Finding solutions:

Interdisciplinary coordination

We are all experiencing the effects of the second (or third) wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Every day, the media floods us with more and more information about:

โžค new restrictions, and their prognosis for a future that is still uncertain. The coronavirus has affected the labour market and forced companies to change the way they operate.

This has had a significant impact on employees who, for whatever reason, are finding it difficult to adapt to the new working conditions.

โ— What can be done for these workers to make their work easier?

โ— What can they do for themselves?

In this article, I will discuss both aspects and try to help achieve a ๐–๐ˆ๐-๐–๐ˆ๐ result.

Wojciech Domaszczynski

Consultant, designer
MEP BIM expert
Owner of Domaszczynski & TEAM

Pandemicโ€™s effect on interdisciplinary coordination.

As is well known, engineers have scientific minds. This way of perceiving reality, analysing data and understanding various diagrams and outlines is what makes their work effective. Working remotely for them can be a real hassle. Communicating over the internet for hours with several people at once, and the illusion of teamwork can cause their productivity to drop dramatically. What can a contractor do to find a good contractor with a prepared team in this new reality? What steps do crew chiefs, design and contracting company owners, and workers themselves need to take to meet the new challenges?

Changing the style of work

Imagine a once close-knit team of specialists that, forced by a pandemic, now has to work remotely. And that this is a new situation for everyone. And no one likes it, because instead of working together on a project and discussing it in real-time, they are forced to communicate through webcams. Many people can be overwhelmed by this situation, and as a result, they can get blocked and then their work efficiency decreases a lot. 

How to deal with this?

First of all, you need to get a sense of the mood of your employees. When working from home, look to see if everyone is doing their job as before, or if the performance of anyone has dropped significantly, even though they were doing their job very well before. The best solution is to communicate directly and talk openly about your concerns and problems. In terms of a practical solution, I highly recommend creating one master file that everyone can access and work on freely. Working on smaller drawings, fragments of a larger project, should also work well. Sending out lots of emails to your employees is pointless. In a jungle of messages, it’s very easy to get lost and overlook important information.    

Improving communication

There are several ways to improve communication within this new reality. One of them, perhaps the most important, is to use a spiral model of communication, i.e. to discuss all aspects of the project as thoroughly as possible before work begins. Other ways are strictly technical: having a comfortable keyboard and a large, functional mouse with programmable multimedia buttons (e.g. F8, Delete, ESC) will certainly help streamline work. However, although handy, laptops do not have a comfortable keyboard for typing, and the touchpad is not precise either. An additional second monitor will also be helpful (at least two monitors per workstation, including one 24-inch). This solution works very well – in our office we use three 24-inch monitors per workstation – the functionality of such a workstation set-up is invaluable.

Efficiency at work

To work efficiently, you need to get rid of the habit of intuitive action. The market is constantly changing and evolving, and new solutions in design support programmes appear. After all, everyone has their favourite programme and a proven way of using it, which means that not everyone works in the same way, based on identical methods. 

The advantages of innovation

The best way out of this situation is to be open to innovation and to adapt to new working conditions. Conducting – even via instant messaging – brainstorming sessions, where everyone throws ideas around while being open to testing new solutions and being open to those proposed by others. It is also important to remember that there are no infallible people. When someone’s idea, after testing, turns out to be non-functional, you should move on and not look back, trying out new ideas straight away.  

When working on a tightly specified project, there is no time for guesswork and “reading between the lines”. If an idea is not precisely described and clearly presented in a way that is clear to everyone, it will not be implemented successfully. Delegation matrices are a great solution here. When someone wants to implement something, they describe their ideas and intentions in them. I highly recommend combining a delegation matrix with a spiral communication model.

Investor relations in a new reality

Investor relations must run smoothly. The requirements imposed on us by reality in times of pandemic are something that cannot be circumvented. Therefore, frequent online meetings and keeping the investor informed about the progress of the works are more than advisable. The best solution is to invite him to a conference to get to know the whole team remotely. The investor, who already attends meetings, should be asked to speak – his opinions and new ideas will certainly show the team new possibilities and prepare the ground for further ideas. 

Significant improvement in efficiency

All this makes the teamwork much more efficient, and on top of that, the level of understanding increases, and everyone has their own space to introduce ideas. A team with a clearly defined objective immediately begins to work better together, which automatically results in much better work culture. The effects of such solutions are long-lasting, they become part of the team’s culture and everyone feels satisfied with their work.

If you want to learn more about our delegation matrix – call us. During the conversation, you will also find out how well we deal with other challenges in the current reality resulting from the pandemic. Feel free to contact us.

Wojciech Domaszczyล„ski, MBA. Expert in construction, solving problems at the design stage so that they don’t occur during construction. #BIM

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