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The Communication and Work Process Review in Fit-out Contractors Teams

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Introduction

As a member of one of the Fit-Out contractors’ teams, I have cooperated with my team members in order to deliver a satisfactory project which would impress the T5 Integrated Project Team. Regardless of their nature, all projects involve various fields and disciplines and consist of a number of stages which need to be completed in order to achieve specific goals. With regards to our Ceilings Fit Out Package, I and my team members have taken charge of different tasks and operations, including design, installation, project management, cost management and operation management, which had to be explained and planned in order for us to submit an accurate and attractive proposal. In this essay, I will analyse various aspects of our project, making observations about our conversations, the bidding and review processes and our main uncertainties.

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Communication

During our first meeting, I and my team members made it clear that communication would play a fundamental role in our project and that coordination was necessary in order to increase our chances of success. After expressing our personal views on the project and its difficulties, we decided to make a list of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses so that we could assign each task to the most suitable member. My familiarity with accounting concepts and budgeting is the main reason why I was selected as the most suitable “Cost, commissioning and handover manager” for our project, even though I didn’t know much about the costs associated with ceiling fitting and installation.

We were aware that quality, convenience and cost-effectiveness would have affected the attractiveness of our proposal, which is why those who were responsible for these aspects were asked to cooperate and communicate on a regular basis. As the team’s cost manager, I coordinated my activities with those of our selected Project leader and Design leader. On the basis of the Project leader and Design leader’s views and plans, I researched costs and technical information, which I then shared with them in order to identify the most convenient and innovative options. Regardless of their tasks, each member kept the entire team updated about their current activities and progress, which made our conversations productive and facilitated coordination.

Bidding and review

Having managed the handover and commissioning phase of the project, I had to ensure that every aspect of the Ceilings Fit Out package was ready and compliant with the T5 integrated project team’s requests and criteria, in order to submit our proposal. Cost estimating played a fundamental role in the bidding process as it allowed us to provide the procurer with a realistic proposal which would give them an idea of how much the entire project would cost. Our cost estimate included every aspect of the Ceilings Fit Out package, including materials, work and insurance-related costs. The proposal was formally submitted after the commissioning phase, when the project acquired legal title and our team provided the T5 integrated project team with the so-called “bidding documents”, consisting of drawings, schedules and specifications. In spite of our efforts to make our offer as attractive and competitive as possible, our proposal would have certainly been more accurate had we included the required permits in our bidding documents. (ABA, 2006)

Once the project was completed, I and my team members agreed that fifteen individuals would be responsible for reviewing the entire package and ensure that it was compatible with the procurer’s guidelines. Although we were aware of the importance of the review process, more information could have been provided as to how our proposal would have been reviewed. For instance, the AIHA Construction Committee (2005) suggested that when it comes to safety and health-related issues, external factors could be used to evaluate the adequacy and competitiveness of a proposal for a construction project.

T5 Agreement and challenges

Based on the Egan report (Egan, J., 1998), the T5 Agreement aimed to emphasize safety and health-related issues and quality whilst increasing productivity. As Kalin et al. (2011) pointed out, one of the main problems associated with competitive bidding is the fact that procurers usually select the lowest bid. However, winning bidders have a tendency to come up with excuses to increase their compensation, which then increases the cost of the entire project. (Kalin, M. et al., 2011)The T5 Agreement, on the other hand, stresses the importance of quality over cost and, considering the complexity, size and significance of the Terminal 5 project, I and my team decided to apply it to our Ceilings Fit Out package. Although our decision may have resulted in our proposal being perceived as less competitive by the T5 Integrated Project Team, we hoped that our commitment to quality and innovation combined with our hard work would pay off.

With regards to the challenges encountered during the planning process, the estimate that I prepared represented a major uncertainty, as I and my team members were afraid that our rivals would have found a way to keep their costs even lower. Moreover, we feared that our lack of familiarity with the technical aspects of the construction industry would have prevented us from submitting a realistic, accurate and attractive proposal.

Conclusion

Reflecting on the conversations, research and cooperation that have allowed me and my team to present an adequate offer, I am quite satisfied with what we have accomplished. In fact, even though different opinions and points of view emerged during our meetings, we certainly succeeded in respecting each other and finding effective solutions which enabled us to coordinate our activities. Moreover, considering that none of us knew exactly how to prepare a Ceilings Fit Out Package for an airport terminal, I am certain that each member’s hard work and commitment are the reasons why we managed to submit a sufficiently detailed proposal.

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