By encouraging, supporting, mentoring, listening, cajoling and leading, David McMahon built a highly effective team that delivered budget, programme and quality on this new-build activity centre project.
Programme, quality and cost are rightly thought of as the all-powerful trinity on a construction project. But while simultaneously hitting the handover date, keeping the quality bar high and stopping the budget from disappearing over a hill is a considerable feat in itself, construction managers have to play more than just a numbers game if a project is to be successful. As David McMahon made plain on this activity centre scheme, managing a diverse, changing and never-before-assembled team of people is the cardinal skill that can secure the glorious treble.
By in turns encouraging, supporting, mentoring, listening, cajoling and being honest, David built a highly effective team that delivered the three obvious parameters of construction project success. Whatever the problems that arose on site – the co-ordination issues, the damage one subcontractor can inadvertently do to another subcontractor’s works, etc – he prevented working relationships souring and morale dipping. He constantly checked in with each team member and offered motivation or set small manageable targets to ensure delivery of the programme/quality/cost mantra.
His use of component preassembly assisted greatly in project delivery. He identified elements of the M&E first-fix ductwork, pipework and cable trays that could be assembled off site and lifted into position. So successful was it in cutting the amount of work done at height and first-fix installation time that it is now being rolled out across the main contractor’s entire organisation. Main distribution boards and other switchgear were likewise made off site, as were Metsec steel wall partitions.
David also introduced a manually powered working platform to install the vast majority of ceiling-level services. An extremely mobile solution, the operator turns a simple circular lever to winch the man basket into place. It proved quick, efficient and safe to use.