Project Leadership And Team Building Construction Essay

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This report is regarding a project in a construction company called Nagarjuna Constructions in which is working for the construction of buildings, dams, roads etc in India. In any construction company it mainly requires good team leaders, workers and labour who are well trained and who have good experience in construction business. There is a huge competition in construction business in India as it is a developing country, many new industries and companies are entering into Indian market. They all require buildings and other infrastructure for their companies to run their projects. Nagarjuna Construction Company is a large company which has huge number of employees and engineers who had good experience in construction field. They handled many projects successfully in India and this company got ISO certification for its quality of work in handling various projects. This project is regarding construction of a new medical college and a hospital called ESIC in Himachal Pradesh for NBCC (National Building Construction Company).

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This project includes many engineers, project leaders, project managers, labour working in construction site, drivers etc. All these people has to work together to make this project successful and complete work in time given by the clients. Land for the construction of hospital and college was given by government of India and funds were released by Central Government to handle this project. All the surveys have been done for this project and designing phase was completed by the engineers. After designing phase it's the turn of the project managers and project leaders to handle the project and reach the target of the company.

This project involves different types of workers like builders, electricians, crane operators, water board workers etc. A project leader has to handle all these people and make them work as a team and handle the team in a proper way. Project leader has to send report to his higher authorities about the developments of the project in a weekly report and finish his task on time. He has to handle the workers, budget given to him, weekly targets.

This report discuss about the leader of this project and his duties to manage the team. This report also evaluates the management of the team by the leader, project building and activities of the team leader. In every project there would be some problems which have to be faced by the leader and this report discusses about such issues. It also discusses about the tools and techniques of the project management which has to be applied by project leader.

As this project is regarding the construction it has many pitfalls, issues like weather, construction problems, and delays due to different political and personal reasons. All these factors have to be taken into consideration before starting a project and finish the target on time.

INTRODUCTION:

Project leadership is a task which has to be done only by those people who has the courage to take decisions at all times, handles pressure, work with the team and help the team members, maintain a good relationship with the team members, has the capability to take the risks, has team building and problem solving skills, motivates the team. According to Dubrin "leadership is the ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals". Leadership is an art and leaders are born not made. Leaders create good environment to their followers by encouraging growth and development in them and increasing their capabilities.

This project deals with a construction of a medical college and hospital in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. Nagarjuna Construction Company which took over this project and completed successfully. Every company wants to be successful in this process only money and turnover does not tell the success but the people and their team work should be good. Success and failure of any team is due to its leader, his policies and rules leads to the success. Lots of research was done on the leadership qualities and but it is still a question for everyone to follow which path to approach success.

Nagarjuna Construction Company has a structure in its leadership and positions. Everyone has their own position and roles to be fulfilled. All these positions are described in the next stages of this course work. It is very important to make a study and analysis on the people who are working for an organization to make its team success. The study of the team members mainly depends upon the team leader; he is the person responsible for his team member's performance.

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STRUCTURE:

Structure is defined as group of people working together to achieve common goals which is set by an organization. In this a group of people are formed together to achieve a common goal is called as team.

The structure of Nagarjuna Construction Company is like a matrix structure. In the matrix structure it allows to use the resources efficiently and all these resources are shared between different projects as it is having strong focus on the projects. In this different teams are formed under project coordinator and every team considers of different people who are specialized in different fields. Each team consists of electrical engineer, civil engineers, and architect, mechanical, safety and quality engineers. The structure of the team in an organization is described below:

Structure of the team:

Project coordinator

Assistant General Manager

Project Managers

Project architect

Project engineer Planning

Project engineer civil

Project engineer mechanical

Project engineer electrical

Project engineer safety and fire fighting

Trainee engineer

Quality engineers

Administrative staff

General staff

Description of roles and responsibilities of all these positions is given below:

Project coordinator:

He is the head of the project. He will be responsible for the completion of the project. Project coordinator discusses the problems, quality and time gaols with the clients. The coordinator can operate number of projects not only a single one. The main work of the project coordinator is to make sure the coordination between the team members and of course the project team with the head office. His duty is to get the support from the office. He has the right to visit the site and check for its recent updates and make sure all the work is completing within the time.

Assist general manager (AGM):

AGM is the person who observes the process of the project day by day bases. He will check the daily and weekly project reports submitted by the project managers. He approaches the project coordinator or clients to discuss about the project progress. He is like a bridge between the clients and project managers. He has to handle the project and submit the reports to the company and clients. He has to speak with the clients and make sure they are satisfied with the project done.

