McLaughlin & McLaughlin’s Project Professionals blog has a series of posts regarding labor/labour productivity. Over the last month we have added to this popular series. The first summary was posted in June and the latest was a reissue in October 2011. Readership has continued to increase. Consequently, we are reissuing this updated and expanded post as an overview of the labor/labour productivity series.
Productivity is a hot topic and has given rise to much discussion and debate in the project management world. Labor productivity can be a competitive advantage or a managerial challenge (actually, both and more). Therefore, we believe that there is high potential benefit in a review of McLaughlin & McLaughlin’s Productivity Series. Below, we have the titles and links to each post followed by a brief summary of the content. We intend to augment these posts with additional writings on the subject.
- “Change Order / Variation Impact (United States and Canada)”
- “Change Order / Variation Impact (UK and related venues)”
- “Improvement – Take Away the Excuses”
- “Productivity and Leadership”
- “Improvement – Productivity Evaluation”
- “Improvement – Plan the Work Well”
- “Labor Productivity and Disruption – Managerial Considerations”
- “Worker Productivity – Watch How the People Work”
- “Labor/Labour Productivity – Overtime Impacts – INDUSTRY STANDARDS”
- “Labor/Labour Productivity – Overtime Impacts – MANAGERIAL CONSIDERATIONS”
- “Labor/Labour Productivity – Overtime Impacts – PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS”
- “Labor/Labour Productivity – Overtime Impacts EVALUATING IMPACT”
Often, productivity losses are associated with changed work or variations. Dealing with the calculation of proper compensation for this loss can be particularly challenging. Key industry resources or authorities may be helpful as a starting point. Beyond the industry resources, skilled analytical work may be needed.
Based on the premise that variations (or changed work) are a common cause of significant impacts to productivity, acceptance and methods of calculation or quantification are essential. Methodology varies and the sources discussed in the post treat the matter in some detail. The general preference is direct contemporaneous analysis or measurement. Prospective methodologies tend to differ from retrospective approaches.
Over the years, much has been written about craft worker productivity. The Construction Industry Institute (CII) has done several extensive research projects on productivity. The issue was raised in a formal manner by the Business Roundtable (BRT) back in the late sixties. They developed a series of publications that addressed the problem of rapidly rising construction costs facing owner companies. These articles were broadly covered by the now familiar banner of “More Construction for the Money”®.
This post discusses the some leadership concepts and the relationship to field labor (or home office labor) productivity. There is a leadership component of the managerial challenge. Leadership can have several positive influences on the labor component of the job. Leadership is an essential factor in development of project management expertise.
To have a complete picture of the status of any project there must be some sort of measure of the productivity of the work force. Certainly, one would be interested in the physical progress, the amount of money expended, the amount committed, absenteeism and turnover rates, safety incident rate, supervision to worker ratio, craft distribution, worker density, manpower history, etc. to properly evaluate the status of a project. But one key factor in evaluation of status is worker productivity.
Generally, productivity evaluation is focused on the construction craft workers. However, the productivity of the office design and engineering staff is similarly important.
Any discussion of construction field labor (worker) productivity must, of necessity, eventually involve the idea of planning the work. Virtually every major project employs the expertise of several planners and schedulers to work the Primavera® scheduling program or some other comparable software. Great effort is placed on getting just the right schedule assembled and in place – with the right number of activities and leveled manpower, etc. The schedule should be constructed with input or review from those who have to make it work in the field.
For the prime contractor [or similarly for Owner/Employer], subcontractor productivity is seemingly not important or relevant. This is particularly true if the subcontractor in question is on a fixed price or fixed unit price contract. However, events that are created by Owner/Employer or Contractor that impact the subcontractor’s productivity create potential liabilities. Further, once the subcontractor discovers the loss, a claim is likely to emerge.
In order to properly plan and organize construction activities, the way people work in the specific location under consideration must be understood and incorporated. Questions could be strictly a planning matter, or they could be related to the site location and area practice. If one approach is better than the other for the project, area practice may need to be addressed and modified in some way for improved productivity to be realized.
This is the ninth posting regarding labor/labour productivity and disruption. This contribution provides industry sources and references on the impact of overtime on labor productivity.
This is the tenth posting regarding labor/labour productivity and disruption. This contribution provides managerial considerations or issues regarding the impact of overtime on labor productivity.
This is the eleventh posting regarding labor/labour productivity and disruption. This contribution provides managerial considerations or issues regarding the impact of overtime on labor productivity.
This is the twelfth posting regarding labor/labour productivity and disruption. This contribution provides thoughts on the evaluation of impact of overtime on labor productivity.
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