How long does it take for an RFI to be responded to on your project?
Why are Submittals not being answered in a timely basis by the Architect?
Who is going to take care of that safety issue raised during last week's meeting?
Why does the budget seem to be off?
Shouldn't someone keep track of these back and forth emails, just in case?
Where is all the documentation kept for the project?
These are just a few questions every project team should be asking themselves on their construction project on a routine and regular basis. The answers have both time and dollar implications and can ultimately mean the difference between a successful project outcome or one that is not.
Questions open up a plethora of conversation opportunities amongst the project team. They lay the groudwork and set the expectation for how everyone should function and operate. They also help identify potential pitfalls that may delay a project or cause budget overruns.
Questions hold power that when leveraged by committed architects, engineers, contractors and project managers can help avoid unnecessary issues, overcome miscommunication and create a process of accountability for everyone on the project.
So if questions like the ones outlined above are so important, why do so many construction teams fail to ask them? Our guess is that no one has made asking them an intrigal part of the project team's process from the get go.
Here's what needs to happen to make questions a routine and expected part of your construction project teams interactions.
1. Emphasize that no one should leave any meeting without having asked any question that might cause them or their team not to perform to their fullest capability.
2. Make time at the beginning and end of every meeting to allow the team to ask questions.
3. Create an environment where every member of the team checks their ego at the door. This requires good meeting leadership to insure that everyone feels comfortable asking questions, expressing concerns, sharing ideas and ultimately walks away from every meeting feeling heard and understood.
Getting your project team to ask questions might seem a bit tricky at first but if done right it can save the entire project team a lot of headaches down the road.
Interested in learning how tools like Owner Insite can help encourage the free sharing of information? Click here to learn more!