Project manager

Project manager is the leader of the team. He is leading the team towards the success of the project. He is responsible for the success and failure of the project. He will be the responsible for the process and time completion and quality of the work. The site engineers will follow the instructions given by him in the project. He has to make a path to his team and everyone follows him. He has to face many problems during the project and solve them and finish the target within the time given and within the budget. For all these a project manager has to be very careful in handling his teams.

Deputy project manager

Deputy project manager deals with the construction and overall execution of the project on the site. He follows the instructions of the project manager regarding the project and leads his subordinates. He has to give instructions to low level teams members which will be given to him by project manager. He along with project manager has to submit reports daily or weekly to the general manager.

Project architects

The members of this team will come to site periodically and checks the structure of the work. And also gives the solutions to the typical type of structures. They have to design the project plan and make sure that plan is recognized by the clients and project coordinator. Designing phase need to be done carefully as it is very crucial and explain clearly to the project managers and site engineers.

Project engineer planning

The planning engineers will plan the project in the proper way means dividing the work in to periodical stages and checking the bills given by project managers on quantity bases to the sub-contractors. They have to make sure that the project goes according to the given time and budget. All the changes which are made in the project during construction phase has to be observed and followed without any delay.

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Project engineer civil, mechanical, electrical, safety and fire fighting

Project engineers such as civil, electrical, mechanical, safety and fire fighting are the individuals who actually look after the quality and execution of the work on the site. They follow the instructions of the site managers and project managers. A safety engineer has to take many precautions to avoid any accidents or damages to the equipment or people working on the site. Electrical engineers are responsible for the power generator problems and they have to handle all the problems and make sure work doesn't get delayed.

Trainee engineers

The trainee engineers are the college students who come to get the training regarding the execution of the works and procedures, administrative work, administrative work etc regarding the project. Their duties are to support the project engineers during execution of the work and keeping the records of the sites. They have to take training from seniors and follow the rules on the site.

Quality engineers

These are the most experienced quality man to check the quality of the materials supplied by the suppliers and also conducts the material check during the process of the project. This means concrete slump test. Cube testing for strength of the concrete etc. These checking's are done for the safety of the clients and make sure construction of the work is in good quality.

Administrative staff

These staffs include the cashier, draftsmen, personal secretaries etc. Their duties are to support the project team in the administrative works. They just help the project managers and other managers in the project works.

General staff

General staff like the peons and drivers etc who are lowest members of the hierarchy of the team and their duties to do the work related to the project and support overall team in the general works.

TEAM LEADER:

The leading roles in the team were played by the project manager. He was the very enthusiastic person and always tries to motivate and encourage the team members.

Successful team leadership is very much essential thing in any construction project. Someone may debate on the definition of the leadership but Kreitner and Kinicki (2008, pg. 463 to 494) found four commonalities among many definitions of leadership and they are

Leadership is a process between the leader and follower.

Leadership involves social influence.

Leadership occurs at multiple levels in an organisation.

Leadership focuses on goal accomplishment.

Based on these commonalities Kreitner and Kinicki (2008) defined leadership as "It is a process of individual influencing the other individual to achieve the goal"

There are several theories are explained to classify the leaders by their leadership style approaches. These are as

Trait approaches

Behavioural approach

Contingency approach

Transformational approach

Emerging approach

The project manager was seemed following the behavioural and transformational approach style leadership. He acted as the role model for all the successor team members. He tried to transform the team into a dedicated team by dedicational behavioural of own. He always acted like a captain of team and taken all responsibilities of the errors which was done by the team members. He rewarded the team members on the success of the given task. He trained the trainee by giving the practical task on site and helped them to solve the difficulties during the execution work.

Blake and Mouton (1965) has combined the leadership styles in the grid format. They classified the team leader in terms of people oriented and task oriented. The leader of the team was the high task and high people concern.

Low Concern for Task Completion High

Low Concern for Task Completion High

Figure 4: Power grid of leader

The above gird is best suited for the asst. project manager's style of leadership.

As execution of the project is the field job, conflicts between the team members are the common things on the site. Folikowski (2002) suggested the five conflict strategies of managing the conflict- shark-competition, compromising-fox, teddy bear-accommodation, collaboration-owl, and turtle-withdrawing. The team leader successfully adopted these strategies according to the situations.

LIFE CYCLE OF A TEAM:

Tuckman (1965) describes that every team has go through the stages of the forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning.

Forming:

In this stage, the selection and collection of the team members was done. While selecting the team for the project Henkel CAC asst. project manager clearly studied the experience, ability of every individual. He also studied the suitability of the members within the team to make balanced team. The project coordinator was appointed by the senior members of the management and then he took the charge of entire project and the project team. After selection of the individuals according to the need of the project, project manager described the agenda and the clear goal and strategies to deliver the successful project. He clearly assigned the roles and their responsibilities of the work.

