Lay the Groundwork Before Your Team Starts the Job
A detailed plan should always be a top priority when embarking on a new project. To make your often-unpredictable projects sure bets, we have some tips on how to create a promising plan before your project kicks off, so you and your team hit the ground running.
- R&R = Review & Respond. Begin by slating review sessions before each key phase of a project, in order to streamline accuracy throughout its duration. Include ample feedback time for your team within these sessions, so they can voice any concerns or observations. This enables you to address issues on the fly and anticipate problems that may occur beforehand (e.g., surpassing budget, inventory shortage, etc.). Be sure to include the entire team, from product ordering through the final punch list.
- Safety. It’s important. If you remind team members of safety procedures before a project launches, they’ll feel more confident and react swiftly should an incident occur. This can be especially helpful for less-experienced team members, and seasoned veterans can always use a refresher. Additionally, identify any potential hazards ahead of time, which might include roof stability, weather forecasts, fatigue or fall protection, so your team is prepared if they arise.
- The Timeline. Create a detailed but achievable timeline of your project’s workflow and milestones, complete with deadlines to keep your team organized and on schedule. Make the timeline easily accessible by placing it prominently in your shop and distributing both hard and electronic copies to team members. Furthermore, meet with key players (e.g., foremen and crew leaders) throughout the project to discuss status. With everyone on the same page, you’ll be able to troubleshoot upcoming steps if an item gets behind. Extra points: Remind team members who have an approaching deadline.
- Plan B. Contingency plans always pay off and can serve as a benchmark for how well you’re addressing lessons from past jobs. Leverage experience and feedback from each job to develop the contingency plan for the next. One of the biggest assets contractors offer their customers is a wealth of industry knowledge. Use that insight to drive the contingency plan, which can help enhance efficiency, manage customer expectations and address any “surprises” in a concise and effective way.
By putting together a precise project plan and anticipating potential problems before a project kicks off, you can jump into each job with confidence. Check back here for best practices during and after projects, and until then keep your team sharp with a great plan.