#5 The Fragmented, Inefficient and Litigious Construction Industry has Lots of Room for Improvement
Owners want projects faster, better and for less. I learned that lesson 25 years ago and it hasn’t stopped being true. Unfortunately, the Construction Industry operates with standard procedures that sometimes date back to the Middle Ages. The difference between how well most projects could get done and how well they actually get done amazes me.
The inefficiency begins with the lack of collaboration in planning and design, which usually results from the way Architects and Engineers get compensated. This most important first step generally gets done on the cheap. Even worse, perhaps, the Design Professionals often don’t have direct responsibility for how the facility ultimately operates. This creates a disconnect few projects ever get past.
Then the projects heads into construction with flawed documents and lots of opportunities for conflict between all parties. Since confrontation tends to be easier for most of us than collaboration, we fight our way to project completion with opportunities for true efficiency lost along the way.
Of course every project doesn’t get done this way, but many do. Owners get stuck in the middle of these wars and generally finance them. Those of us who figure out how to do better tend to stay busy and not worry too much about recessions.
Anyone coming into this business should be considering where they want to be on that scale of conflict and collaboration. If you commit to work with integrity, precision and efficiency and strive to fine other like minded people to do the same, you’ve got a bright future.
Things like Building Information Management (BIM) systems will be the future of our industry. The 3D drawings and collaboration between designers, suppliers and contractors could greatly improve our overall industry efficiency. With great improvement comes lots of work and the possibility of substantial rewards. That’s the line you want to be standing in.