Importance Of Collaboration, Communication, And Self-Reflection In Construction Projects

Understanding the Importance of Collaboration and Communication in Construction Projects

Five year ago, I was handed a lead responsibility to lead a team in a construction site. I had to organize the qualities of different teams and ensure that they complete their tasks within the specified time to ensure the preceding team does its part well and on time. While working I notice that one of the team was taking long to complete its task and that meant that the preceding team won’t be able to accomplish its task and the project will be have to delay (Loon 2017). The delays in this team were resulting from disputes in the team members on what needed to be done. The major problem that the team members in this section experienced is that they did not understanding what the specific tasks which were required to be done in order to accomplish. The supervisor in that section did not also understanding the specific parts of the tasks and was shy to ask for assistance. Ensuring that the team members were able to collaborate well and deliver to the allocated tasks is one of the key aspects of proper project delivery (Loon 2007). Being the leader for the teams, I had to ensure that the specific team members collaborated and helped each other to deliver to their tasks. In this project, the lack of cooperation of the members would lead to underperformance of the whole project. This is because the previous team won’t be able to work unless the preceding one accomplishes its tasks.

Being the team leader, I felt greatly responsible for the team when they failed to deliver to the mandate. In this section, I had to make sure that each time was aware on the way to deliver to their mandate and using the least time possible. In this position, I had the responsibility of ensuring that the tasks are completed within the given timeline. In addition, I had to make sure that the teams collaborated well and enhanced their communications to deliver (CIDB 2010). In another previous position, I had experienced the same situation and therefore I had to take the matter and solve the issue and ensure that the work progress continued as planned. Lack of cooperation due to different ideas is a key problem which is able to lame projects (Loon 2017). Before allocating duties to the different members, I was supposed to check their competence to deliver and accomplish the tasks. Therefore this was part of my blame. Therefore in this part of the task, I was required to ensure that the team collaborate well and able to deliver the tasks required.

Although this part of team had different views, this is acceptable but collaboration is important to ensure that the teams has one direct way of accomplishing tasks (Kenley 2012). Therefore I need to enhance my management and evaluation tasks when allocating duties. Proper allocation of duties to the right members is important to ensure tasks are accomplished using appropriate ways and spending shortest time possible. I need therefore to enhance my analysis of the allocation of the duties which will enhance my management of team members. This skill will ensure that I pick the right team leaders who can take lead and ensure duties are accomplished as required (Sexton and Senaratne 2011). In addition, I need to enhance my analytical skills. This will ensure that I am able to recognize the weaknesses of the team members early enough. This skill will ensure that I am able to resolve the problem early and enhance keeping projects up to schedule.

The Role of Coordinating Skills and Time Management in Construction Projects

From this experience, I was able to learn that coordinating skills are important for the engineers to properly manage the teams. The coordinating skills ensure that the engineers understand the weaknesses of the team members and resolve the problems early enough. In addition, I was able to understand the communication skills are important. The members in this team were unable to reach an agreement on the proper method to execute the duties due to communication differences (Kennerley, Kirk, Westbrook & Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre 2017). The communication among the team members is crucial to ensure that they deliver the tasks within the scheduled timeline (Daim et al. 2012). Most importantly, I learnt that leading the team requires collaboration which was lacking on this team. The supervisors needed to collaborate with other professionals and ensure he gets the required guidance. This is an important skill which is required for practising engineers.

Being involved in self reflection after accomplishing tasks is a key process to learn and rectify the challenges and mistakes done before. During a project implementation three years ago, I was given the task on completing the formwork which was to be used for onsite casting of concrete. The place for the formwork was at first floor and I experienced the challenges on ensuring security for the team while working at height (Towey 2013). After completing the task, I was able to collect the whole team which I was in charge and we had to look at the challenges and problems which we were able to encounter. During this reflection time, we leant that the scaffolding used was not the best to ensure that the task was completed within the shortest time possible. Lack of reflection meant that the same mistakes may be repeated each time the task is being done. This reflection time therefore meant that the accomplishment of the tasks will be slow. Lack of self-review and management leads to underperformance of the team. This is because they will repeat the same mistakes instead of learning from them and enhancing their performance.

