Project Management Central

Please login or join to subscribe to this thread

PM and Construction
Network:317



I have been in construction for going on 20 years now. From an apprenticeship I rose up to a Project Manager. Going on 3-4years now I have been doing Project Management full time and all my experience in that is from school, classes, online learning, and years of field work.

I have seen in my studies that there are some things I believe would be really effective if utilized in the construction field (e.g. PM styles like agile for instance) but I have yet to see anything really utilized. I know first hand how hard it is to get construction to adapt to change, but I am wondering if it is just my experience or if others have seen what I am saying in that “Project Management in construction” is nothing like what I read and study or seen others doing.

I utilize my toolbox of PM for myself because I wouldn’t know where to start to try to change it, but I am wondering if it is either I have just been on a rough side of an industry that refuses change and hates it in general or if others have seen it as well.

I appreciate the feedback/conversation
Sort By:
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next>
Anonymous
Steve

You must be careful and watch out to differentiate between Good PM/CM practices and Agile fads.

Agile - as a Agile development - I have been challenging people for over a year to show me a real example on how that can be used in construction and ---- NOTHING.

Now, agile, as in agility, is a good PM practice and many organizations have been using for many years. For example, tool box talks - some now call that an agile practice. Communicate regularly with your client, rolling wave planning, etc.
...
1 reply by Steve Ramsdell
Nov 10, 2017 10:42 PM
Steve Ramsdell
...
I can give you an example of agile in construction...

2 year project, using a standard waterfall design I have seen as the “go to” in construction, and when all is said and done, we reflect on a project as a bottom line accomplishment.

Breaking my own work load into week long scrums, something I tried on my own, I noticed losses all over. Sure small but 15-20 forgot about over a two year span adds up.

Doing this, monitoring myself and tasks, I was able to allocate people (resources) when a fire came up because they weren’t committed to something we decided was going on 6 months earlier.

This is generic but it was noticeable and I’m wondering if anyone else thought/noticed this
Network:180



I am just sharing my past experience and knowledge. In construction changes are inevitable. It is challenging too. In construction, changes may arise from many sources such as contractors/subcontractors. A change clause should be incorporated into the terms and conditions of the contract so that all changes should be handled according to it. Some sources of changes are:

1. Design changes considering field conditions
2. Non availability of specified materials
3. Hauling costs
4. Variations in estimated quantity
5. Non availability of resources
6. Changes in quality and scope etc.
...
1 reply by Steve Ramsdell
Nov 10, 2017 10:43 PM
Steve Ramsdell
...
The constant change is why I feel agile would be so applicable and I don’t see it anywhere, am I wrong, or just what I have expirenced thus far
Network:1017



Agile by definition means the ability to adapt to change, no matter where or how you use it. The concept of agile is implemented using different frameworks such as scrum or XP in development or in manufacturing, Lean. In project management the concept of agile is implemented by using the adaptive approach. But no matter how the concept of agile is implemented there are some commonalities such as rolling wave planning, again something that is implemented differently depending on your environment i.e. construction, development, manufacturing etc. So you cannot translate how agile is implemented in software development directly to another environment like construction but you can (should?) definitely implement the concepts.

To do this in construction is probably the most difficult. I've worked on many construction projects and getting an adaptive (agile) approach adopted across the board is something I am yet to accomplish. Have done it on sub packages of a construction contract such as systems but due to governance associated with most big construction projects it will always be a challenge. Your first port of call would be to get a rolling wave schedule approved by your stakeholders, you need to get them comfortable with the concept of short term high level detail, medium term medium level detail and long term low level detail. Short, Medium and Long terms would obviously be determined by your project duration and complexity. Good luck as it is never an easy task.
...
1 reply by Steve Ramsdell
Nov 10, 2017 10:46 PM
Steve Ramsdell
...
I have started by applying it to my personal workload. Document what I encountered and try to turn it into digestable info for my senior management because no one seems to understand when I explain

This is my current idea so tapping people I may make a little sense to for input guidance and ideas
Network:1833



First of all you need to understand what Agile is. It is a practice like Lean for example. So, you can apply Agile practice into any market niche to create any product. To apply Agile you can choose to use a method from the market (Scrum, DSDM, etc), to use your own method or do not use any method. In case of construction I have applied Agile in 1999 into an initiative that time after was awared by the PMI. In that case we use a method named DSDM. If you search into the internet you will find other examples.
Anonymous
Nov 10, 2017 4:07 AM
Replying to Anton Oosthuizen
...
Agile by definition means the ability to adapt to change, no matter where or how you use it. The concept of agile is implemented using different frameworks such as scrum or XP in development or in manufacturing, Lean. In project management the concept of agile is implemented by using the adaptive approach. But no matter how the concept of agile is implemented there are some commonalities such as rolling wave planning, again something that is implemented differently depending on your environment i.e. construction, development, manufacturing etc. So you cannot translate how agile is implemented in software development directly to another environment like construction but you can (should?) definitely implement the concepts.

