Several groups generally make up a construction team, but all our team members share the common goal of wanting to complete the project. Aligning these interests and completing a project on time and on budget require teamwork from all participants.
One of the first steps in building an effective team is to define the goals of the project. In construction, this can involve a pre-construction meeting or a kick-off meeting. Everyone should agree on the objectives, such as using green construction methods, emphasising safety and staying within the budget. Goals should be measurable and specific. For example, when setting the project schedule everyone should agree on goals such as providing fast replies to requests for information so that we do not lose any time.
One key to working effectively as a team is for team members to respect and trust each other. In construction, people from different professions, such as contracting and architecture, must cooperate closely and it may be difficult for these people to understand each other’s approaches to a problem. Members of our construction team have spent time getting to know each other, learning a bit about the work they each do. This helps our team members trust that the other people on the team know their jobs well and can accomplish what they set out to do.
When we work as a team, each member has different duties and responsibilities. To function effectively, our team members understand these, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the other team members. At the beginning of the project, each team member sets out what he is responsible for. This prevents overlap of duties that can cost money and cause confusion. For instance, our design engineers make field visits to confirm that the engineering specifications they are liable for are being met.
At the beginning of the project, our team members decide what risks there are and allocate responsibility for managing those risks. For example, a shortage of labour may cause expensive project delays, a failed building inspection can require expensive alterations and injuries on the work site can delay work and add costs. Our teams should prioritise the risks, based on the likelihood and consequence of their occurring, and then develop a plan for mitigating or reducing each risk.