Storming:

Storming is the important phase after the forming stage of the life cycle of the team. In this stage all individual express their feelings, thinking and opinions about the project. They talk on the roles and responsibilities assigned to them. It is very much necessary to clear all the doubt regarding the project or anything they think about the team, individuals involved in it. This is very much helpful to create the balanced team to deliver the successful project. All the objectives of the project are explained in this session.

Norming:

Norming is stage at which individual identify each other and began to identify their roles, interdependencies and establish the shared goals. Our project team had taken almost one month to reach this stage. To reach this stage one has to understand each other, as it is difficult to understand the complex human nature. For this reason the senior people who choose the team must have good knowledge of understanding the behaviour of the members of the team while choosing it.

Performing:

Performing stage is actual execution stage of the project. It seems to be a balanced team but due to the work load on the team members who are from other functional department like electrical, mechanical, safety and fire fighting, these team members was not focused on the project. The entire team members did their best job to execute the project work. The project coordinator is also faced such problem as he was involved in other project and it will loaded the concentration on this particular project. Some challenging decision had taken to implement the new technique of using of eco friendly sheets rather than brickwork to reduce the time of work.

Adjourning:

Adjourning stage is the completion stage of the project and the life cycle of the project team. Although the team was gone through these stages of the life cycle the storming session was not done properly due the cut throat time allotted to execute the project by the client. Also the poor performance of the storming session caused due to the power culture of the team.

Barriers in the life cycle:

Though the project team had gone through all the life cycles explained above, team members had faced some barriers. Though the project was challenging it faced some barriers within the team and also some external barriers. These barriers are mentioned below.

Strategic barriers:

As the project team was of the different team members came from different functional departments there was the lack of share goals. The team members from the mechanical, electrical are always less concern with the issues of the civil and it will led to the misunderstanding between the team members. Every team member focuses on his own work and less concern with the other which created a conflict between the team. As the team was adopting the role culture strategy, some members of the team always tried to focus on the documentation part and less concerned with the execution part.

Cultural barriers:

It is the main barrier in the project life cycle of the team. As the India is having very vast culture and the team members are come from various parts of the India and also have different religion and culture. They are having different life style and thinking level due to their own traditions though the medium of communication language is Hindi i.e. national language of India. This situation creates the misunderstanding due to the lack of proper communication.

Also the miscommunication between the site team members and the office team member, delayed the work and for one time due to the late arrival of the revised drawing the work was carried out in wrong direction. The top management support was not in proper channel because top management team was concerns with the project manager and sometime the false information was given to the top management to save owns skin. Also the top management team was very busy with the other project as well so they were not able to give the proper time to our project.

Organisational issues:

The issue of motivation is comes first in this barrier of the life cycle of the team. As some of the team members work from the office their performance is always monitored by the top management team and they got good rewards and incentives but some members who works hard on the site which is far from office and management team, they get neglected. The site team was always working hard on the site by doing the overtime but they didn't have motivation from the management team. Availability of the team members for particular execution of the concern work at the site would be expected from the site members but they were not available during the execution and it will lead the work as the defective one. But for these defects the site team was held responsible which hampered the motivation of the team and made the team unbalanced.

Time and cost barrier:

Time was the important concern in the project. Client wanted their hospital to be operational as early as possible and they have given the deadline of only twenty four months which was a cut throat time. The contingency time was not provided for the project as there is necessary of contingency time period for the rainy season. It is very common fact in India that the progress of any construction activity is delayed during the rainy season and which ultimately increase the cost of the construction work. But the team was pressured to execute the work within the time and budget.

External issues:

External barriers such as political activists and some local mafias were also the main barriers in the project. These issues were not considered initially so it causes the security problem at the site and spread the unsecure feeling amongst the team members. These issues were solved by the police and negotiation with the political activists but affected the overall performance of the team.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Team Performances:

After the careful analysis of the project team of the NCC for the project of NBCC some key issues are found. To attain these key issues the following recommendations are suggested to maximise the team performance in the future.

The key issues are listed sequentially regarding the team performance and culture of the team.

The recommendations for the performance issues -

Unbalanced team:

As discussed in the team working and performance the team balancing is very important for the team performance and ultimately for the success of the project. The balanced team means the proper identification of team member and their capabilities. It always depends on the experience and skills of the person who choose the team but it was found that the team was chosen by the project manager by considering the ability and quality of the team member. But it is advised that the opinions of the individuals regarding the willingness towards the project should be considered while choosing the team. Fair distribution of the work to the team should be done.

The communication and coordination should be maintained through some informal ways like going out for dinner with the team members and ice breaking sessions etc. the roles such as leader role, doing roles, problem solving and people roles would be cleared to each team member so as to avoid confusion and will help to maintain balance team.

