Part of the problem
Singapore, 2nd September 2014
Some projects have problems written all over them from start to finish and though we sort of know the projects are high profile and we are keen to participate because we know it is a good reference to have. We are a business and we do look at building a portfolio of projects that is respectable and admirable. The majority of our projects have good and respectful clients, may not all good paymasters but all within acceptable limits and certainly with enough satisfaction to work on. Let’s not forget we like what we do, it’s our passion so enjoying the day to day work is key for our motivation and longevity.
Sometimes however we get ourselves entangled in a web of problems which is mostly caused by large companies that delegate the day to day running to desk clerks with little or no real experience in professional project work. The result is a continuous frustration from both sides. Ours because we feel they scrutinise every nuts and bolts (because they don’t understand) and what the smallest of issues to be clarified (because they have report to their bosses and want to cover their backs). This results in endless communications and very time consuming work, often repetitive or abortive. Inability to make decisions (lack of understanding) or making late decisions (lack of experience) with no real authority is often the root cause of project chaos.
We had another such chaos on one of our Malaysian projects. The project management called for attendance in Kuala Lumpur for the opening of a tender and then requested the consultants to stay in attendance for 3 days to review the submissions, then prepare any questions to the tenderer and then interview the tenderers with the questions. Reason being used that the tender documents are confidential and company policy dictates they are not to be leaving the clients building…really? Anyhow the meetings were called last only a few days ago and after some negotiation and rescheduling we managed to get one of our team to go, scheduled departure early tomorrow morning, flight ticket issued. To our surprise (no not really…) they sent out a cancellation just now postponing the tender until further notice due to a discrepancy between the tender documentation and the clients brief.
As this is a combined tender that not only includes lighting but also building and landscaping works we have no idea really what that discrepancy might be because all our tender documents were already submitted long time ago without any comments…it’s just the sheer chaos and wasted time that is really driving us crazy. Working like this is utterly frustrating and “part of the problem”
Light watch 5-145: Some more from the ballroom after some colour testing and further programming today