When it comes to construction, every little detail must be planned and accounted for. There are timelines to abide by, specific workers and specialists hired, and decisions that are seemingly set in stone.
But every once in awhile (or if we are being realistic, more often than we’d like) a construction manager is faced with the dilemma of having to make a change to the work flow on a job site. The change can be as small as swapping out the supplier of equipment, to as large as last minute restructuring of the blueprint you’re working off ot. No matter what the change, it’s important for the construction management to be smart about how they introduce the change to the team. Most people are change-averse, and making changes to a project while it’s already underway can not only ruffle feathers, but it can even negatively impact the project if not implemented properly. There are some steps that a construction manager should follow in order to successfully implement changes on a job site:
Communicate With Your Team
Before any major changes are made, be sure to communicate with the people working on the project. It’s hugely important to explain the reason and/or importance of the change to all people involved. If this the change is your idea, and you need to convince your superiors, it’s important to be able to effectively communicate why the change will benefit the project. If you’re just relaying a change that is coming from elsewhere (in the management), you should still be fully aware of why the change is happening, and be able to explain it to all people that will be affected.
If no one understands how and why the change is happening, it can have a direct effect on the long term success and implementation of the project.
Implement the Change(s) Incrementally
It’s important to make sure that changes are made both thoughtfully and carefully. When possible, create phases over which the implementation will take place. It will be much easier for all parties involved to adjust to any changes if they take place over time, and in small, manageable chunks.
Remember to communicate and collaborate throughout the implementation. Open and frequent communication with your employees about what’s working and not working will save you time and save you from a great deal of potential stress in the long run. If incremental change is impossible (as it sometimes is), just make sure to rely heavily on step one. Communication really is key.
Observe & Evaluate & Adjust Accordingly
When making any changes to a construction project, it’s of the utmost importance that you keep an eye on the effects of the changes. As the manager of the job site, you need to know what the side effects are of any changes that are implemented, whether they are positive or negative. Be ready to make adjustments, or even more changes as the project continues to unfold.