Pre-construction collaboration refers to the process where project managers prepare for a construction project. Activities during this stage involve identifying sources of raw materials, rep-qualifying and selecting subcontractors and much more. During this process, it is likely that the project manager will have to work with specialty contractors. In most projects, these specialists are rarely involved at the beginning of the project and yet their input can be invaluable. In this article, we examine how collaboration can improve the success of a project and even lead to shorter timelines.
Advantages of Better Collaboration
When we talk about collaboration, we mean having clear and open lines of communication between all the parties involved. Specialty contractors can help reduce project timelines if they are involved in the pre-construction process. For example, teams can create approaches that incentivize collaboration. One common approach is known as Integrated Project Delivery or IPD which brings disparate teams together to work on a project as a single firm. IPD ensures that all the different groups on a project are working towards the same objectives. In some cases, organizations even agree on elements such as compensation, roles, and deliverables on a multi-party agreement.
Like everything, pre-construction collaboration can be slowed down by some factors. One of those is the fragmented nature of the construction industry. Given the fact that any medium to large construction project is often implemented by disparate groups, it can often prove very difficult to bring these under the same umbrella. Different companies have different work cultures, different objectives, and different ways of communicating. The result tends to be confusion, duplication of roles and even sometimes inefficient use of resources. It is estimated that wastage and inefficiencies caused by lack of pre-construction collaboration cost construction firms in the United States over $2 million each year.
Pre-construction Collaboration Technology
There is good news, however. When it comes to pre-construction collaboration, technology is offering project managers excellent tools to make this process easier. Technology tools such as the Join™ Platform are specifically designed to help project managers work with different groups on a single construction project. It ensures that all groups are aware of the bigger picture/goals while at the same time having access to the information that they need to deliver their objectives. These tools ensure that construction groups do not operate in silos which has been the hallmark of construction projects for many years.
Making the Right Selection
As a project manager or a property developer, it is clear now that pre-construction collaboration can save you time and money on your project. However, to get this done, you need to work with specialty contractors who understand the need for pre-construction collaboration. There is no need to invest in an expensive technology platform only to have sub-contractors refuse to use it. This means that even in the initial selection of sub-contractors, one must emphasize on the pre-construction collaboration element of the project.