The importance of thorough construction inspection for projects cannot be denied. But what are the keys to successfully executing thorough inspection? While several come to mind, there is one very important factor: communication. Successful communication leads to great teamwork and is vital to providing a successful project that meets our clients’ goals—or in other words, makes their “dream” a reality.
All projects come with trials and tribulations. The construction industry is not an exact science, and as engineers and inspectors, we are tasked with overcoming any hurdles that arise. Without good communication between all the stake holders—contractor, QC team, QA team and the client—teamwork will suffer, and these hurdles will become much higher.
Teamwork in practice
As a new employee at Mead & Hunt, I have had the opportunity to visit several of our CEI projects and witness firsthand how good communication leads to stellar results. One of our current CEI projects in Virginia involves removing the existing embankment to widen the roadway grade, so that an adjacent onramp can be extended and improve safe entry onto the interstate. The work area is near the travelled way and blasting operations had created some minor issues with the mainline traffic. While all parties may have had an opinion on how to resolve this issue, it was clear that no one person had all the answers. It would take communication and teamwork to reach a resolution.
Progress meetings were immediately scheduled and held, and with good communication, the issue was resolved. Was it resolved after the first progress meeting? NO. But communication continued between the contractor, the client, and all QC/QA staff, along with outside industry professionals who were able to provide further input. As a result of this extensive communication and teamwork, a resolution was obtained in a very timely manner.
What could have happened if communication was lacking, and teamwork failed? Delays, penalties, shutdowns, and worst of all, an unsatisfied client whose “dream” was not realized. Team members should strive to avoid any of these results and truly work hard to avoid them.
Throughout my career, I have seen many times how great projects are never achieved by one person. This project in Virginia is just one example. Time and again, the most successful projects that really make a client’s dream a reality—these are accomplished by a team of people, communicating and working together.