Listening – The Key to Success for Engineering Projects

14 Sep 2012

“It’s not that hard to listen, share ideas and talk things through to get a good outcome for projects but it’s amazing how many people don’t do it,” says Leigh Graham, AE Smith’s new National Engineering Manager.

“We’re consistently receiving feedback that we’re not just order takers but focus on working together with architects and building consultants to help find the best solutions before the job starts and also during implementation,” adds Leigh.

It’s this approach of helping other consultants and collaborating during planning and construction that’s seeing AE Smith continue to secure work on challenging and large scale projects.

For Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, challenges with the design and installation of equipment is seeing AE Smith’s collaborative mindset become pivotal to the success of this project.

“With the Hospital wanting the very latest, up to the minute technology installed it brings up design and installation challenges – the design was done three years ago but the equipment has just been purchased so practically speaking the design and installation won’t match,” comments Leigh.

“But we’ve worked with the consultants to effectively future proof the design and establish ways to work around the practical side of things to deliver what the client wants.”

The commitment to listening, asking questions and developing strong
two-way communication between the AE Smith Engineering team and consultants has also paid dividends working with international company, Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM).

“We’ve really enjoyed the working relationship we’ve created with SKM, particularly on a recent laboratory project that really required a lot of two way communication,” adds Leigh.

The technically challenging project that demanded tight controls around pressure, temperature and humidity highlighted the need for a positive relationship between design and implementation.

“Poor communication on this project would simply mean failure – listening, updating each other, sharing ideas and keeping the communication open was just as important as being skilled enough to do the job at hand,” adds Leigh.

But it’s not just the technically challenging projects that adopt this approach:

“The team always looks at ways things could be done simpler, better, faster, easier or cheaper and ask questions to ensure we really understand the designs and can deliver on that practically,” Leigh says.