For reasons like unawareness, under-staffing, lack of expertise, lack of persistence in getting answers and incomplete and in error work poor prioritization can and does ultimately effect the field work (and more). Often field office staffs have never worked together and many times are new to the company and company procedures. Home office staffs are typically not intimately attuned to the nuances of the particular project and are working on many projects with different needs. The organization is simply not all in tune.
Often the management team is assembled bit by bit as the job is already moving forward. Many times important personnel are replaced, causing many difficulties. We most always blame the field elements for impacts and delays, when often the root cause in field and home office management and support.
Watch closely for this and don't be afraid to point fingers to get a major problem solved before it kills your project.
Management at all levels and at every phase indicated below is at fault. By the time our shovel is in the ground, it's too late to make benefit of the lower costs. The contractor now becomes both engineer and contractor.
There are two major causes, 1) incomplete engineering and very poor checking of contract drawings before they are issued, and 2) uninterested and lack of construction knowledge on the part of most engineers. Attempts to remedy this problem like the Integrated Project Delivery and Design-Build have helped some but they have not closed the great divide.
James G. Zack, Jr.
Navigant Construction Forum,
Navigant Consulting, Inc.