Over the years, the authors have thought of simple ways to enhance the project managers' understanding of construction in the urban environment. We refer to these thoughts—our construction philosophy—as Lambeck and Eschemuller isms, which are as follows:
• Do not trust anyone until you can confirm his or her honesty and integrity.
• Avoid litigation whenever possible.
• Everything should be in writing and documented. We all have bad memories.
• Principals of the construction company should visit the owner and the construction site.
Have a checklist and action plan that will prepare you for unexpected events. Evaluate the risks of constructing the project. Treat subcontractors with respect and fairness. Always present the facts, not conjecture.
Always solicit opinions from other people and professionals to assist in problem solving. Two heads are better than one.
Always focus on the problem and not the symptoms.
When communicating in writing, keep it simple and use the KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) method.
Study and learn the construction documents, both the plans and specifications. Always visit the site to determine the existing and as-built conditions. Always ask questions. No question is too foolish.
Read technical publications to learn more about new technology being used in the industry.
Never be pushed into making a decision until you understand the ramifications. Get all approvals in writing with approved signatures and dates. When you make a mistake, admit it and move on. Learn from your mistakes.
Have all your facts together prior to advising as to which way to proceed.
Know when to back down (you may have won the "battle" but lost the "war").
Always prepare an agenda for every meeting and try to keep meetings as short and focused as possible.
Request information by a definitive date, not just ASAP. Keep records of all important phone calls.
Never assume anything, especially as it relates to dimensions on drawings.
Where possible, use available information. Try not to "reinvent the wheel."
Always review your work prior to submitting it to an owner.
Learn something new about the construction industry every day.
Make sure you understand the whole person you are dealing with—both the technical, rational side and the emotional side—and be sensitive to the person's needs and situation.
Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today, as you may need the time tomorrow to deal with unforeseen matters that arise.
Expect the unexpected, and be prepared with contingency plans to deal with it. Use the best talent, resources, systems, and approach to build in an urban environment. Train your personnel in both the technical and managerial aspects of the construction process.
Ensure that all team members within the construction management/general contractor firm understand their roles, duties, and responsibilities.
Define who the team leader is and give him or her the authority, along with the responsibility, to get the job done.
Identify all of the project stakeholders and try to address all of their concerns and special interests.
Establish lines of communication with all of the stakeholders. Try to develop a "win-win" strategy when dealing with team members and project stakeholders.
Make sure that safety is priority number one. A clean project is a safe project. Establish a good quality control program on the project. Identify project risks and develop a risk management plan to mitigate them. Plan for the orderly growth and succession of the management of your firm. Make sure you enjoy your job.
Now, let's go build an urban project!
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.