Elevating Construction Project Management with Delegation

Enhance construction project management with delegation and communication models. Overcome bottlenecks, boost productivity, and achieve success.

Danielle Riha
February 19, 2024

In our recent webinar on improving construction project management, the webinar hosts and participants engaged in a discussion about their experiences and challenges in the field. Then, in the second half of the presentation, the hosts Dan Silvert and Matt Webster introduced two powerful models aimed at enhancing delegation and clear communication within construction project teams.

The Six Levels of the Delegation Model

The Delegation Model - Velocity Advisory Group

The delegation model presented during the webinar offers a structured approach to assigning tasks based on six levels. Dan highlighted common challenges faced when tasks are delegated without clear expectations. The levels range from simple task execution (Level 1) to complete ownership and decision-making (Level 6). The model encourages managers to match the complexity of the task with the delegatee's experience and competence. Importantly, Level 3 emerged as a crucial phase where evaluation and coaching take place to help the delegatee progress further.

Understanding Bottlenecks in Delegation

The webinar emphasized the importance of identifying bottlenecks in the delegation process. Attendees learned that in Levels 1 and 2, the bottleneck lies with the delegator (e.g., Matt) since they are still making decisions. In Levels 4, 5, and 6, the bottleneck shifts to the delegatee (e.g., Dan) as they are empowered to make decisions. Level 3, however, was highlighted as a double bottleneck, requiring careful evaluation and coaching.

The Done Model

The Done Model - Velocity Advisory Group

The Done Model introduced a checklist to ensure clarity in task execution. The model emphasized the importance of clearly defining goals, organizing responsibilities, setting verifiable deadlines, and establishing the difference between goals and outcomes. Dan shared real-world examples illustrating how connecting individual tasks to the broader project's outcome can motivate and engage team members, especially younger employees who seek impact in their work.

Combining Delegation and Done Models

The webinar concluded by showing how the Delegation and Done Models seamlessly complement each other. At lower levels (1 and 2), the Done Model is literal, focusing on specific instructions. As delegation progresses to higher levels (4, 5, and 6), the Done Model transforms into a discussion, encouraging the delegatee to take ownership and contribute to decision-making. Level 3 serves as the bridge, where coaching and investment in the delegatee's thinking process occur.

Interactive Q&A

The interactive portion of the webinar covered various factors affecting construction productivity and the challenges faced by industry professionals. Here's a summary of the key points and takeaways from the discussion:

Causes of Stagnation in the Construction Industry

The discussion highlighted several factors contributing to stagnation, including workforce aging, lack of replacements, and negative perceptions of the construction industry. This negative perception, stemming from societal attitudes and educational emphasis on college degrees, has led to a decline in younger individuals pursuing careers in construction.

Changing Perceptions and Recruiting Challenges

There's a need to change the perception of construction careers and emphasize the value of skilled trades. The webinar participants discussed strategies for engaging college and high school students and reshaping the image of construction work as a skilled and noble profession.

Impact of Fragmentation on Productivity

Workforce fragmentation and specialization were identified as major obstacles to productivity. The shift towards highly specialized trades has led to reduced versatility and efficiency in completing tasks, resulting in increased waiting time for materials and workforce.

Technological Advancements and Management Challenges

Despite technological advancements and management tools like iPads and electronic plans, productivity hasn't significantly improved. Participants discussed how technology has led to increased paperwork and data tracking without proportional productivity gains.

Communication Challenges with Stakeholders

Communication challenges with subcontractors, suppliers, and owner groups were highlighted, including issues with technology adoption, language barriers, and lack of clear expectations. Poor communication often leads to misunderstandings, delays, and increased administrative burden.

Characteristics of High-Performing Teams

Participants shared experiences of successful projects characterized by strong leadership, clear communication, trust, accountability, and a positive team culture. Strategies such as regular team meetings, peer accountability, and fostering personal connections were cited as contributing factors to team success.

Emphasis on Relationship Building and Trust

Building trust and fostering relationships within project teams were emphasized as essential for success. Clear communication, setting expectations, and investing in team-building activities were cited as effective strategies for improving collaboration and productivity.

Focus on Controlling What You Can

The importance of focusing on factors within one's control, such as relationships, communication, and leadership, was emphasized as a key strategy for overcoming productivity challenges. By prioritizing these aspects, construction professionals can mitigate the impact of external factors and improve project outcomes.

Overall, the interactive discussion underscored the significance of addressing communication gaps, fostering collaborative relationships, and promoting a positive team culture to enhance construction productivity. By prioritizing these aspects and implementing effective strategies, industry professionals can navigate challenges more effectively and achieve greater success in construction projects.

To watch the full webinar recording, register below:

Improving Construction Productivity Through PRoject Leadership Development


Want our latest and greatest delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter and get regular deliveries in one click.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.