Of course, you could tell easily that the client was furious. Shawn had been the Project manager of a residential building project. Today, they were going to have a joint inspection on the project. Shawn had just rounded up a meeting with the client, top executives from his company and representatives of the new residents of the building. The project meeting had been nothing short of a shouting match due to several quality issues that were spotted by representatives of the client. They had argued that considering the amount of money they had paid for the project, quality control issues should be the least of their problems. Furthermore, to make things worse, the project schedule performance index (SPI), suggests that they are behind schedule.
As an expert in Project Management, Shawn knew this and he had been using the negotiation skills which he learnt from his formal project management training to gain more time for some critical project tasks.
However, the client representatives had argued that there was no more time to be given as the first building residents who had paid down some money had been given move-in dates.
So they had continued the site inspection and by this time the site workers had been working diligently on their tasks. Shawn as a great team manager had been able to manage the project site up to the current level of progress. And most project tasks had been executed according to agreed quality standards, but members of the representative of the client were being finicky. They want every aspect of their sunk investment in the project to come to reality as expected.
The representatives from the client had made up their mind to inspect every aspect of the project work being executed on-site today, at least they have the time for it today, not with the looming deadline for project delivery and move-in dates that have been given to the building residents.
Moving from one location of the site to the next, the clients had picked out material handling as a problem on-site. They had also complained about the quality of the materials being used for the project. Continuing, they had complained that the building had design issues and that agreed quality from the building design blueprint had not been followed. Subsequently, the client reps had also complained about the method of construction used on the project. They had observed that project tasks were being done concurrently rather than serially. While Shawn had explained that this was done to meet up with the deadline, the client had retorted back that it is detrimental and risky to the building project. The client further went on to identify several issues with quality on the site and had told Shawn and members of representatives from his company to fix it.
The next day, management from the construction company and Shawn decided to identify the root cause of these quality issues discovered on site. After a comprehensive analysis of every variable on-site, it was clear that the site workforce needed to be trained on various construction procedures.
Identifying the need for training
Subsequently, Shawn along with the main site foreman was handed the role of identifying specific site employees who require training. Together, they started by identifying workers whose job had the most quality issues for additional training on the project quality. Furthermore, they had studied the age and work experience of site employee and compared these to the work being done on-site. They then discovered that the newer and younger employees were more of a quality and safety risk on the construction site because of their lack of experience.
To increase worker efficiency and ensure good quality on-site, Shawn had recommended that all young and new employees be given additional training on project quality procedures to ensure that quality control is maintained on-site. Furthermore, they had also discovered that the size of their project construction organization had also been a major influence on their quality training procedures. This is because their company, which was a medium-sized construction company struggle consistently to train their site workers since there are not adequate middle management personnel to manage the training process.
The company has various site workers working on several construction disciplines and needed managers to oversee this process. To fix this, Shawn is going to outsource the training responsibility to an external company even though this could come at a cost, it is always a better option than paying for the cost of not having to train your site workforce.
Training on material handling
Shawn had made up his mind to train the site workers to concentrate more on equality when dealing with construction materials relating to the project. From his project management training, he had known that quality control begins the moment you get your material shipment from the suppliers. He had also planned to develop an efficient procedure for receiving and assessing materials which were shipped to site.
Shawn had also resolved that in terms of material quality, he would use the best quality materials as well as specified products without affecting the profit margin of the project. Furthermore, he had developed an effective storage system which would protect the materials from being stolen or damaged while the project work is in progress.
Issues on the designing of the building project
Construction project quality begins from its design. Technically, most problems with design frequently stem from bad communications with the clients and their expectations. Shawn had decided that he would ensure that every staff of the design team is properly trained on clarifying any confusion before the final design blueprints are drawn, detailed and submitted for approvals.
While the standard of quality of the design should go in line with the price paid for the project, Shawn had decided to coordinate with the primary designers of the project to verify that the most current building codes and accurate material specifications for the project were used.
He had decided that if there are noticeable discrepancies in that department, the designers would be recommended for training on acceptable standards of building design in construction.
Effecting a great construction procedure.
The construction procedure is meant to follow the quality of the building project as outlined in the design blueprint of the project. This is where most clients find the most challenges in building project sites: the execution stage. Technically, while Shawn’s company had always gotten away from these problem several times by bringing more talented work crew from other sites to help solve their quality problems, this time that wouldn’t be an option because those same crews are held down in another project.
Moreover, hiring a new set of experienced workmen would consume too much time and may affect the working relationship of those on-site. This means that Shawn is left with only just one option: To work with the crew he has with him. So Shawn had decided that he was going to organize training for the newer and younger site workers who had little or no experience in the construction procedure being implemented on-site.
Training construction employees
A mistake in a construction site can be pretty costly. Both in terms of money and human lives. This is the primary reason most construction companies are mandated a full workforce of trained site workers.
So, Shawn decided to train all site employees that he felt needed for the training. He would train them on general construction techniques, then specific areas as related to their tasks, safety training and any other relevant training to ensure that their knowledge, skill and work efficiencies are enhanced. As a result of this training, the crew on site will be able to work more effectively without much errors as there used to be. This will lead to a more efficient and safer workplace. Shawn had taken his time to provide the training for several key site workers knowing that the cost of the training will pay for itself in the future. This would be through the enhanced work rate and efficiency of the site workers.
In addition to this, he had ensured that operators of heavy construction machines such as cranes, excavators, boring rigs, trucks, dump trucks and concrete mixers undergo the necessary training to enhance their efficiency and minimize the potential threat to safety which their jobs could be. This because Shawn knows that a well-trained team both improve the safety of people on site and as well are fully aware of what to do when using available tools, vehicles and heavy machinery.
Piecing it all together
An effective construction procedure should be a primary practise of any credible construction company. It is always a wise decision in the long term to invest in effective training programmes of construction companies to improve efficiency and minimise defects than to try and fix defective work after they might have happened. Waiting for problems to happen before they get corrected, delays the projects and makes your other projects slip behind schedule.
Technically, the level of expertise expected for every project changes based on the timeframe and cost of the project, however, some fundamental principles apply to the training methods for every construction company.