what changes. I don’t get to speak with anyone who actually knows! They do say they’ll send me a copy of the revised drawings. They take a couple of days to get that drawing finished off and in the post to me. It then takes three days to arrive on site. I open it. It is now five days later at 10 in the morning. I decide not to exercise myself by wandering around the site to find subby’s manager to give him the drawing, but to wait until he appears for his lunch break. It is now 5½ days later.
Naturally all these incidents – (except for me nodding off) – are meticulously recorded in my Site Diary.
Now, because this is a fast-track office fit-out with some good lads working at it, work has proceeded in those 5½ days. The steel frame for the corridor wall has gone up for 10 office spaces. Door and window frames are in. The wring is in for the light switches and plasterboard is fitted both sides of wall, already taped and jointed. Some of the windows have been glazed and some doors hung.
This pleases me greatly because I’m freelancing and it means I’ll be in a job for longer. Nobody else is very happy about it, though!
At this point it is management decision time
A) Get on to the Client and ask them to get that design decision reversed or
B) Tear out doors and cut new holes in the plasterboard to move the steel and refit the doors – maybe some windows, too.
The trouble is that if we go for A) it might take the Client a couple of weeks to get their decision made! By that time loads of other work has progressed. If they don’t revert to the original design additional work may have to be re-worked as well!
Decision is made! Go for B) and just get on with it.
Going for B), of course, will add, at a guess, another 5 days to the job. Time is money, so that adds to the cost as well! But it doesn’t just stop there. Someone has to pay for all this extra time and materials! Who will that be? Over to the QS’s for them to argue about it.
The PQS is adamant it is nothing to do with the Client. The Architects say it isn’t them. The Subby snorts and walks out when he has made it very clear that he will get paid for the extra work! Nobody can come to any kind of agreement and accept financial liability.
All this because someone didn’t think to phone me and just say:- “Hold fire on those offices walls. They intend to move the doors.”!!! Had they done so we could have got on with other work!