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  21 Need of SOP in Building Construction Management Prof. Prasad Ganpule Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil College of Architecture, Akurdi, Pune, India International Journal of Commerce & Business Studies Volume 4, Issue 2, April-June, 2016, pp. 21-24 ISSN Online: 2347-2847, Print: 2347-8276, DOA: 05022016 © IASTER 2016, www.iaster.com  ABSTRACT Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is an effective tool of ‘controlling’ project activities. They are in the form of a written document which elaborates every small activity of a construction project from its conception to completion. They helping creating proper ‘communication chain’ among people working in a construction team, that is, client, consultants and contractors. SOP give an abstract of different actions to be taken in a specific chronology. The step by step actions enlisted by SOP are of a great assistance in keeping a check on actions taken or activities to be conducted. SOP in the form of a checklist are beneficial to a designer as they direct regarding the actions to be piloted well in advance.  For an executor they aid to comprehend the path of actions. Thus SOP work as a guiding path. Though the use of SOP is inevitable, there is a resistance to adopt the stringent principles and practices of SOP. The paper tries to focus on the importance of SOP and the need to adopt SOP to undertake good quality  projects, to be executed within the pre-decided time frame maintaining their cost effectiveness. Keywords : Construction Industry, Need of SOP, SOP. 1.   INTRODUCTION Sir Norman Foster, one of Britain‟s most successful ar  chitects once said “ Best buildings were the ones that were never built”.  Is it a sad comment on architecture or construction techniques or on clients? It is the comment on complexity of construction resources which makes it difficult to achieve 100% satisfaction in terms of  product designed and product delivered. Construction is, indeed, a very complex network and although in that particular respect it may be no different from many other industries, in terms of its modes of operation, the way its products are made and sold, it may well be unique. Post World War II, during the course of industrialization, the „Management‟ became  a buzz word and „Management Theory‟ evolved. This was an attempt to manage different resources like Men, Material, Money, Machinery & Methods. The theory of management brought the concept of „Management Functions‟, through which attempt was made to categorize different actions to be taken in the course of production or while delivering services. „Controlling‟ is one of the important functions, which help in keeping check on every activity from design stage to commissioning stage. As a controlling tool the use of instruction charts, tables, rules, schedules and manuals is the common activity. Taking one step ahead it is the need to set up „Standard Operating Practices‟ (SOP‟ s) for varied activities taking place in construction industry from conception to completion of any building or structure.  International Journal of Commerce & Business Studies Volume-4, Issue-2, April-June, 2016, www.iaster.com ISSN (O) 2347-2847 (P) 2347-8276 22 1.1 The Nature of SOP Standard Operating Procedure is a written communication system developed to establish control over construction processes &practices. An SOP is an elaborate document which describes the regular recurring activities appropriate to operations. SOPs explain standardized practices in terms of  procedures & policies to be adapted to achieve desired outcome. Directly or indirectly SOPs help in controlling important factors of construction industry like quality, safety, time and cost. Using standard operating procedures regularly helps in minimizing occurrence of corrective actions. SOPs provide a description of individual responsibility. The actions listed through SOPs tell. Whose responsibility? How that responsibility should be fulfilled? People who follow such established procedures have more confidence about their actions and the outcome that is expected. 1.2 The Need of SOPs in Construction Industry It‟s the character of this industry, which creates the need of SOP because of its complex network of human resource who handles the project at different levels. Client, Consultants & Contractors being main participants should have proper communication, well defined line of action & line of direction. The aspects mentioned below are the challenges which need to be tackled well to get desired outcome.    Product manufactured on site    One-off design with no prototype - A Tailor made concept    Design shop separate from construction site    Complex organizational structure    Less standardization All the above referred aspects are the characteristics of construction industry which makes it different from other engineering industries. SOP is the solution to tackle the varied issues associated with the aspects mentioned above. 