Challenges facing smooth project management
Challenges facing smooth project management
- Derek Johnston
By Derek Johnston, Operations Director
Over the years, I’ve heard project management compared to everything from directing a blockbuster movie to going to war. For most people, a large-scale construction project is the most complex and involved experience of their lives. So, what lessons can be taken from our diverse and experienced team here at Indeglas which would make a project go as smoothly as possible?
First, and most importantly, communication. I can’t stress enough how many of the unforeseen snags and unexpected problems can be removed, or at least minimised, by simply talking over the issues on site, and by having developed, secure, universally understood lines of communication between all parties.
Everyone knows mistakes happen. Everyone knows a project can’t plan for every eventuality, but if you engage positively with other contractors – rather than the dreaded ‘blame game’ – then you know next time you work with them, the memories will be positive.
Something as simple as knocking on the site manager’s door to introduce yourself and to say what you’ll be doing for them, and making yourself and your team available, can be all it takes to develop a reputation that will last for years in the industry.
Increasingly, we’re seeing the industry move towards a ‘design and build’ approach where specialist subcontractors are required to support the design process, providing Revit and CAD drawings, data for product life cycle analysis, engineered calculations for project specific elements and test information which confirms product compliance with performance specifications. Here at Indeglas, we continue to develop and embrace both software and staff capability to fully support our design and construction clients at this stage of the process.
A shorter supply chain is going to become more and more vital as customers increasingly expect drawings, pricings and quote to be available instantaneously. This is when managing expectations is important, but being able to fulfil promises in a timely fashion even more so.
Another trend I’m seeing is the importance of further education. Study of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is becoming a prerequisite for the highly technical installations in which we specialise. Developing expertise to support increasingly innovative applications of glass in interiors is creating exciting career opportunities for young graduates. At Indeglas we are keen to engage with schools, colleges and universities to provide work experience and give an insight to those considering career options.
Of course, extremely creative and innovative design concepts are fully reliant on the supply chain to become realised. With applied engineering, attention to detail, excellent coordination and communication skills good supply chains and an informed site installation team producing high levels of workmanship, a set of drawings have the capacity to transform into an inspiring and truly breath-taking space and the journey from one to the other creates an exciting environment for the duration of the project.
Everything is interconnected on a project. Understanding and exploring the dependencies inherent on each individual trade is essential for a successful and productive project completion and at Indeglas we use our experience to predetermine essential interfaces informing our construction and design partners at the earliest possible stages to proactively assist the planning process. I think this sets us apart and elevates our status as a reliable team player in the industry.
I say all these things from the viewpoint of 26 years’ experience in the construction industry. I’ve spent the past year, since Indeglas rebranded, helping to develop company growth, adding an additional one third in staff, and successfully completing a diverse mix of exciting project installations across the UK, and securing a bright future in a fast-growing industry.
"Something as simple as knocking on the site manager’s door to introduce yourself and to say what you’ll be doing for them, and making yourself and your team available, can be all it takes to develop a reputation that will last for years in the industry."
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