Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Journal #20 - Design and Construction Division of Work

Since Deanna said people had been posting random things in their blog and that this was ok, I am going to write a little about the independent study I am performing this semester. Myself and two other masters students, Joe N and Greg G, are collecting data from the Design and Construction class regarding old and new construction management practices. The study is split into three parts: production rates, laser scanning, and percent project complete. The production rates are divided into what we have defined as indirect and direct work, and are compiled weekly from timecards submitted by each student. The percent project complete, which has only had data for the past 4 weeks, gauges how much (percent) each predefined weekly activity is completed by the end of the week. The laser scanning is a way to compare what the actual site resembles in comparison with CAD models (designed vs. as built).

As of now, we have only collected and compiled data, mostly regarding the production rates. But soon we need to start drawing conclusion, which our advisor wants in the form of recommendations on how we would improve the division of work or scheduling. This, I feel, is very hard with such an atypical project, and also hard as Larry Cartwright (the class professor) has molded this class's structure over many, many years.

What, from my understanding, has been different about this year's class so far has been the lack of presence of Larry in the construction aspect. This is mostly due to the experience of Brandon B, the construction manager (one of two or three student leads in the class.) Construction is scheduled daily, with the construction manager communicating via email or phone with those currently on the construction team what needs to be done the next day. The project manager (me) schedules weekly meetings with Larry, the construction manager, and another student on the scheduling team (which is just a team of two). The designated activities for the next week are determined at this meeting, and Larry can discuss how these tasks are to be completed.

I think that after these initial meetings the construction manager could meet with the construction team, or at least a core of them, so everyone is completely aware of what needs to be done. There is always a general idea, but it is commonplace that time is taken everyday to discuss how the activities are to be completed, and often these are unfocused conversation without the attention of everyone who should be aware (like me). A centralized meeting that is focused could be helpful in this regard.

Any suggestions would be very helpful, it is really tough to offer improvements to the management in this class.

1 comment:

Deanna said...

this sounds so well organized compared to other project oriented projects! ask scott or your classmates about epp project...

while i can't necessarily solve your problem, it is interesting to think about your experience with respect to the something like the gates construction. how much contact do the average workers have with the decision makers to know what is going on in planning versus what is going on with constructing? does either recognize the issues the other faces? likewise, does the information you are collecting help make those lines of communication any easier?