Being a contractor implies a lot of responsibility. You are creating someone’s home, or workplace, seemingly from scratch. In a way, you are building more than just an object. You’re defining a good portion of someone’s life. Therefore, you can’t afford errors or mistakes, nor confusion or oversights. At a glance, this might seem unachievable – it’s not. Even though you have to coordinate multiple teams, each with their own assignments, and with their own area of expertise, you can achieve cohesion and efficient collaboration. The first step toward this goal is to ensure good communication between project teams. This is not a small task, however.
That’s exactly why we here at Top Rated General Contractors Los Angeles decided to take a stab at the topic – to give you some pointers and make the whole endeavor a little easier.
Identify communication leaks
- “The first step toward solving a problem is acknowledging there is one.” – Zig Ziglar
This quote is an excellent starting point in your endeavor to ensure good communication between project teams. Therefore, take the time to identify existing and potential problems. Granted, this will take time. Improving communication is a marathon, not a race. But once you have a general idea of what communication leaks are, you will know where to focus your efforts.
Keep your project management teams small
Managing multiple teams means managing a whole lot of information. Distributing this information is quite challenging. And the difficulty of this task only increases with the number of people on the receiving end.
Explaining details of a specific bathroom remodeling Los Angeles project to five people, and making sure they understand it isn’t too difficult. But how about twenty? Or fifty? It would be significantly more challenging. And frustrating, for that matter. Therefore, keep the number of people on your project management teams to an acceptable minimum. You will convey the message easier, and they won’t have to build new teams just to pass on your ideas.
Take advantage of technology
Thanks to the advancements in technology, you have numerous ways to ensure good communication between project teams. There’s a whole plethora of software that makes cross-team collaboration easier. And, not to mention, a lot more efficient.
Upgrade your business correspondence options
Using emails as a sole means of correspondence is viable. But it’s also limiting and slow. The biggest downside, however, is that you don’t have immediate feedback. You have to wait for recipients to respond to your email. If they have additional questions, it takes more typing. And if they have even more questions… Well, you can easily see how time-consuming and tiring it can be.
On the other hand, you have options that allow for convenient and easy two-way communication. There are a lot of free apps that will allow you to create a sort of a “central communication hub”. Through them, you can easily distribute information to all or selected teams. Your colleagues can immediately respond with questions or bounce ideas back at you. And the best thing is – most of them are cross-platform. Meaning that you can have them on your phone, tablet, or PC. In other words, there’s no way that you or anyone on your team will be out of the loop.
Use video conferencing
Although instant messaging is convenient, nothing beats good old face-to-face. Video conferencing offers a lot of benefits:
- You can receive immediate feedback;
- Coworkers can ask for clarification and you can provide it without delay.
- It will be easier to point out problems, both for you and your colleagues. And you can work on solutions on the spot.
- You can resolve any disputes that might arise.
- Video conferencing requires less time than bouncing messages back and forth.
Centralize important information
Make critical data accessible to everyone at any time. This will greatly increase the project flow by “cutting out the middleman”. You’re taking a painstakingly long process of requesting, waiting, and receiving info out of the equation. To this end, apps that we already mentioned, or specialized software can be invaluable. It is a good idea to consider investing in some of them. They will significantly increase efficiency, especially on big projects like commercial construction Los Angeles, for instance.
Reduce the number of meetings – but make them meaningful
Let’s face it: no one likes being stuck in a boring meeting for hours on end. And yes, like it or not, every meeting is boring. Furthermore, it’s often an inconvenience for everyone present. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make them less of a burden:
- Set the time and date of a meeting promptly to allow your colleagues to plan their time;
- Draft the agenda and send it to everyone. It will help people prepare for the meeting accordingly. Also, the meeting will be shorter, but more efficient.
- Be consistent. If the meeting is about a full home remodeling project, don’t spend 20 minutes talking about garage conversions Los Angeles. In other words – stick to the point.
- Don’t be vague. Explain everything concisely, and with enough detail.
- Break the monotony. Meetings can drag out for long and be tiring. Find a way to spice things up, without sacrificing efficiency. Use interactive presentations, videos, or short breaks with refreshments and casual chat.
Resolve disputes quickly
When you’ve been in custom home building Los Angeles for a while, you’ll realize that conflicts between team leaders are nothing uncommon. Reasons for disputes are too numerous to list. But the important thing to know is that they don’t just affect their respective teams. Disputes negatively impact the entire workflow and can hinder the advancement of a project as a whole. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance to resolving them swiftly.
The most important thing for you, or anyone acting as a mediator, is to remain objective and unbiased. So don’t try to find who to blame. Instead, work with both sides to find a creative solution to the problem. If you approach the situation this way, you’ll not only find a solution. You’ll significantly improve communication between said project teams.
Encourage socialization between teams
It’s easier to work with someone you know, than with a stranger. Your teams will collaborate better and achieve more cohesion if people comprising them know each other. With this in mind, find ways to encourage casual interaction between teams. Not just team leaders – teams as a whole. Throw an office party. Place a few board games in the common room. Organize an excursion. All these activities will relax your co-workers and encourage them to build stronger bonds. Do this regularly, and you will see an improvement in no time.
Don’t expect to implement all these changes overnight
Improving communication is a process. It takes time, work, and dedication of everyone involved to bring this project to fruition. Be persistent and keep your eyes on the prize. In the end, you will not only ensure good communication between project teams. You will boost morale and improve the efficiency of your teams as a whole.