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Problems in getting updates

5 replies [Last post]
Changli Wang
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Hi. How can you do when the engineers/supervisors don't cooperate and are reluctant to provide updates?

I work for a contractor as a Planner. Our Project Manager and Construction Manager have high standard requirements on schedules because they need to present them to the Client in the weekly meeting. However, many engineers/supervisors are very unwilling to spend time on providing updates. We give them plenty of time and suit their convenience, but they just don't want to do it. We set a formal meeting, but many people don't show up. I understand they are busy and site work is the priority, but 30 mins for each week is not too much.

Every week we have to waste a lot of time on chasing them. It seems like we are begging them for a favour. I can feel that some people don't respect our work and regard schedules as bullshiting. Once the managers pushed them they would perform better. One week later it became the same situation.

I was a civil engineer as well. Sometimes I am frustrated and think if I should go back to civil engineer. Have you encountered this problem before? Any solutions? Thanks.


Sai Ram Dantu
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Hi.., allI am having an issue with the bar labels showing on the far right bar regardless of whether it is a baseline or the Actual activity bar. I had already cross checked whether other bar labels are unchecked.Bar label of "BL- EARLY START AND  EARLY FINISH" are assigned for baseline bar, but in the gantt chart, base line early start is seen for BL- bar but early finish is seen for actual bar. Kindly help out with this issue  
Celso Paman
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Hello Changli

Another option is: prior to the report deadline (say, 1day before), issue a letter attaching your preliminary updates (based on data (a) gathered by you from site (b) quality reports (c) daily reports (d) any relevant reports) requesting them to update the report should any missing information not recorded. Establish deadline when they should reply (say before end of the day), otherwise if no response, your report is as good as FINAL. In this way, you are showing them that you are following closely the project progress and monitoring your project activities diligently that even without their inputs you can still produce meaningful report by your own.



Craig Adams
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Joined: 18 Dec 2011
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Hello Changli,

Nothing beats walking around site viewing work yourself.

If you can build repore with site guys you can sometimes gain valuable ideas on how to improve project delivery.

If your engineers/supervisors are busy, take time out of your day to help them by saving them the time of attending non productive meetings.

Kind regards,

Craig Adams

R Voneister
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Hi Wang,

I agree with what Gary has to say. Additionally, you can try issuing some charts showing portions of works (different places, floors, trades, etc.) that need to be completed in the coming week/2 weeks (with the consultation of your PM, of course). And then update the progress after the given time on these charts and serve memos or caution notes to the engineers/supervisors falling behind.

The problem here would be that you are gonna have to prepare the update yourself. But hopefully only the first time. 'Coz the supervisors are gonna come back and say that they have done much more than what you (Wang) have reported. And then you can tell them to either cough up the updates on time or live with what you work out.

Gary Whitehead
User offline. Last seen 3 years 17 weeks ago. Offline

Common issue.

Often the guys on the workface see update meetings as doing nothing for them, (and arguably rightly so). You need to try and find a way to change that.

One thing you can try is finding a way to make the schedule and/or weekly update meeting useful to them.


-Maybe combine it with lookahead meeting to help organise the consumables / people / plant they will need for the next week/fortnight.

-Maybe you can run a report showing all subbies on site over the next week, or materials deliveries, etc.


Another thing to do is to continually explain to them that the weekly client reports are just as much a deliverable of the project as the construction work they are doing, and you need their help to keep the quality high.


Thirdly, a round of bacon sandwiches will often do wonders for attendance to site meetings.


If none of the above works, it's largely out fo your hands -the PM and CM need to continuously reinforce the importance of regualr updates.