Construction is a Battlefield

I was surfing the web recently and I saw an article by a construction management student. I read it, and it was good. It talked about the efficiency of communication and the ability to manage people and to track budgets etcetera, etcetera. And all that is true. But that’s usually how it goes inside the climate-controlled four walls of the site trailer where there’s endless coffee and a warm toilet seat over clear water.

I saw this quote years ago and it nails, at often times, what’s going on outside of those four walls:

Blake Const. Co., Inc. v. C. J. Coakley Co., Inc., 431 A.2d 569, 675 (D.C. 1981).

[E]xcept in the middle of a battlefield, nowhere must men coordinate the movement of other men and all materials in the midst of such chaos and with such limited certainty of present facts and future occurrences as in a huge construction project … Even the most painstaking planning frequently turns out to be mere conjecture, and accommodation to changes must necessarily be of the rough, quick and ad hoc sort, analogous to ever-changing commands on the battlefield.

Yup, that’s about what it is.

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