Why Construction complexity should be called ‘Interesting Bits’?

Written by LetsBuild

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“Interesting Bits” in Construction.

Some of us older “builders” are considered, by the younger generation, as being completely out of date and just not in today’s construction world!


Just to get it straight in everyone’s heads, I’m sat writing this on my MS Surface tablet! And I have a smartphone!

I do have to admit some deficiency, though. On LinkedIn, just today, I’ve had to ask what “Quality Management” and “Information Management” actually mean! I have my suspicions!

My guess is that they are just fancy words, made up by academics, to cover making sure that any work is done to a decent standard and that bits of paper are filed away so they can be found in the future.

Anyone care to contradict me?

Now I’ve Blogged before about construction Complexity, Uniqueness and Uncertainty. It is!

But we must like that or we’d get out into something else to earn our livings!

During an Interview for a project turnaround role I’d be given a long, boring break-down of where the project had got to and asked what I’d do about it. My reply was

“Suck it and see, then make it up as I go along.”

If they couldn’t understand that was just plain English for

“bring transferable senior management skills and experience to analysing the issues before synthesising solution strategies”

then I wasn’t interested in working for them!

I like the KISS Principle – “Keep it simple, stupid!”

Right! On that theme there are a couple of expressions used in construction projects, usually in Meetings, which seriously annoy me! They are “Challenging Issues” and “Complicated Issues”!

Well, some people might look at them like that, but they are probably in the wrong job or are at a construction management level they weren’t ready for!

We should be used to dealing with complexity, uniqueness and uncertainty as a part of our daily routine!

Now, in that context, if something is “Challenging” or “Complicated” I reckon it should be considered to be something outside our daily routine, which can become a bit boring to us, even if it would drive Operational Managers crazy.

On that basis I reckon these “Issues” should be re-labelled:-

“Interesting Bits”!

Are you a fan of the interesting bits within Construction?