Life cycle issues:

The certain issues are found during the analysis of the norming session of the team. It was found that the norming session that is in other words, the team members took almost one month to reach at the norming stage. If this time would reduce, it will increase the productivity of the team so the sessions such as ice breaking sessions, informal meetings at outdoor locations etc. are suggested. The team leader should take initiative to promote such kind of informal activities.

Some other facts are noticed during the performance stage of the life cycle are, the imbalance of the work distribution and uneven working hours. To reduce such things proper resource allocation must be done to motivate the team members. The unevenness between the working hours between all the team members should be cleared to get the good and efficient performance from the team members. Also the counselling, mentoring techniques should be used to increase the team performance.

Strategic issues:

It was observed that some team members are less concern with the goal. It is the job of leader to motivate the team member towards the goal. The intermediate target system should be adopted and the reward system for achievement and punishment for the failure strategy should be implemented. Also the goal which was given to the team should not be so high or out of the capacity of the team. Challenging but achievable goals should be set accordingly to the team.

Cultural issues:

The people with different cultures working together is the very common thing in the world but the mode of communication should be clear and defined so as to avoid the misunderstanding and the doubts. This should be done by arranging the discussion forums, weekly site meetings with the office team members. Language barrier should be solved by defining the mode of communication early by the top management or the team leader during the forming stage.

Organisational issues:

There are various organisational issues were found during the analysis. The main issue was the fair salary issue. It is recommended that the payment given was not up to the mark expected by the team members in compare of the efforts. So the salary structure is needed to be revised. Also there is a need of incentives and rewards and promotions schemes within the team and organisation.

The issue of the regular monitoring is also the important. Sometimes the project manager was not available to discuss the issues of the site as he went for another project visit. This issue should be solved by using proper arranging proper meetings before going to visit or leave. The emergency contact information should be made available in case of emergency.

Time issue:

The time issue was main concern for the execution and completion of the work. As there was a cut throat situation occurred while doing the project regarding the time. The proper estimation of the time should be done and should be convinced to the client to avoiding any kind of failure for the achievement of the target.

To avoid such situations the proper allocation of the resources and good time management should be done.

Excess pressure of the work:

The employee or the team members should not be forced excessively to perform certain task. These things always lead to the mistakes. The mistakes can cause the losses in terms of money, recourses etc.

The team members should be motivated to do the task rather than forcefully assigning the task. To release the pressure job rotation techniques should be used.

External issues:

The issues of securities were occurred after the unpleasant moment of quarrel with some local goons and politician taken place. As these issues were not deal at early stages by the management, it decreased the moral of the team members. The issues were deal on priority basis as it was the main concern of the security of the employee and the proper measures should be adopted to resolve such issues. The good top management support should be provided so as to increase the moral of the employee.

Authority:

It was observed during the performance stage that some senior members of the team were using their power to avoid the work which they don't want to do and assign this work to their junior members. This misuse of the authority emerges the unpleasant feeling between the subordinates and ultimately leads to the conflict between the team.

These kinds of situations must be avoided and to reduce such kind of misuse of the power, the arrangement of the feedback should be taken from the subordinates of the team leader. The proper and suitable action should be taken against the guilty one.

Learning and training:

It is a natural tendency of the human being to learn something from the experience or gain some knowledge from his work. Apart from this one always seeks the knowledge of the new trends and technologies used within the construction fields. It always boosts the confidence and makes him able to withstand in the competitive market.

So to improve such knowledge and skills the training sessions from the expert in the industry should be arranged to motivate the team working for the project or an organisation. As the team follows explorative strategy but it is suggested to invest in knowledge transfer sessions.

Project leader in this project was very clear from the planning stage and he implemented according to the plan discussed with the team members and was successful in constructing medical college and hospital in time and within the budget. This project was very prestigious to the government and to the Nagarjuna Construction Company as it involved lot of money and future of many students is depended on this project. There was lot of scope in this project as it is the construction of a medical college different technique in construction need to be used as it has to satisfy all the medical requirements of doctors for their treatment.

CONCLUSION:

The performance of the team is very much dependant on its members and their cultures. Effective management of the team was given high priority in the organisation on by the use of the theories explained above. Though the theories of the experts are found to be useful but these can be implemented during the ideal conditions. On the practical basis, it is not possible totally to implement such kind of theories due to the different kinds of situations and the nature of the problems. But it is also helpful to maximise the team performance and hence will helpful to the growth and success of the organisation.

Project leaders have to be very quick in decision making, motivating everyone in the team, inspiring personality. All the members have to follow his rules and cooperate with him for the success of the project by giving their ideas and helping with different techniques. In this way project leaders have more importance in successful completion of any project or its failure.