How Communication Directly Impacts Construction Productivity

AMTS has been in business since 1994. During this time, we have helped clients overcome numerous constraints and obstacles to successfully complete construction projects.

From our experience, we have discovered that misses in communication between relevant parties is the number one constraint in the industry. This category represents 57 percent of negative construction project impact.

For your company to overcome communication constraints to drive productivity growth, it is important to review (a) what communication should look like, (b) how to execute effective communication, and (c) how to evaluate effective communication.

What Should Communication Look Like in Construction?

Effective communication includes the method of communication and the measurability of communication.

– Method of communication: The type of communication that drives productivity is direct, simple, and measurable.

– Measurability of communication: Construction companies need to be able to measure the effectiveness of communication in all construction phases and among all involved personnel, including stakeholders, vendors, workers, and supervisors.

The issue is that many construction companies do not have an effective method of tracking communication throughout a project to eliminate gaps and misunderstandings.

The result is an inability to address and correct inefficiencies, waste, and other communication-related problems that can negatively impact productivity.

The 5 Elements of Specific Communication and Coordination

To enhance productivity, consider taking key steps to optimize your communication and ensure that you can deliver on the project’s timeline, budget, and quality. Our approach is to apply Lean principles for communication and coordination.

1. Gaiting sector focus. One of the principles of Lean construction is to distinguish each process, tool, and person that is necessary at each phase of the project. These handoff points identify the critical communication points within the project. During these efforts, constraints to productivity can be identified and addressed to ensure task delivery.

2. WIP (Work in Process) balancing. Communication is critical to balance the work performed on each task during the project. You do not want tools to be unavailable for a critical task or for people to stand around waiting for a dependent task to be completed.

Balancing the work that is in process requires strong coordination — starting with the pre-planning phase. A clear plan for how the work should be completed will reduce the risk of waste and inefficiency that typically slow down productivity.

3. Logistics improvement. Your plan should include detailed schedules of when specific processes, tools, and people should be required. Then, use the schedule to support real-time communication of when the processes will be performed, the tools will be delivered, and the people will be mobilized to perform each task.

4. Raw process time. Clearly understanding the actual work time (raw process time) and the wait times allows identification of the opportunities for improvement. This also helps reduce the tendency to procrastinate and enable faster delivery of the tasks.

5. Utilization and efficiency. Distinctly planning for the space, materials, tools, and skills enables proper communication and work completion. Understanding the utilization of these elements helps drive the efficiency of the resources and higher productivity.

You should also create multi-channel communication for workers to relay information about their individual performance or the performance of the machines. This way, you can quickly address unanticipated issues that arise during construction.

Work With AMTS to Enhance Communication to Support Construction Productivity

We believe that the most important step to optimize communication is to establish effective communication in the pre-planning phase. Why? Poor communication early on will result in poor communication throughout, but clear communication early on will lead to effective communication throughout.

By enhancing communication to drive productivity, you can improve cycle times that will allow you to deliver on the cost, schedule, and quality. This is important because AMTS believes that you do not have to settle for “picking two” of the cost, schedule, or quality. You can achieve all three and overcome a major cause of construction project failure by focusing on communication.

To find out how we can support your next construction project, contact our team today. We look forward to working with you.