Ever stop to find your crew (or yourself) working around problems rather than solving them? Maybe it’s an issue with the design, a schedule mixup, or conflict with another trade’s installation. Regardless of the cause of the problem, we often feel it’s faster to just deal with it instead of fix it. But is it really?
We all know that in some cases it is simply more efficient to suck it up. At the same time, it often turns out that working around one problem can cause a chain reaction of multiple issues throughout the life of the project. That ripple effect can sometimes even continue onto future projects. If something is in the way of your installation, who else is it going to affect? If the designer specified an install that doesn’t meet code on this job, will he do the same on the next one?
Is an inconvenience that added 30 minutes to your job today going to add the same amount of time every day for a month? I can think back to numerous times in my career when I was able to correct an ongoing problem. However there were ten times as many I wish I could have found out what those problems were sooner.
Fortunately there are some simple ways to find problems and get them resolved ASAP.
Document Your Issues on Every Project
Yes it may feel like a pain to stop and take note of something you could easily ignore. When you feel that pain ask yourself, do you want to be remembered as the contractor that did a great job on the project but had constant problems and delays, or the contractor that flowed smooth as silk?
Follow Up on Issue Resolution
If you noted the issue, make sure it gets resolved. Not just for the sake of seeing it resolved but also for the sake of noting how it was resolved. This part will make more sense during the next step.
Review Past Issues for Common Problems
If you see the same issues popping up time after time, finding the pattern is the first step to preventing the problem on future jobs. Maybe it’s design, maybe it’s schedule, or maybe it’s just because someone needs a bit of training. Regardless of the cause, you stand a better chance at avoiding the problem altogether if you take a step back and analyze several jobs at once.
We all take pride in our work, and that is the perfect reason to take responsibility when we find problems on the job. No project is built by one person or one company, and when we’re all working together to improve the process nothing but good can come of it.