To do this in construction is probably the most difficult. I've worked on many construction projects and getting an adaptive (agile) approach adopted across the board is something I am yet to accomplish. Have done it on sub packages of a construction contract such as systems but due to governance associated with most big construction projects it will always be a challenge. Your first port of call would be to get a rolling wave schedule approved by your stakeholders, you need to get them comfortable with the concept of short term high level detail, medium term medium level detail and long term low level detail. Short, Medium and Long terms would obviously be determined by your project duration and complexity. Good luck as it is never an easy task.
Dear Sir

Can you list what specific practices that were used in construction that you consider them as "agile-practices" and NOT good construction management practices?

For example, you mentioned rolling wave planning, are you labeling this as an agile practice?
...
1 reply by Anton Oosthuizen
Nov 11, 2017 1:57 AM
Anton Oosthuizen
...
Mounir

Absolutely rolling wave planning is an agile practice. If you consider the same for more common environments such as development you find rolling wave being implemented as sprints (in SCRUM) where only the immediate sprint is planned in detail while those into the future are less detailed but becomes more detailed as their planned release comes closer. Rolling wave is adaptive because I do not have to break down the building to implement a chance to upcoming tasks,

This also allows you to implement other agile principles such as continues integration and retrospectives without making huge waves. We all know that most project have review meeting of some sort but these are not always as effective as they should be because it is to discuss progress against a rigid schedule that has been planned to the Nth degree for months or even years in advance.
Anonymous
Nov 10, 2017 4:32 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
First of all you need to understand what Agile is. It is a practice like Lean for example. So, you can apply Agile practice into any market niche to create any product. To apply Agile you can choose to use a method from the market (Scrum, DSDM, etc), to use your own method or do not use any method. In case of construction I have applied Agile in 1999 into an initiative that time after was awared by the PMI. In that case we use a method named DSDM. If you search into the internet you will find other examples.
Hi Sergio,

We keep debating this points

1. Same question as I just posted to Anton - would love to hear your view on it.
2. In your mind and experience since you have been around agile for many years --- can you list to us what are the key agile principles? In other words, what are the practices that if we follow, we can say these are based on true understanding of agile practices.

For example, I know the agile manifesto did not invent agile and agile practices are older --- but the key principles of agile manifesto and principles are about delivery working products in increments, tolerant to change, etc.

Thank you
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Nov 10, 2017 1:22 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
Hi Mounir
the problem there is to tied Agile to the Manifesto. The Manifesto is nothing to be aware unless you are working in software domain. I can write a lot. By the best source is to find Rick Dove´s book "response ability" that contains mos of the information to understand what agile really is. By the way, today I performed a conference in Argentina regarding to Agile where more than 20 people assits and most of them are not related to software.
Network:15899



Let's forget about Agile in construction for the time being; it's a red herring. I think Steve's main question is project management practices in general in the industry. Steve, when you say "Project Management in construction” is nothing like what I read and study or seen others doing" can you be more specific? I assume in construction there is planning, a schedule, a budget, resources, risk assessment, quality assurance, scope, stakeholders, and a manager/s to oversee it all yes? That is project management, even if it doesn't include all of the 47 processes (a couple more now with PMBOK 6) that PMI has produced. I think the general issues is construction management has never really valued certified project managers as much as engineers, architects, surveyors etc. Have you been asked to get a PMP certification because management feels it's necessary? Probably not right? That tells you a lot about the level of faith the industry has in certified PM's, which is a shame, as guys like you could really shake things up, and yes include Agile practices in some areas of construction.
...
2 replies by Gavin Abshire and Steve Ramsdell
Nov 10, 2017 10:53 PM
Steve Ramsdell
...
Thank you so much! You nailed it. I’m not after a style to use in construction I’m talking about solid management and control techniques I learned studying this practice and how shocked I am it isn’t the actual standard in my industry.

I mean I have talked to Project Mannagers running 10-20mil in projects that don’t know what PMI is.that is astonishing me

The guy who first trained me in “project management” as I now do it I bought a copy of the original book Gnatt wrote 100 years ago... nice gesture I thought...

