Three Solitudes Of Commercial Construction

Commercial Construction is comprised of three main stakeholders. They are as follows:

  1. Owner - The Owner funds the project and is ultimately the final arbiter of all decisions

  2. Designer - The Designer is typically the Architects/Engineers who help design the building and all associated Drawings and Specifications to help the Owner hire the third Stakeholder

  3. Contractor - Who bid and ultimately win the contract to construct the project for Owner based on the Drawings/Specification.

Each of these stakeholders operate independently of each other and with different business interests and motivations. Processes are rarely aligned between the three. Organizational goals and strategy are not connected between the three groups. They are connected only by the project being worked on. Each work on a project for different reasons, with different expectations. The goals of the Contractor do not necessarily line up with the goals of the Owner.

This misalignment of goals and strategy is a major source of conflict in Construction. How can this be mitigated? Does this conflict represent a potential loss of revenue to the stakeholders? The answer to both questions is yes.

By involving Vigilant Management the Owner can act to strengthen the connection between these three groups with improved communications, processes, and quality control. Through a collaborative approach we attempt to shift the goals and motivation of the designers and contractor to better align with the expectations and desires of the Owner. We deliver value by minimizing conflict, avoiding delays, identifying risks, minimizing mistakes, and pushing things forward with every interaction with a project group.

It sounds simple but it can be exceptionally challenging to do properly. A conflict on a construction project should not dissolve into "the Owner verses the Contractor" but instead focus on how all parties can work together to resolve the current (and future) challenges of the job.