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Benefits of monitoring and evaluation communication

Several benefits are observed in literature from the diverse field as a result of effective communication. There is a benefit to the individuals, the process and the organization. Likewise, in the construction industry, effective communication has enormous benefits in the M&E of the project and so cannot be overstated. Effective communication contributes to the achievement of coordinated results. Coordinated results in effective M&E are seen in the ultimate achievement of project success. This can only be possible if there is an effective communication among stakeholders. Managing change in construction project delivery has

Aspects of communication in monitoring 99 been a daunting task for project stakeholders. Through effective communication during the M&E of construction projects, organizational change is guaranteed. Husain (2013) established the positive contribution of effective communication to organizational change. He further argues that for effective communication to bring about organizational change, participation and commitment of employees, trust and feedback mechanisms in the communication process are critical and must be managed well.

Effective communication in the M&E process reduces the frequency of misunderstandings and consequent errors on the part of contractors. Thus, if architectural and engineering design details, bills of quantities and other forms of communication are clear and unambiguous, errors and re-work are eliminated to the minimum with significant consequences on project cost and schedule. Dewulf, Hoezen and Reymen (2006) posit that the result of effective communication is improvement in communication relationship between stakeholders which could reduce project failures. He further argues that a more open communication at all levels of the project cycle could also lead to innovation and better technical solutions to challenges that may come up. Again, effective communication at the early and briefing stages of the project could positively influence the quality of the project as desired by all stakeholders and lead to better decision making (Hoezen et al., 2006).

Barriers to monitoring and evaluation communication

The nature and complexity of the construction industry pose challenges to every activity aimed at achieving successful project delivery. Likewise, in the implementation of M&E, communication barriers do exist. Identifying these barriers will ensure adequate measures are developed in the communication process to guarantee effective communication during M&E. Key barriers to effective communication are discussed as follows. Hoezen et al. (2006) argue that stakeholder interest in project delivery influences how they communicate amongst themselves, stressing that opposing interests could lead to hidden agendas which will lead to restricted communication. Cross-cultural barriers are significant barriers to effective communication (Adler, 2003). Owing to the diversity of stakeholders engaged in the M&E of projects as well as their occupational cultures and professional background such as quantity-surveying, architecture, engineering and accounting, unskilled labor and craftsmen/women communicating in a manner that will be understood by all other professionals as well as skilled and unskilled labour to ensure effective communication is important.

The transient and dynamic nature of the construction industry’s activities necessitates the moving of the workforce from one project site to another in different geographical locations. As described by Dainty et al. (2006), this could result in a cultural barrier. Communicating project information also to foreign donor-funding organizations ought to be clear in order not to miscommunicate owing to cultural differences. Jargon and semantics have been identified as critical barriers to effective communication (Dainty et al., 2006). The technicalnature of the construction industry has led to the adoption of formal and informal languages (common language) among professions for easy communication (Delisle & Olson, 2004)- These terminologies used by project managers or specific stakeholder such as the quantity surveyor could be misleading and not understood by other stakeholders, thereby obstructing communication. Dainty et al. (2006) argue that documents such as drawings, specifications, method statements and some other project documents could be the source of miscommunication. Noise is also a major barrier to verbal communication (Dainty et al., 2006). As a result of the construction industry’s activities and processes on site, effective communication between supervisors and site engineers and laborers on the project can be affected.

Poor communication practices during M&E and failing to overcome the barriers outlined above can have dire consequences for construction project success. It is therefore imperative to work towards addressing the communication challenges in the M&E of construction project delivery.

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