For an important construction project, we put our best construction team to work.
Now you’re thinking: Yes, of course. So am I. But why do we actually have to trust that “our best employees” have to manage everything only because of their experience, which could perhaps be made more independent of the skills of individuals through a better planning and production process? And independently so that we have the skills of the good employees up our sleeve, but they are not necessities so that the house really stands at the end of the day (stress and pressure are pre-programmed with this way of working).
“I do not know where I am going but I get there faster”
“Der Halbwilde” from Helmut Qualtinger
What the Austrian cabaret artist Helmut Qualtinger calls “I have no idea where I’m going (on a fast motorbike), but I’ll get there faster” when applied to construction are two things: we lack processes and tools to make the construction process controllable/measurable as well as the possibilities to learn from good and bad process variants. But what exactly do we mean by “learning” in the construction process?
For me personally: When I repeat a construction production process (erecting precast walls, laying pipelines, etc.), I ask myself the question: What would I like to do the same again because it was fast/cheap/not prone to errors and what was not?
And the supreme discipline is to transfer the good processes from one construction site to the next. Freely according to the motto: I have never built a hospital as a construction manager, but my company has the knowledge from 25 similar projects. This knowledge helps me in planning and implementation.
Data flow in construction operations as the magic ingredient
Since 2019, we know what a black hole looks like through space telescopes. Only somewhat better do we know (systematically – not just in the minds of those involved!) what the best processes of construction are. Tough call! But I’m pretty sure I’m not grossly off the mark, or at least provoking at the right corner.