General systems perspective on achieving continuous synergy in a project organisation
Radosavljevic, M. (2007) General systems perspective on achieving continuous synergy in a project organisation. In: Construction Management and Economics 25th Anniversary Conference, 16-18 July 2007, University of Reading, UK.
Studies of construction labour productivity have revealed that limited predictability and multi-agent social complexity make long-range planning of construction projects extremely inaccurate. Fire-fighting, a cultural feature of construction project management, social and structural diversity of involved permanent organizations, and structural temporality all contribute towards relational failures and frequent changes. The main purpose of this paper is therefore to demonstrate that appropriate construction planning may have a profound synergistic effect on structural integration of a project organization. Using the general systems theory perspective it is further a specific objective to investigate and evaluate organizational effects of changes in planning and potentials for achieving continuous project-organizational synergy. The newly developed methodology recognises that planning should also represent a continuous, improvement-leading driving force throughout a project. The synergistic effect of the process planning membership duality fostered project-wide integration, eliminated internal boundaries, and created a pool of constantly upgrading knowledge. It maintained a creative environment that resulted in a number of process-related improvements from all parts of the organization. As a result labour productivity has seen increases of more than 30%, profits have risen from an average of 12% to more than 18%, and project durations have been reduced by several days.