Managing Uncertainty on Construction Projects with Applied Improvisation


I just read a report prepared by McGraw Hill titled Managing Uncertainty and Expectations in Building Design and Construction.  It was very informative.  Check it out:

What struck me the most about this report is the approach to mitigate uncertainty.  These are the basics:

1.  Imperfection is inevitable.

2.  Change orders are not inherently bad.

3.  Looking deeper at Owner-driven causes of uncertainty.

4.  Start early, integrate quickly and work together as a whole so you know what you’re getting into.

5.  Communication, collaboration and integration: early, open and often.

6. Managing risk through contingencies.

7.  Benefits of technology.

Most of these could be a handbook for applied improvisation. Applied improvisation takes improvisational exercises and applies them to business, learning, leadership, and life.

Here are the basic rules of improvisation:

1.  Everything is an offer. Use whatever you have.   This relates directly to numbers 1, 2, and 6 above.

2.  Listen.  This relates directly to numbers 2 and 7 above.

3.  Make the other person look good.  This relates directly to numbers 3 and 5.

4.  Adopt a “Yes, and . . . ” attitude.  Always explore “What if . . . ”

5.  Learn to fail, learn, and be better.  This relates directly to numbers 1 and 2.

Applied improvisation is all about learning to deal with the uncertainties of life and work and can be directly related to the uncertainties on any construction project.

If your project team learned these basic techniques, they would be much better equipped to handle the uncertainty on their projects.  For more information, contact me.


One Response to Managing Uncertainty on Construction Projects with Applied Improvisation

  1. Reblogged this on The Construction App Guru and commented:
    How to you manage the chaos of modern construction projects? Have you tried “Applied Improvisation”?

    Take a look at this article by @BrentDarnell.

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