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How a construction JV achieves a 30% improvement in productivity

August 18, 2023 | Operational Excellence

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At a Glance

  • Our client, a Middle Eastern construction company, entered into a joint venture to build a high-profile international venue
  • The joint venture secured the project on a tight budget, and therefore engaged Renoir for 65 weeks to minimise the risk of budget overruns
  • We achieved and maintained a 30% improvement in productivity throughout the project, and met the client’s financial goals


Our client is a construction company based in the Middle East. They have entered into a joint venture (JV) for the construction of a high-profile international venue. The construction of this venue is part of a series of regeneration initiatives in this Middle Eastern country.

The Challenge

The JV’s bid for the construction project was successful in the tender process. The bid was structured within a tight budget framework, with strict adherence to health and safety standards.

To minimise the risk of budget overruns, Renoir was engaged for a period of 65 calendar weeks. The primary objective was to manage labour resources efficiently while ensuring that the project development remained on track.

Project Approach

We established an execution man-hour budget and processes to ensure compliance with the budgeted man-hour for both civil and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering. Relevant stakeholders within the JV management structure were actively involved in this process.

The core principle was to ensure compliance with pre-determined labour rates for an exhaustive list of activities. Performance was then evaluated through an efficiency ratio, which measured the quantity of tasks completed against labour man-hour used to perform the task.

Renoir also carried out on-site observations to perform root cause analysis, identify areas for productivity improvement, and implement appropriate solutions.

“We thank Renoir for establishing the necessary controls to manage direct and indirect labour productivity.”

– Project Director


Roles and Responsibilities

Renoir developed detailed job descriptions for both supervisory and site management staff. The descriptions include clearly defined accountabilities for both positions to improve delivery and performance, as well as optimal spans of control within the organisational structure.

Budget definition

We reviewed the man-hour budget, drawing insights from our experience. We helped to refine the definition of project activities, productivity rates and achievable targets. Our planning extended to the foremen, where we shared detailed plans outlining the expected daily output based on the available manpower resources.

On-site observations

We conducted in-depth site observations to evaluate work sequencing, management practices, and the enforcement of discipline (with a focus on break times). These observations provided a better understanding of how the reduction in lost time could be achieved through improved planning, allocation, and management of resources, including materials.

Solutions were formulated based on the insights gained from these observations. The implementation phase included the following steps:

  • Conducted pilot tests of the improved activity sequencing with a small focus group to establish the methodology and validate the effectiveness of the new approach.
  • Incorporated lessons learnt from the pilot tests into the final implementation where appropriate.
  • Collaborated with the relevant foremen to implement the solutions; provided support where necessary for successful implementation.
  • Reviewed the implementation process with site management to identify and address any barriers.
  • Presented the results after one week of on-site implementation to demonstrate the positive outcomes.
  • Documented and conducted audits of newly implemented work procedures.
  • Collaborated with site management to introduce systems such as roll calls and feedback mechanisms to tackle habitual non-compliance.

Coaching and training

Renoir provided project employees with effective work management techniques, through a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job support.

Classroom training covered topics such as daily work planning and distribution, goal setting, workforce coaching and motivation, and strategies to prevent insubordination. Workshops were held for foremen and supervisors, aimed at supporting the implementation of administrative tools and enhancing site discipline.

In the field, on-site coaching included site walk-throughs with construction management, with support provided for foremen by maintaining a physical presence throughout their shifts, offering assistance as needed.

Facilitation of weekly productivity reviews

Specific insights were provided in areas where productivity was failing short of the intended performance benchmarks. These insights were derived from observations and an analytical review of productivity data. The review provided clarity for the development and implementation of corrective actions.

Through a detailed weekly review process with senior construction management, actionable steps were identified and implemented to improve performance.


Achieved and maintained a 30% improvement in productivity

Adherence to budgeted rates

Maintained progress in line with the project schedule

Met the client’s financial objectives

Looking for project management and budget utilization expertise for your new construction joint venture contract?

*We have intentionally omitted client-specific details to uphold strict confidentiality.  

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