Making a success of your job site

Who has never heard of a meeting at job site ? Even if the expression is well known, the exact scope of its issues is not necessarily clear to everyone. For example, who knows who organizes worksite meetings? How does this type of meeting take place? Who should attend? These are all questions that deserve some additional explanations. So, first of all, we are going to remind you what a meeting of job site is, its organization and the actors of this one. Then, we will review the benefits of meetings and see why they are important at job site.

A job site meeting, what is it?

Site meetings are important moments in the life of a construction site. They are used to review the progress of the work in progress. They are regular and planned meetings that allow us to verify the good progress of a job site. By ensuring that theprogress of the job site project is in line with the schedule, it gives an idea of whether the date of acceptance of the work will be respected. This allows us to anticipate potential problems, to issue appropriate responses to difficulties encountered and to deal with complicated situations.

In the event of anunforeseen event or complication, the various parties involved will propose corrective measures at a meeting at job site. These will be integrated into the schedule, which will then be adjusted according to the new data. All of this, of course, in order to respect the contract with the project owner as much as possible.

Planning of job site meetings

It is done at the initiative of the project manager, therefore either the architect, or the architectural firm, a design office, a craftsman or SPC Coordinator (Scheduling, Piloting & Coordinating). This one will be determined according to the choice retained by the owner, in other words the sponsor of the envisaged realization. The rhythm of the meetings for a job site varies. It goes from a monthly meeting to aweekly job site meeting depending on the complexity of the works and the size of the job site. Moreover, the rhythm is not fixed and can change according to the different phases of the work, the period of earthwork and structural work generally requiring less.

The very first one will be the opening meeting of job site. This meeting, also known as the kick-off meeting of job site, is particularly important since it will make it possible to define a schedule, the rules and the organization to come. The last meeting of job site will be linked to the delivery date of the job site, and therefore to the acceptance of the work.

Each meeting must be prepared in advance to avoid taking too much time and to be efficient. A notice of meeting is recommended. This way, none of the participants risks forgetting. Also, if these site meetings are always scheduled on the same day of the week, or on the same date each month, the various representatives of the trades will find it easier to free themselves.

Conduct of a job site meeting

A job site meeting always starts or ends with a visit of the job site. This is to follow the progress of the work, to see if everything is going well and to measure the difficulties encountered. This also allows us to check that the different equipment is working properly and that the safety rules are applied in compliance with the legislation. Following this site visit, or before, the participants meet and discuss the points on the agenda.

From one job site construction or BTP to another, the topics to be discussed always fall into the same categories. In a follow-up meeting at job site, we always take stock of what has already been achieved. We make sure that the decisions taken in the previous meeting have been implemented and that they have achieved the expected objectives.

We check if the progress of the work corresponds to the planned schedule. If this is not the case, we start by identifying the causes, and look for solutions together to remedy them. A reorganization of the schedule can follow, when possible and desirable. We also look at the period to come, what are the important actions for the following week. We mention the possible problems that could hinder the smooth running of job site : bad weather conditions, used equipment that could break down, delay in the delivery of materials, stock problems .... We also see if there are any defects to be corrected and why they occurred.

The key word is anticipation. It is a matter of anticipating difficulties in order to react quickly and to find, together, ways to overcome these problems. This makes it possible to identify the additional costs inherent in a job site, to adapt the budget accordingly, while keeping it within the limits of the budgetary envelope provided for these contingencies.

Finally, following the site visit, we discuss safety. We check the materials whose condition could jeopardize safety, for example unstable scaffolding, and that no equipment is obstructing a strategic area. We check that the safety instructions have been respected. If malfunctions appear, they are communicated to the person in charge of safety, in particular, if there is one, the Safety and Health Protection Coordinator, who will take the necessary measures.

Who attends job site meetings ?

First of all, the project manager will be present since it is he who convenes and determines the rhythm of the construction site meetings. The project owner can be present at the meeting at the beginning of job site but not always. For the follow-up meetings of works, his presence can be required if he has to give precisions on his expectations, or to make a choice between two options but it will be case by case.

On the other hand, all the other service providers, craftsmen and contractors will be called in, but according to the progress of the work. Indeed, the presence of the plumber is not necessary when the job site is at the moment of the foundations for example. In fact, it is all the actors concerned by the phase of work in progress who attend the follow-up meetings of job site.

The benefits of job site meetings

Define the missions and the person responsible for them

The job site meeting will make it possible to clearly establish the missions that each one will have to carry out, by determining the limits of the intervention of each provider. Thus, each party knows what it has to do and what each of the other craftsmen or companies will have to achieve. It will facilitate communication to allow the coordination of operations. This is one of the main advantages of the kick-off meeting.

Anticipate material, delays and unforeseen events

This point alone could justify the existence of these meetings. Indeed, this role is crucial for the life of a job site. When it comes to renting equipment, whether planned or due to circumstances that make it necessary, it is out of the question to do so at the last minute. It is therefore necessary to anticipate needs so as not to risk ending up with a job site that is behind schedule. The same problem arises with the delivery of materials. Cement, bricks and other materials cannot be supplied in sufficient quantities if the order is not placed on time. Similarly, if a delay is not identified quickly and its causes investigated, the situation can very quickly take on worrying proportions and paralyse part of the work. This may also impact other service providers who will also have to modify their schedules.

Update the progress of the work

The site meetings allow for a review of the situation. The various service providers can thus realize if there is a delay in relation to the forecast schedule. We can then adjust the interventions of each one to avoid that the job site is blocked at a given moment. To do this, it is best to have a good job site management software. The activities of each one are often intertwined and a delay taken by a craftsman is often reflected on the others. For a job site to go smoothly, adapting to the situation is an essential quality. Hence the importance of knowing exactly where you stand.

Report additional work, unforeseen events

The life of a job site is unpredictable. Unforeseen events are common and so is the extra work that needs to be considered. Whether it is a pipe that bursts, a section of land that collapses or heavy rain that hinders access, the reasons are endless. The exact situation must be known and information must be passed on so that decisions can be made. If only in the case of additional costs, the client, whether a private individual or a legal entity, must validate them so that the parties involved can be paid for the extra work involved.

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Provide a job site report to the teams

The role of the job site report in the meeting is informative, it allows a better communication between the teams because everyone receives the same information. Consequently, it generates less misunderstanding. It will list the exchanges and observations made during the site visit and the meeting. In particular, the achievements already made, the corrective measures envisaged, the defects to be repaired and the additional work to be undertaken will be mentioned. All this so that the job site is in accordance with the estimate. This report can include, in appendix, photos or plans. Indispensable even if it has no legal value, the report of the meeting of job site has no contractual value either, i.e. it does not formally bind the parties unless a clause specifying it is inserted in the contract. However, in case of litigation, it will play an essential role, hence the interest that it corresponds to reality.

As you can see, the job site meeting is of paramount importance. This issue has been sufficiently identified for professional federations to organize training sessions on how to properly conduct a job site meeting. Indeed, a good conduct of meetings will promote better communication between the different providers and improve coordination. And a well-coordinated job site will evolve more smoothly and correspond to the client's wishes, which is, let us not forget, the primary objective. Moreover, delays and blockages have an economic weight and reduce profit margins. But a good follow-up of job site allows a better control of these costs. And in this objective, the meeting of job site is part of the tools which contribute to this regulation. A tool which we hope to have helped you to seize.

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