Twitter Building Down Barriers

A few tweets caught my eye on Friday between two SELCA (SE Lancs Construction Association) members, nothing really remarkable in content, but what was interesting was the exchange was between  joinery and bricklaying contractors, @rlmbrickwork and @tmjcontractors. As was mentioned, such conversations just wouldn’t happen on site.

That got me thinking, I have long maintained that organisations cannot really collaborate (few are designed to collaborate), hence the need and importance of last planner approaches, but that its people across organisations that collaborate, and of course that social media can only foster and enable more person to person connectivity.

And real collaboration.

So thoughts mused on how twitter can be used to enhance the last planner approach, enabling real time sharing of progress and issues between subcontractors. eg

@joiner: will the 2nd floor be ready for us on Tues as planned?

@plumber: @joiner first fix complete on for you to start in tues morning. Spoke with @electrics who will be done too. Good to go 

 @joiner; great thanks, will have a couple of guys there

 @contractor: delivery of plasterboard expected for 10am, loading out to level 2 for you

 @joiner @contractor ok, we can help offload ?

Dreaming or Potential? I know many SME contractors who dismissed the idea of any weekly last planner type sessions with subcontractors a few years back, but now see them as essential to construction project management. Maybe in a few years twitter will be a key project tool …. ?  (After all if  social media can be used to organise flashmobs, even dare I say riots, then surely we can use it to coordinate construction projects?)

Last Planner: There are many definitions of Last Planner in the context of lean construction, but essentially its about collaborative working, planning, scheduling and progress reviews with trade supervisors – the last planners – to reduce costs and delays, waste in its widest sense and add value. Often run as a series of weekly or daily planning and progress sessions on site.

Twitter Building Down Barriers: By the way the title above is purposely taken fromBuilding Down Barriers, a 1997 (just pre Egan) action research initaive to remove barriers between construction players that has shaped much of todays Modern Methods of Construction Management thinking.

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