The major problem of failing to engage in self-reflection of that we could not learn a better way to enhance the security of the team and learn new ways to deliver to the tasks (Chen 2015). Initially, we dragged the schedule so later since we were repeating the same methods which were not working and unable to deliver as required. This was able to give me a challenge on my management responsibility of the team. As the leader, I had to come up with solution and better ways to perform the tasks and ensure they are delivered within the scheduled timeline. The responsibilities of coming with these solutions were all on my shoulders. I felt I was failing the team when I was unable to meet the schedule specification. I had to engage of self-management reflection in order to see the way I can enhance my management skills and ensure that I was able to deliver the tasks earlier or as it is scheduled. The fact is that I was getting frustrated with my management skills after self-review. This is because is found I was highly underperforming and unable to meet my own expectation. The frustration led to my self-review in order to find solutions to the underlying problems in the performance of the team. Having in the previous projects delivered in the project schedule, I was feeling a great responsibility that I needed to do better. This project and task was able to provide a long learning lesson that I needed to learn on new ways to deliver considering the environment which I am working at. Therefore with experience in similar tasks, I would take less time to accomplish the tasks and deliver the tasks (Anderson et al. 2016). This task therefore required the teams self-review and self-management evaluation to identify the problem and solve it appropriately.

Importance of Self-Reflection and Self-Management in Construction Projects

At this point, I placed all the blame was on my shoulder as a leader for the team. I therefore had to work and enhance my management skills. Through the proper management of the teams, I was able to deliver the tasks as required. In addition, time management skills were one of the key part I was able to learn in this project (O’Brien & Plotnick 2016). The task was urgent and required proper organization for the tasks timelines. As the leader, I had to provide my own schedule to the team and ensure we deliver regardless of the challenges available. The self-review revealed that we could do better in delivering the tasks. I also found that the time management skill was a key important requirement which is needed to enhance to deliver the tasks.  

From this experience, I was able to learn that self-review after every task is important. The self-review ensures that the same problems are not repeated each time while delivering the same tasks. The self-management skills analysis is also important and ensures that one gets the proper skills to management teams. Most importantly, I was able to learn that teamwork was required during the reflection and review period. This ensures that all the team members are able to understand the problems prevailing and the way to solve them.  


Anderson, S. D., Quiroga, C. A., Overman, J. H., Choi, K., Sahu, J., Kermanshachi, S., Goodrum, P., … United States. 2016, Effective project scoping practices to improve on-time and on-budget delivery of highway budgets.

Chen, C. 2015, A Proactive Approach for Change Management and Control on Construction Projects. Berkeley, CA.

CIDB 2010, CIDB Contractors Registration Report, Construction Industry Development Board, Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: CIBD Publications.

Daim, T.U., Ha, A., Reutiman, s., Hughes, b., Pathak, U., Bynum, W. and Bhatla, A. 2012, Exploring the communication breakdown in global virtual teams. International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 30 (2012), pp.199-212.

Kenley, R. 2012, Managing Change in Construction Projects : a Knowledge-Based Approach. Construction Management and Economics, v30 n2: 179-180

Kennerley, H., Kirk, J., Westbrook, D., & Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre,. (2017). An introduction to cognitive behaviour therapy: Skills & applications.

Loon, E. J. P. 2017, Creating organizational value through dialogical leadership: Boiling rice in still water.

O’Brien, J. J., & Plotnick, F. L. 2016, CPM in construction management.

Sexton, M and Senaratne, S. 2011, Managing Change in Construction Projects : a Knowledge-Based Approach. Hoboken : John Wiley & Sons

Towey, D. 2013, Cost management of construction projects. The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, UK : Wiley Blackwell, John Wiley & Sons Inc. 

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