The construction industry is in a perpetual state of evolution, with people as its tried and true constant. The human element in construction is lost with so much focus ending up on the final product.

Proper planning and clear communication are essential factors to project success but, with limited timeframes and resources, it can be difficult to effectively collaborate with all project stakeholders.

Unfortunately, 75 percent of owners and contractors have experienced a dispute or claim in the past three years. Nine out of 10 of those owners say increased collaboration can decrease future risk.

Communication is key

When asked what the No.1 factor to project success is, Mark Bailey, president of Centennial Contractors, answered, “upfront communication so expectations are crystal clear.”

Establishing an early, clear communication channel amongst stakeholders is an essential ingredient in the success of a project.

“Communication leads to many things: efficiency, schedule, no change orders, no surprises, no scope gap or scope creep…it’s a team environment,” explained Kevin Johnson, owner of Johnson-Laux Construction.

A better way

The human element in construction is lost with so much focus ending up on the final product.

Job Order Contracting (JOC) is an alternative construction procurement process that concentrates on collaboration. It works best for renovation and alteration work, responding quickly to emergencies, addressing a backlog of deferred repairs and straightforward new construction.

JOC helps accomplish many construction projects with a single contract. Contractors bid on a catalog of tasks with preset prices developed using local labor, material and equipment costs. Once a contract is awarded, they can perform the projects without a separate bid.

With JOC, collaboration begins at the Joint Scope Meeting. Both the owner and contractor walk through (literally) all aspects of the job. They discuss all concerns, questions or objectives regarding the tasks of the project. This upfront understanding allows project stakeholders to participate in developing the scope of work, minimizing change orders along the way.

While JOC allows for the obvious time-saving benefits, the relationships between owners and contractors build over time. Everyone is in it together.