1.2.1 Product Manufactured on Site Unlike other industries the product called „Building‟ or „Structure‟ is manufactured on site. Because of scale of product in terms of size, shape and design it is practically impossible to create the structure in one piece at some place and deliver the same to its intended location. A proto type of smaller scale in terms of size and shape or structures of typical design (pre designed) can be delivered from single manufacturing unit. Therefore, there is a need of synchronizing all activities „On the field‟ and „Off the field . ‟ 1.2.2 One-off design with no prototype ‘ A Tailor made concept ’   A product called „Building‟ or „Structure‟ is One -off in its nature. Very rarely one building matches with another in terms of its buildability from foundation to finishes. A proto type building sometimes  International Journal of Commerce & Business Studies Volume-4, Issue-2, April-June, 2016, www.iaster.com ISSN (O) 2347-2847 (P) 2347-8276 23 may be identical in shape, size and design in superstructure. But structural components in foundation may differ due to soil condition and other geological factors. This aspect makes every building unique in its own and thus needs to tackle with its relative  parameters. Thus number of different components manufactured with different materials and executed or  processed by different people gets assembled together in specific system and time frame. 1.2.3 Design Shop Separate from Construction Site A product called „Building‟ or „Structure‟ is designed architecturally in architect‟s design studio; Structural components of same are designed by structural designers in their own design department/ office. All other relative consultants like MEP, HVAC and Environmental provide their design inputs from their respective office. Collectively all design data is correlated and utilized for execution on „building‟ site. As a practice, entire design team  provide their services „Away from site‟ and not „On site‟.  This phenomenon creates a need of common communication system to correlate site activities with design studios. 1.2.4 Complex structure of Stakeholders Client, Consultants and Contractors is the team of any construction project. In the engineering industry other than construction industry, the process of product designing to product launching finishes first and then customer responds in terms of purchase of same. Construction industry works exactly opposite to the earlier one. Here the client decides whom to choose as consultant, whom to award the work to execute and who will maintain the same etc. Thus role of client is „Initiator‟ and not „Receiver‟. This makes necessary to keep control on all aspects of every activity from design stage to delivery stage and even at post-delivery stage. The perfect coordination amongst all contributors must be maintained throughout the production cycle with proper communication system. 1.2.5 Less Standardization „Standardization‟ is the most important factor in any engineering industry to achieve desired outcome. Unlike the other industries, construction industry is lacking behind on the part of „Standardization‟ . The nature of labour employed in industry, the material resources we use and the techniques we follow along with a few geographical issues it becomes difficult to standardize many of the activities in construction industry. An attempt to standardize the possible activities, will help in achieving desired the quality control, cost control and time scheduling for any given project. Therefore, „SOPs‟ as a controlling tool will help to deliver quality product in time bound period. 1.3 The Ways in Which SOPs Tackle the Variables SOPs being a written communication medium elaborate standard actions should be taken at every stage from conception to completion and also in maintenance stage of the project.  International Journal of Commerce & Business Studies Volume-4, Issue-2, April-June, 2016, www.iaster.com ISSN (O) 2347-2847 (P) 2347-8276 24 I. Design Stage A standardized format prepared to enlist requirements or design inputs from client, will help both client and architect/designer to design options in line with requirements set. A standardized format of specifications in terms of material to be used will help in choosing the correct material which is suitable for its intended purpose. II. Execution Stage Execution stage is the prime stage where concept transforms into reality or object in 3D form. To  build the structure many hands work together in team in a given system. The written document elaborating each and every smallest activity in terms of quality workmanship will help in keeping overall control on execution process. III. Post Construction Stage Once the project gets completed and it is ready for its functioning, it is necessary that all facilities  provided like sanitary and plumbing, electrical, HVAC etc. should perform well and should perform to the desired output. A performance can be measured only against written document which confirms all technical and functional parameters of facilities provided. 2.   CONCLUSION To summarize, Standard Operating Practices (SOPs) is the most important document designed to  provide proper control over all activities that will be executed by people who are engaged in every small activity of construction process from design to delivery stage. Through the SOPs we make an attempt to deliver quality workmanship with timely completion of project. As an indirect effect it helps to keep control on „over run of cost‟ due to delay in project.  Thus SOPs are inevitable in terms of project controlling and to keep harmony in every activity in design, execution and post completion stage. REFERENCES [1]   Kwakye A. A. Construction Project Administration in Practice Berkshire: Addison Wesley Longman Limited 1997 [2]   Morton R. and Jaggar D.  Design and the Economics of Building   London: E & FN SPON [3]   https://www.bizmanualz.com/save-time-writing-procedures/what-are-policies-and-procedures-sop.html [4]   http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-standard-operating-procedures-organizations-69530.html [5]   http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=587547203707851;res=IELENG
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