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Why is Communication Important in Construction Projects & How to Improve it

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Communication is one of the main predictors of success in projects. Ensure good communication to avoid delays, rework, and costly misunderstandings.

Communication within the confines of a construction project can prove to be decisive on whether the project is successful or not. Construction consists of many different elements. These include different roles, tasks and collaborations throughout the course of the project. To make sure that this all comes together smoothly, clear and effective communication is key.

Poor communication can cause a snowball effect. A simple misunderstanding could cause many more as the project progresses. Ultimately, this will lead to mistakes and rework, which can waste many valuable resources. This is why clear, well defined communication paths and workflows are so important. 

Let’s take a look into how you can maximise and enhance the communication strategy throughout the construction process.

The Importance of Communication in Construction

Construction projects follow a chain of communication from one person to the next, from one party to another party. For example, between the architect providing drawings to the contractor and the type of approval that is required in selecting and applying the final coat of paint to a building, there is a very long chain of processes and tasks that need to be clear and precise in order to make these types of decisions quick and accurate. Different people in various roles carry out these types of processes, hence the importance of good communication.

If there are any miscommunications or incorrect briefings in the chains of communication between the contractor to subcontractors, architect to the builders, etc. then projects, tasks and activities stand the chance of being completed incorrectly.

If this occurs, it would require some expensive rework to fix things. This will involve replanning and rebuilding - something that consumes more time and money. As a result, the entire construction project will be thrown off track, with resources being unnecessarily used to mitigate and correct the mistakes that have been made. With profit margins being tight within the construction industry, the cost of rework can quickly whittle these away. 

To avoid going over budget and over schedule, it’s crucial to put clear communication and collaboration systems in place right from the outset of a project. Teams need to be able to communicate seamlessly from the very first planning stages right through to the end. This will not only enhance the construction management process, but it will keep the entire project on track and importantly, indirectly, improve productivity and mitigate possible delay claims.

Why You Need Clear Communication in Construction Projects

Maintaining a strong chain of communication in construction will enhance each stage of the construction lifecycle. Below are some of the core reasons why you should focus on a solid communication strategy.

Strengthens Relationships

Communication helps to strengthen and build relationships in construction projects. Good relationships are key for any successful business operation. This helps to build stronger trust and transparency between all the stakeholders involved.

Better Team Management

Team management becomes much stronger with good communication. A good project manager should be able to clearly communicate the desired daily and weekly activities to the team. This helps to form a clear roadmap for reaching the desired goal.

Strong communication skills from the site team to management will mean that there is a better understanding of the state of the project and the direction it needs to take. It will allow management to implement proactive and protective measures in-lieu of corrective measures if anything should happen on site. This is crucial as it leads to more accurate and efficient projects.

The better the communication is, the more confident the team becomes. Having a more open and transparent system in place allows the team to understand exactly what they need to do.

When challenges arise, open communication allows for the sharing of solutions. This means that teams can solve problems quicker. Ultimately, this leads to a team that is better equipped for the job and happier to take on the workload.

Improved Collaboration & Feedback

With good communication channels, you also enhance collaboration and creative innovation. Team members can share ideas and experiences for others to learn from. This helps to inspire stronger ideas and better collaboration on finding the best solutions for projects.

Communication leads to feedback. Feedback loops allow you to track performance and understand where there is success and where there are issues and concerns. Being able to communicate the strengths and downfalls of a project is one of the best ways to learn. By doing so, you can improve your strategies and tactics for future projects.

Ultimately, transparency and strong communication results in a better outcome. Results are best achieved through good communication systems. They keep everyone involved on the same page, updated, and aware of deadlines and goals.

Communication Starts in the Planning Phase

When putting your communication system in place, it’s important to implement it right from the start of a project. The construction planning and estimation phase is where it all begins, and it forms the basis for the rest of the project. The ability to be transparent during the estimation phase, sharing how unit rates have been produced and getting feedback of these rates from the project team allows for more accurate estimation for future and upcoming projects.  Having strong systems in place, like using the right technology, will help to open up communication and transparency. This can add infinite value to the project ahead.

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