He didn’t know who he was.

Is this a standard in all construction or just my personal. I need to gauge that before an attempt/approach to ideas and or change if that makes sense
Nov 12, 2017 6:47 PM
Gavin Abshire
...
Agreed and very well said Sante. As one with 25 years in the construction industry as both contractor and Owner Representative, I can attest the nature of construction contracts and the performance thereof is extremely rigid where performance parameters and deliverables are set with specific deliverable date; i.e., Design, Bid, Build projects where contractors become involved during the bidding phase or Execution Phase per PMI. Unless there is an opportunity to partake in a Design / Build or Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) project, involvement during core initiation and planning phases are unavailable. Furthermore, as most construction contracts are DBB in nature, using the "Agile Manefesto", is a pipe dream. The project sponsors are not going to accept a new building, medical facility, or bridge in "incremental deliverables". Typically there is one Substantial Completion and one Final Acceptance for the entire work. When it comes to developing a project management team towards becoming agile in managing change and implementing the change quickly and efficiently, well that's just good management period. With regards to Agile Practices for construction, I doubt it will ever take root. Why? Too many stakeholders would require a mind-reset; Owners, AIA / Engineer, standard contracts (AIA,Conspec,EJCDC,etc.), not to mention the contractors who do it "the way we've always done it"...
No sir, adoption of newer practices or methodologies is a hill most will not be willing to climb. Example, I know contractors who still depend on Project 2007 and fax machines...
Network:97989



Like Mounir, I focus on being agile over being Agile. Especially at the personal level since that is the area I almost fully control. (My wife has the rest.)
Network:910



Steve, thanks for asking. I started life as an architect and created WBSs for 25 years before I learned they have a name! My career evolved and I've been teaching PMI compliant material for over 20 years. My clients included architects, engineers, contractors and many other industries.
One of my mantras, "Use the appropriate PM tools and techniques appropriately on the appropriate projects." I try to help my students see that "no PM tool or technique has universal usage; all tools and techniques have strengths and weaknesses." Please do not interpret that statement as applying to PM-Deliverables! A 'WBS' is a PM-deliverable; not a tool or technique!
Regarding "agile", Stephane Parent makes an important point about the difference between "agile as a mindset for dealing with change" and "Agile as a software development methodology".
In construction, you have many diverse factors to consider with proposed changes. E.G. moving a wall may affect the structure, the lighting, the HVAC, fire-codes, and a host of details. With "integrated project management", a change in one side of the triple-constraints triangle affects not only the other two sides of the triangle; it may also affect all ten knowledge areas of the "PM Plan for Success"
My point? PMs in every industry may think "all the world is out of step except me!" PM for construction (creating a unique item, building) is not the same as PM for a new model car (also a unique item).
Keep in touch, Jim
...
1 reply by Stéphane Parent
Nov 10, 2017 12:39 PM
Stéphane Parent
...
Which is the reason why project tailoring, as finally introduced in PMBOK 6, is so important.
Network:97989



Nov 10, 2017 9:54 AM
Replying to Jim Branden
...
Steve, thanks for asking. I started life as an architect and created WBSs for 25 years before I learned they have a name! My career evolved and I've been teaching PMI compliant material for over 20 years. My clients included architects, engineers, contractors and many other industries.
One of my mantras, "Use the appropriate PM tools and techniques appropriately on the appropriate projects." I try to help my students see that "no PM tool or technique has universal usage; all tools and techniques have strengths and weaknesses." Please do not interpret that statement as applying to PM-Deliverables! A 'WBS' is a PM-deliverable; not a tool or technique!
Regarding "agile", Stephane Parent makes an important point about the difference between "agile as a mindset for dealing with change" and "Agile as a software development methodology".
In construction, you have many diverse factors to consider with proposed changes. E.G. moving a wall may affect the structure, the lighting, the HVAC, fire-codes, and a host of details. With "integrated project management", a change in one side of the triple-constraints triangle affects not only the other two sides of the triangle; it may also affect all ten knowledge areas of the "PM Plan for Success"
My point? PMs in every industry may think "all the world is out of step except me!" PM for construction (creating a unique item, building) is not the same as PM for a new model car (also a unique item).
Keep in touch, Jim
Which is the reason why project tailoring, as finally introduced in PMBOK 6, is so important.
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next>  

Please login or join to reply

Content ID:
ADVERTISEMENTS

If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?

- Will Rogers

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors