Google+ hip, hype or banned by Luddites


Yes I have been one of the chosen few to be given an invite to try out Google+ or Google Plus. Please note you it is still in trial stages so you may not be able to it yet, but you can take the tour.

I won’t bore you with techno babble, the future of Facebook, the demise of Twitter or any other such nerdy nonsense.

But what I did find is an application that is ideal for those of us in construction.

Two of the core areas of Google plus are “circles” and “hangout”. Yes I know they sound very hipster and twee but what they allow you to do is to have a circle of colleagues, site managers, subcontractors, consultants, the PCG, which you determine and set up. Also, you can have up to 11 people on video link at the same time, high quality and completely free. The software determines who is talking and the main view then goes to that person.

Frame-breakers, or Luddites, smashing a loom. ...

The really interesting question will be for the Luddites who manage head offices and are scared the cadets maybe spending too much time twittering etc. You know the type of people who will waste their own time checking up on people who get paid less than a quarter of the manager’s pay.

Google+ will in time,  be on everyone’s desktop and the social network and business network will become seamless. Just as our mobiles and emails keep coming outside office hours, weekends and holidays, the working day is not stretched it is all-consuming.

I bet most architects and designers will be up and running Google+ by the end of this month, but some builders might get their by 2020.

We are building a “relationship” with this new client

Frame-breakers, or Luddites, smashing a loom. ...
Image via Wikipedia

Oh no. The above word came up in a meeting yesterday and my heart sank – Relationship

Translated into normal language not management speak, it means: the project is under priced; we then gave them some freebies (which is called value engineering); we promised to be on site within a week; and we will complete the project a month earlier than it is humanly possible.  But we are building a relationship because this new client will be fantastic to work with, will be a “key stakeholder” and we will all skip towards practical completion, profit maximised and enhancing our reputation all the way.

Reality does not hit immediately but the warning signs start to emerge. Where are the drawings “approved for construction”?  Why are the agreed inclusions/exclusions different in the contract documents?  Why is it that the client’s representative got sacked from the gestapo for cruelty?

The world weary project manager has seen it all before.  Usually some bright business development manager has “cultivated a relationship” with a “key player” and the brass tacks of the project are merely white noise which distracts from the latte circuit. It is easy to promise the world when someone else has to deliver it.

However, woe betide anyone who dares to say :hang on a minute, who is this client, have we spoke to builders who have worked for them. The silence is deafening and because most PMs are true pragmatists they are countered with being accused of not being “proactive” or even Luddites.