Privacy of Construction Project Management in Qatar 01/08

Got too many subcontractors to handle?

According to project management experts, you can spot major trouble on the horizon if you keep your eyes peeled for any of [the] poor project planning symptoms’ (Taylor, 2008[i])

Working in the business of construction in Qatar for the last eight years, I noticed what can be called repetitive management mistakes in the various projects and titles I have been at.
The Qatari business market succeeded to attract a numerous investors, contractors and PM firms while the management culture is not adult enough to absorb the sudden changes.
In this article I am trying to simply and share the critical typical challenges a project may confront due to lack of the poor design of an Organisation Chart.
This can easily be seen in the numerous stakeholders involved in a construction project her in Qatar.

Subcontracting strategy is adopted by most if not all of construction stakeholder working currently in Qatar due to the attractive fast growing construction business in Qatar.
Adopting subcontracting strategy can lead to serious troubles in project management if not well controlled.

Below is real life case study of one of the under construction large scales projects in Qatar. The project which was 2.3 Billion $ suffered obviously from a blind communication spot at the bottom of its organisation chart OC and lack of control by the main contractor over the subcontractors.
A glance on the OC would make one feel really comfortable to describe it as an over loaded organisation chart

An example of this is the Main Contractors Technical department OC as a random segment for analysis. The OC was built to have a technical manager at the top followed by the seven sub section managers (Architectural Manager, Structural Manager and etc.) those are followed by a line of senior staff who are followed by the engineers and architects who supervise the subcontractor technical offices where the real technical runs shifting all the mess deeper in the OC.

A normal daily communication process had to start from the subcontractor all the way up to the main contractors’ technical manager to decide what to do with it.
A request for information could take easily three weeks between it approaches from the sub-contractor engineer till it reaches the consultant for an answer.
The corrective actions suggested for this was to take line of the heads of sections out of OC for a shorter OC. Just write it off to allow efficient communication and to arrange a series of daily workshops among the Cub-contractors, the consultant and the main contractor for mitigating the previous time creep.
The lesson could be learnt for a PM considers moving to Qatar is to think twice before hiring sub-contractors some in-house working may be more feasible for the project and the organisation trying to design a slimmer Organisation Charts. Simply follow the rules, Develop the project Work Breakdown Structure into an OC not the other way around.

[i] Joe Taylor Jr. (2008) ‘Five Signs Your Team Suffers From Poor Project Planning ’.Bright up!. [Accessed 18 March 2009]


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