One of the first steps in building an effective team is to define the goals of the project. In construction, this can involve a preconstruction meeting or a kick-off meeting. Everyone should agree on the objectives, such as using green construction methods, emphasizing safety and staying within the budget. Goals should be measurable and specific. For example, when setting the project schedule everyone should agree on goals such as providing fast replies to requests for information so the builder does not lose any time.
One key to working effectively as a team is for team members to respect and trust each other. In construction, people from different professions, such as contracting and architecture, must cooperate closely and it may be difficult for these people to understand each others’ approaches to a problem. Members of the construction team should spend time getting to know each other, learning a bit about the work they each do. This can help team members trust that the other people on the team know their jobs well and can accomplish what they set out to do.
When working as a team, each member has different duties and responsibilities. To function effectively, team members must understand these, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the other team members. At the beginning of the project, each team member should set out what he is responsible for. This will prevent overlap of duties that can cost money and cause confusion. For instance, design engineers need to make field visits to confirm that the engineering specifications they are liable for are being met. The architect or contractor should not be doing this job.