By Anil Menon
What are the key factors influencing the success of an MEP installation? CKR Consulting Engineers’ director Anil Menon outlines the importance of good employee relations.
What are the key factors for the success of a MEP project? Before deliberating the key factors, one needs to understand how a project can be classified as successful.
Is it a heady mix of happy stakeholders, value for money, timely completion and value engineered design? Or is it just being part of an iconic project that will be contributing to the ever-changing skyline of modern Dubai?
Nowadays at most project meetings, either at start-up or during the various implementation phases of the job, one will hear buzzwords like proactiveness, positive attitude, team spirit, due diligence and value engineering. Are these mere buzzwords or do they positively contribute to the success of a MEP project? I guess everyone could start pondering on whether these values are important and, if so, do their project team members imbibe them? Not through flowery statements printed boldly in their corporate communications, but through actual action and personal flair.
The value of teamwork
Successful projects need successful teams. An successful teams need successful individuals. Successful individuals, being part of an organisation, need a cohesive conduit through which to channel their positive energies. This boils down to the fact that the organisations appointed by the client for implementing a project should, apart from being a well qualified entity with a proven track record, be an embodiment of professionalism and cosmopolitan culture.
Dubai is a melting pot of more than 150 nationalities. Its varied cultures provide an opportunity for organisations to foster a unified culture and to take advantage of the various skillsets and experiences available.
So does this mean hire experienced people and build an organisation? No, just like a house only becomes a home when you start living and fostering your relationship with other members living in it, organisations can only become successful if every member spends substantial time living the values and culture of the company.
Organisations can only contribute positively to the success of a project when every member of the organisation is due diligent, willing to go the extra mile and mirrors its culture and values. This would mean having to retain your staff, but with the pressure of poaching and current market dynamics of high salaries due to high demand and low supply, how do you go about retaining good staff for your organisation in the long-term?
The best proven approach is to create an organisation that has a strong vision, where leaders lead by example; one that is truly cosmopolitan ie remove the shackles of cultural and other biases. Create equal opportunities, groom and motivate each and every staff member in the organisation so that they are enthusiastic, ambitious, respected, trusted and professional to the core. You could also extend this team spirit to the family members and home.
Once you have created an environment where the individual members are growing professionally along with their mentors and the organisation, you will have happy and highly charged professionals managing your clients projects with confidence. These same staff will keep the success of the projects at heart. On their own initiative they will then begin to motivate other project stakeholders such as local authorities, consultants, contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, operators and skilled workers to be part of the success story.
This would mean that protracted correspondences blaming each other, the negative trait of claiming undue monies, one-upmanship, project delays and egoistical traits can all go out of the window.
Due diligence is also a key factor as every member of the project team is accountable for their actions. But how does one become due diligent? For a start the designer could ask the clients some key questions if the design brief is not clear enough. Value engineering should also be adapted from the start of the project and not when the tender overruns the budget towards the end of a project. Every member of a company should be cost as well as quality conscious.
And for a change, play by the rules. Be dynamic and flexible with strong ethics - if this is the case, then the glory is assured.
I don't drive on the hard shoulder, I am a smart driver, I am courteous. I have been driving on Dubai's roads for 15 years and during my journies I often receive smiles from other drivers and I reach home safely, on time, on every occasion. People should not blame heavy traffic for everything.
Do you always go that extra mile and do you have a success story to tell?