As we witness the entire world come to a screeching halt, the devastating impacts of COVID-19 will be felt for years, if not decades to come. Entire businesses and industries have completely shut down, while others may have vanished forever.
The construction industry has been deemed essential in the US and many other countries due to the vital role it serves. While safety has always been the number one goal on every jobsite, the heightened protection for the frontline workers is even more intensified now.
This catastrophe has however brought to light more collaboration and partnering at a level that we all hope it will become the new norm. While keeping the safety of the workers and the construction progressing, true leaders and champions emerged who protect the interest and well being of their partners physically and professionally. Stakeholders collectively realized that they truly have common goals: uncompromising safety for all personnel and keeping the job moving.
Processes are streamlined, remote digital signatures and approvals take minutes, not days or weeks. Prompt, and even advance payments to keep suppliers and subcontractors from having to lay off employees and prevent financial demise. Video conferences have replaced in person meetings, except they are much shorter.
Consensus on direction and resolution of issues are reached much quicker. Project team members are actively participating in virtual sessions through their mobile devices. They are sharing success stories, and best practices that have been successfully utilized on other projects. No one is hogging the credit or casting blame. Some got to learn about the families of their coworkers and project partners, and even plan virtual happy hours after their work shifts.
If keeping each other safe and the project progressing is what every construction job ideally strives for and is being experienced now with or without a partnering facilitation, then the true outcome of partnering is achieved. We only wish that It did not take COVID-19 to actualize it.