Capital project construction forecasts (US Gulf Coast) concur regarding robust project activity and growth for calendar years 2017 and 2018.  These glowing forecasts are tempered with forecasts of craft labor, field supervision and project/construction management shortages.  Demand for experienced project resources is expected to exceed supply.  This is similar to Venezuela (post-nationalization), Canada (oil sands expansion) and other marketplace imperfections.  M&M has evaluated these forecasts and rationalized the supply and demand implications as well as professional managerial options and paths forward.  This is an emerging and dynamic managerial, consulting and legal business opportunity.  M&M’s recent and extensive work in the field at active job sites of large and complex projects confirms the emerging situation.  Here are a few topics, questions and/or observations:

  • Skilled, experienced and dynamic management will be required.
  • Cost and/or Schedule Certainty is clearly at risk regardless of the development and delivery system (PMI, CMAA, CII, AACE, IPA, proprietary or other systems).
  • Construction schedules will be driven or constrained by human resource shortages (field labor, engineering, project management).
  • Managerial planning and management must focus on:
    • Acquisition of adequate supervision and field labor force
    • Optimization of your field labor (and engineering labor).


It is important to note that McLaughlin and McLaughlin Project and Dispute Consulting LLC [M&M] is not a law firm and is not intending to provide legal advice.  M&M is a consulting firm providing (among other services) non-legal expertise in construction claims, dispute resolution and litigation support.   For further information on M&M services, please see

Construction Field Labor Productivity Improvement Take Away the Excuses

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 old 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”®.

Working in the construction industry for many years has given some great insights into craft worker productivity.  I always ask myself the question, “What would I need to have in order to be more productive and have a better perspective about my work, if I were in this same situation?”  Every situation is different, though there are many similarities.  The truth is, there is not one single solution to every productivity issue that one might encounter in the field.  But let’s start with one very straight-forward approach that has proven to yield consistently good results. [Read more…]