Essay The Construction Team

Team Dynamics And Decision Making For Project Success Essay

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Team Dynamics and Decision Making for Project Success

Project success often depends upon team decision-making. In the workplace, the team leader's job is to make decisions that benefit the team and the whole company. This places them with a lot of responsibility. They must contemplate the options and consciously select the decision-making strategy most appropriate for the circumstances in which the decision will be made and implemented. Often the decision-making style chosen is among the most significant roles of the project manager. Communication and interpersonal skills of the group members influence the decision. The incorrect approach can cause problems within the group. "Research conducted by Wheelen, Murphy, Tsumura and…show more content…

If the outcome for the decision is not positive, members of the organization begin to feel they could have done a better job themselves and the leader may lose credibility. When overly used, it has a number of disadvantages. Team members cannot contribute anything to, or learn anything from, the process. They are less likely to be committed to implementing the decision. The absence of any discussion also means that conflicts cannot be worked through, leaving ongoing resentment unresolved.

During decisions by the leader after group discussion, the team proposes and discusses ideas, but the leader makes the final decision. During this type of decision-making, the leader involves the members of the organization. The leader maintains control of the decision because, although outside information is considered, the leader alone decides. The leader is also completely responsible for the good or bad outcome because of the decision. Advantages include some this is especially valuable when team members could be negatively affected by the decision. In most cases, members are informed before the decision is implemented so there are no surprises and usually they feel good about their personal involvement. If the leader is a good communicator, and listens carefully to the information collected, they will usually have a more accurate understanding of the problem and make a better decision. Other perspectives

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Several groups generally make up a construction team, such as the architect and engineering team, the owners and investors, and the contractors. All team members share the common goal of wanting to complete the project, but they may also have conflicting priorities. Owners may want value for money, while the architect and engineers are concerned with aesthetics and safety. Aligning these interests and completing a project on time and on budget require teamwork from all participants.

Team Goals

One of the first steps in building an effective team is to define the goals of the project. In construction, this can involve a preconstruction meeting or a kick-off meeting. Everyone should agree on the objectives, such as using green construction methods, emphasizing safety and staying within the budget. Goals should be measurable and specific. For example, when setting the project schedule everyone should agree on goals such as providing fast replies to requests for information so the builder does not lose any time.

Establishing Trust

One key to working effectively as a team is for team members to respect and trust each other. In construction, people from different professions, such as contracting and architecture, must cooperate closely and it may be difficult for these people to understand each others' approaches to a problem. Members of the construction team should spend time getting to know each other, learning a bit about the work they each do. This can help team members trust that the other people on the team know their jobs well and can accomplish what they set out to do.

Responsibilties

When working as a team, each member has different duties and responsibilities. To function effectively, team members must understand these, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the other team members. At the beginning of the project, each team member should set out what he is responsible for. This will prevent overlap of duties that can cost money and cause confusion. For instance, design engineers need to make field visits to confirm that the engineering specifications they are liable for are being met. The architect or contractor should not be doing this job.

Risk Management

At the beginning of the project, team members should decide what risks there are and allocate responsibility for managing those risks. For example, a shortage of labor may cause expensive project delays, a failed building inspection can require expensive alterations and injuries on the work site can delay work and add costs. Teams should prioritize the risks, based on the likelihood and consequence of their occurring, and then develop a plan for mitigating or reducing each risk.

About the Author

Since graduating with a degree in biology, Lisa Magloff has worked in many countries. Accordingly, she specializes in writing about science and travel and has written for publications as diverse as the "Snowmass Sun" and "Caterer Middle East." With numerous published books and newspaper and magazine articles to her credit, Magloff has an eclectic knowledge of everything from cooking to nuclear reactor maintenance.

Photo Credits

  • Construction surveyor and construction site background image by UBE from Fotolia.com

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