COVID-19 has disturbed the industry globally, drastically altering our existing workflows for project delivery. Conventional practices of construction management and increasing team output do not apply in most cases anymore.
Health and Safety guidelines, though always relevant and extremely important, have now taken a whole new meaning. New safety protocols for sites have been introduced, with social distancing norms of 2 meters mandatory across the globe. Meanwhile, constant health checks, regular sanitation, and constant fear of the virus plaguing one’s site are bound to impact the physical and mental health of teams and hence, their productivity.
While earlier, deadlines could be achieved by deploying more workforce for extended hours, the present scenario has left us short of manpower, as well as physical proximity constraints, limiting such options to boost output. Furthermore, supply chains have been drastically affected, leaving stakeholders with a high level of uncertainty in terms of resources.
An Industry Level Approach
While it is critical to understand and review the status quo, it is also important to come together as an industry now and proactively plan the way forward. Our industry is in the transition phase now, with sites starting to open and projects starting to progress once again.
What we want to avoid
- first, simply resuming work because the guidelines now allow us to do so
- then, coming up with ways to adjust to the “new normal”
- and finally, figuring out ways to boost productivity
This is the time, where rather than simply going head-first back on our project sites, we can critically assess the situation and deploy the right tools and practices.
Critical factors to be addressed
- Assessing the present situation: For guidelines, safety protocols, supply chain, resources, and financial review of the project.
- Reviewing the Safety of our Teams: Ensuring that our teams can get back to sites safely, have all the necessary infrastructure to address the guidelines, and have a safe environment to resume work in.
- Factoring in the Uncertainty: Look-ahead planning becomes critical to factor in potential constraints, with the high level of unreliability in terms of resources, and the ever-changing COVID-scenario.
- Review of tools and practices: Conventional solutions and methods are starting to prove inefficient, primarily in terms of the manual nature of practices our industry is prone to. Innovation is critical in adapting to the “new normal”.
With all these factors for consideration, the present scenario is full of questions and doubts; a cloud of uncertainty just looming over the industry. While there is a lot of unanswered questions, there is also a lot at stake as well. Globally, livelihoods are dependent on the productive revival of our industry, cities on the development of new infrastructure, and inhabitants for shelter, comfort, and leisure.
Discussing the Way-forward
To address some of these concerns, and to shed some light on this dark uncertainty, we bring to you the Second VisiLean Webinar Series – The Digital Revival of Construction; the new digital-era unfolding in front of our industry amidst recovering from the impact of COVID-19.
With Series – I, we touched base on what entails to digitalise and its relevance in the present scenario. Now with Series – II, we take this exploration forward by diving deep into the critical factors that the industry must address, mistakes we must avoid, and the upcoming industry trends that are going to drive this digitalisation forward.
We look forward to your participation; to hear your thoughts and ideas. It is essential that we come together as an industry to share our insights and observation, that can help us all get through these difficult times.
Watch this space for more.