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Communication complexity!

14 September 2011

Derek Thomson

So, just how complicated is a construction project?

Answer – About this much:

This is a social network elicited from email communications between the client’s project manager on an average, moderately-sized project (c. £20m; no particular design or process issues).  It was produced by a student with an EPSRC summer bursary who’s been working for myself and colleagues for the last ten weeks.  

We’re now working on interpreting this complexity.  Already, we’re characterised an interesting and hitherto unacknowledged change in the nature of the client project manager’s interactions with the rest of the construction project over time.  These are associated with leadership qualities.  I can’t say much more, as we’re yet to publish but suffice to say: “watch this space!”

We’re also working on identifying emergent, normative communities within all this complexity and inferring the rationale for that project structure from the nature of the low path-distance subnetworks within it. 

By the way, there are over 12,000 email messages in the figure above… 

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