This is the eight posting regarding labor productivity and disruption. This contribution provides some practical suggestions for the manager in the field. The Subject Series can be viewed here.
Isn’t it always the obvious that gets us in trouble? It doesn’t seem to make much difference what area of life you talk about, the aspects that are obvious are most often those that we assume will take care of themselves and we skip over as we develop our plans. Considering the area of worker productivity, everyone knows how the work gets done. Right? Well, it is quite obvious. You just pick up the material and put it in place. After all, how can there be anything different about doing the work? Get the material to the job site, hire craft workers, provide drawings and the project will miraculously get built.
When thinking about various construction sites, even in the US, several differences in the manner in which the exact same work is accomplished in various locations are revealed. In order to properly plan and organize construction activities, the way people work in the specific location under consideration must be understood and incorporated. For example, is it better for productivity for each pipefitter welder to have an assigned stand-alone welding machine? Or possibly, the welder should use a welding machine located in an eight-pack of welders. That question could be strictly a planning matter, or it 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. [Read more…]