Project Management

Can Workface Planning Boost Your Field Performance?

Olfa is an independent consultant in project management and Researcher in Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) methods for construction projects.

What if I invite you to have a walk through any random construction site and observe the workers in action at the field? You may frequently encounter most of the workers waiting instead of building. That might sound unacceptable, but the truth is that experience and countless productivity studies have shown it to be common.

Across many construction industry segments--and in many parts of the world--labor productivity remains a serious issue, and one of the biggest challenges of the execution phase. Furthermore, compared to other non-farming industries, which have experienced tremendous improvements in their respective labor productivity numbers, the construction industry still suffers from low and stagnating labor productivity rates.

Construction projects are getting increasingly complex, and many of you might think “inherently” challenging. Yet one of the important focuses of the industry remains on the labor productivity issue and that is, in part, related to the fact that about 25% of all construction costs come from field labor.

While new strategies like modularization try to externalize as much scope as possible into a factory-like environment and reduce the amount of work needed in the field, these strategies do not fit every type of construction and--in all cases--field work remains inevitable.

For instance, in North America, construction …

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"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. "

- Bertrand Russell