How Do We Get the Bar Raised to the Level of Excellence?
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve talked about the need to raise the bar of what is expected of construction contractors and how at Timber Creek Construction we’re working on a process to accomplish that.
I used to believe the ultimate goal was achieving perfection. Then I was informed by my wife that striving for perfection was a bad thing because perfection is impossible. The fact that perfection is unattainable leads to disappointment. I struggled with this for a while before determining that…
EXCELLENCE is the goal, not perfection.
Growing up I was taught that there is a level of excellence to be achieved in everything we do. There was no need for a “system”, excellence was just the standard…not so much anymore.
As a general contractor it is my responsibility to provide customers with excellence.
In order to raise the industry standard of excellence, there needs to be an effective way to communicate these expectations with customers, sub-contractors, and individuals working on construction projects. There needs to be a system to evaluate how well these expectations are being met.
Last week I ended the discussion stating the need to rate each construction company and/or individual doing construction, based on their performance and actions for each project.
Here is what we will be included in the process. This is what will be expected from us and our production team in an effort to achieve excellence.
- The purpose of this evaluation system is to share what the standards are for our construction company and what is expected of contractors and individuals. This evaluation system is designed to hold ourselves and others accountable for our decisions and actions as they relate to construction projects and the industry as a whole.
- The use of an evaluation system is sometimes misunderstood by the person or company being evaluated. This procedure is designed to assist you and/or your company in making the best possible choices and decisions regarding construction projects.
- This system is intended to be positive and constructive for each contractor, individual and company. Sometimes evaluations are perceived as negative; however, the intent is not to find fault, but rather to develop better contractors, individuals and companies.
- Most contractors and individuals want to do good work, which is what our company and customers want. This does not mean only working harder, but also working smarter. The objective of this evaluation is to reinforce the appreciation of performing above and beyond industry standards. It is to assist in improving performance and quality.
Here are the areas of accountability that will be evaluated and what will be included in each area.
Time management – spend time wisely
- Show up and start projects on or before the time and/or date determined and scheduled.
- Be productive with the use of time while at the job site and/or working on the project. Make the amount of time spent working worth the travel time. Don’t spend more time traveling than working.
- Work consistently on the project once it is started, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as waiting on materials, other contractors or weather.
- Have the project completed on or before the deadline for completion.
Attention to detail –
- Do the work as described and explained in the Scope of Work.
- Keep the job site organized and clean throughout the duration of the project
- Follow the “Construction Contractor’s Golden Rules”
- If you open it, close it.
- If you turn it on, turn it off.
- If you unlock it, lock it up.
- If you break it, admit it.
- If you can’t fix it, call in someone who can.
- If you borrow it, return it.
- If you value it, take care of it.
- If you make a mess clean it up.
- If you move it, put it back.
- If it belongs to someone else and you want to use it, get permission.
- If you don’t know how to operate it, leave it alone.
- If it’s none of your business, stay out of it.
- If it will brighten someone’s day, do it.
- If it will tarnish someone’s reputation, DON’T do it.
- Let everyone you are directly involved with or is connected to your portion of the project know what to expect.
- Make or return calls in a timely manner.
- Send and sign proposals, contracts, change orders, scopes of work, budgets, etc. in a timely manner.
Quality of work –
- All work is expected to be done above current industry standards, striving for a level of excellence.
- If work is unacceptable and needs to be redone, make this a priority as needed to help keep the project on schedule.
Respect for the budget –
- Be aware of and stay within the budget, both labor and material. If situations arise where changes need to be made that are going to deviate from the budget, let all affected parties know before proceeding.
- Manage materials to minimize waste. Return unused materials to supplier or general contractor to be used on future projects.
- Honor payment agreements and don’t ask for draws ahead of schedule.
I know this seems like a lot of information to digest, but it’s really pretty simple. And although it’s basic, it might not be easy. Because if it was easy…everybody would already be doing it.
This is what it’s going to take to raise the bar to the level of excellence, which is our goal, after all.
Next week we’ll discuss the evaluation part of the process and how it will be shared with those being evaluated.
I know, you’re on the edge of your seat looking forward to next week’s post.