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Haste Makes Waste

Communication - croppedHave you ever worked with someone that works like a madman, but never gets anything done? I have.

Many times people are judged by how fast they work, and while urgency and focus are great attributes, without planning they get us nowhere. Today planning is discussed more than when I entered the construction industry almost 25 years ago, yet sadly, “ready, fire, aim” still seems to rule the day.

In order to really make gains in productivity, we need to know where the low hanging “planning fruit” is for every project. Here are three of the biggest planning “musts” for every project.

  • Have a project-wide material plan. In construction, up to 40% of all the labor on is related to material handling. At Faith Technologies, If we manage our materials and institute a plan where our workers can stay focused on installation and are not running all over for their materials, we win. Material placement must be thought about. Material runners, in conjunction with radio usage, must be used.
  • Have a project communication plan. At Faith Technologies, we need to use two way radios and have seamless communications on our projects. Radios allow our workers to focus on what our customers are paying us to do, install. With radios, the project’s communication “I.Q.” is very high. Everyone hears what is going on, and worker collaboration is much more intuitive.
  • Set crew goals. At Faith Technologies, daily expectations and goals are important for keeping our projects on track. Crew members need to understand what is expected to get done, and set goals (daily/weekly) to achieve those expectations. They are also encouraged to write down their goals. It’s a proven fact that goals that are written down are much more likely to be achieved than those that are just talked about.

If you slow down and think about what you’re doing, how and why you’re doing it, and how you can do it better – you can make a difference. People doing tasks need to discuss the process, and continuous improvement needs to be their focus. Construction productivity gains will always be about working smarter, not harder.