Ask the right person or get the wrong answer

We were working on a fast-track office building project. The project duration was 6 months and 4 days from the start of design to owner occupancy. It was a 4-story, 125,000 sq. ft. office building to be built on deep friction piles in very deep silt. Construction started while we were sharpening our pencils. We expected questions from the contractor, and the contractor’s personnel were aggressive in pursuing the information they needed to advance the project toward the ambitious substantial completion date. Contractors may learn from some school of practice that they should call the highest authority in order to get the information flowing (a.k.a. rattle the highest cage). In this case, the contractor’s junior project manager made it a practice to bypass the architect and structural engineer and to call the developer’s representative for the smallest detail of information, like embedment length of anchor bolts………important, for sure, but an annoying subject for a developer’s representative who has just negotiated a $7 million deal for his employer and his client. The developer’s representative quickly tired of receiving such phone calls from the contractor’s junior project manager. One day, in response to the project manager’s phone call, he said, “Don’t call me again……….for the rest of your life.”

Posted in Construction Administration, Project Administration, Project Management

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