Teamwork and Team Building in EPC Project

Teamwork and Team Building in EPC Project

                                                                                            By: Vu Duy Phuong – Instrument Dept.

“One swallow does not make a summer “, this well-known old saying is still true in the fast-changing world today.  Working in a team is now appreciated and applied in any aspect of life, from education to economics, science and technology, etc.

In the booming era of economy, each organization, either aims to stand firm against the intensive competition or to  take over market leadership, has innovated continuously to advance their levels of technology and productivity.  Among those, upgrading the efficiency of teamwork is a key factor. Corporations’ managers now not only focus on the individual performance, but also require their staff to be more interactive and cooperative. For years, co-operation and co-ordination have become the top virtues that organizations often expect from employees, beside qualification, hardworking and progressiveness. As an orchestra needs a bandmaster and musicians to make a hamornized symphony, teamwork not only enables members to achieve common goals together, but also creates greater power and collective intellect which individuals can not attain when they work separately.

Obviously, teamwork plays a crutial role in leading people as well as enterprises to success in modern society.

“Teamwork is extremely important to our business, and we can accept one or two introverts but we are looking for fairly ‘normal’ people.  Sometimes we get brilliant people but we don’t employ them because they are loners – very difficult.  Unless we find that they can mix with other people and work with them it is extremely difficult.”

(Harvey, L., Moon, S., & Geall, V. (1997).  Graduates’ Work: Organisational Change and Students’ Attributes. Centre for Research into Quality.  University of Central England in Birmingham.)

 Team building activities for CIMAS employees at CIMAS’s 10-year anniversary

Building effective team in EPC Project

EPC is an acronym standing for ”Engineering, Procurement and Construction.” It is a collaborative activity, through pooling the knowledge and experiences of people to meet working requirements.Thus, teamwork is an indispensable part to get a successful EPC project. But simply bringing people together does not ensure they will function effectively as a team. A group without teamwork may be undermined by a variety of problems, such as weak organisation, misunderstanding, poor communication and inadequate participation. When a standard teamwork isformed, it will improve the productivity, flexibility, information  reservation,  morale and innovation as well.

However, applying principles of teamwork to real life is not easy. Which is the best way to utilize and implement a team in the workplace  to maximize diversified skills and enormous capabilities of all team members? Here are some tips:

Team member selection

For an effective team, it is critical to select the right team members. No matter how many people are in a team; teamwork requires people who can work well together. They must share common goal, vision, agenda and timeline.  When building a team, it is important to consider not only individuals’ technical competency, knowledge and experiences but also their interactive and  interpersonal skills. Good team members are those who:

  • Commit themselves to share common goals and  responsibilities for highest  achievements;
  • Always listen and respond to others in an active and productive way to avoid a silent meeting;
  • Work as an enthusiastic participant with critical thinking;
  • Positively open  to comments, concerns, or  even  criticism without overreaction;
  • Be willing to share information, knowledge and experiences.

Leadership

The team leader, like the  captain of the ship, is critical to teamwork. Besides making, organizing and controlling the plan, the team leader is responsible for encouraging his members’ spirit and coordinating their actions, thus maximizing teamwork efficiency and ensuring goal achievements. The  team leader must own:

  • Broad vision
  • Profound understanding and thirst for knowledge
  • Good communication skills;
  • Good organization and planning skills;
  • Courage, decisiveness, flexibility, adaptiveness

Team building activities

Team-building activities help all members feel closer and relaxed after stressful working hours.  They also strengthen multilateral relationship and promote greater co-operation. A team activity can vary from a five-minute discussion, a status review meeting to out-door activities such as a football game or a vacation, etc to boost the mutual trust among team members.

Effective communication

Communication is a bridge to link team members. In order to enhance the power of a team, it is essential to maximize the communication efficiency.  Frequent and open communication creates the feeling of trust and freedom.The more valued members  are recognized, the more dedicated they are likely to be, and this in turn makes it easier for the team as a whole to achieve its goals.  To promote open communication, a team needs to:

  • Hold frequent meetings
  • Encourage members to show their personal opinions and competence
  • Enable them to demonstrate their strong points and weak points so that right person should be arranged to right work
  • Motivate them to cope with challenges and find out  best solutions;

Collaboration and participation

Collaboration works best when team members share their utnmost vision. , Trust, honesty, respect and  enthusiasm are vital factors for the success of a team. Team members need to know that when they pass the ball, their teammates will not drop it. If something happended beyond schedule or plan, everyone will pull all efforts for the utmost target of the team. Practical steps to promote collaboration:

  • Make sure the team to recognise that the project is not just one person’s endeavour
  • Focus on solutions, not problems, and emphasise that reaching a solution quickly is for everyone’s benefit.
  • Rotate job internally so that every one has chance to new assignments, roles and responsibilities. This helps all members to learn new skills, increase their overall awareness of project, create flexibility in team and strenghthen understanding, collaboration and communication among them.

In conclusion, working on team is truly useful, though it seems difficult and confusing at first. No matter how different team members are in personalities, attitudes, skills and ambitions, a good teamwork will build a strong development to the whole company and more importantly, gather people into one family.

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