Are you scaling the wrong thing

sweat equity

On last weeks blog we talked about the improvement strategy in Sweat Equity Improvement and leveraging our influence to serve others. You got a heavy dose of the social benefits in approaching continuous improvement in this way and how relationships on the jobsite are effected. And yes this Plumber๐Ÿ˜Ž actually made friends with Electricians, just another example of why Virtual SQI is so well suited for construction trade professionals.

And if you are a production focused pro like me you probably felt something like "this is all great and good but how do you make it stick?" This is the important question. 

Lets think back, have you been a part of some production improvement initiative only to see things go back to the way they used to be? Yeah me too. 

Why do you think that is?

My observation is because we put all kinds of effort and energy into making the work better we see the outcome and celebrate by spreading the "new way" to do the thing. But we only do this with mouth noise. The problem with this is we fail to communicate the big critical steps in the new and improved way, the make or break details, and why them details are important. 

What we do, well maybe you dont but I๐Ÿค“ have, we deliver some super condensed explanation or worse expect the install team to spread the new way.

So the improvement dies with the people that were in the middle of it and we continue on to the next project to do the same work in less than optimal ways.  Relying on tired and worn sayings like "work smarter not harder" or compounding labor costs by just adding people and working overtime.

But there is a way to make & scale the improvements you have worked so hard on. Its tedious work but so worth it. In this Sweat Equity Improvement thing I keep talking about, we take the new sexy way that we have designed with the team and create a resource that clearly articulates the Important Steps, Key Points, and Reasons why. And because technology, some SQI Alumni have integrated QR codes that will take the install team to video demonstrations of the thing.

The official method is know as TWI Job Instruction and it is key in stabilizing the work, locking in the improvements and propagating this new best way through out the organization. The thing that excites me the most about it is the resource we create serves as a training tool and an auditing tool.

And just when the Rainbows & Unicorns ๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿฆ„ are frolicking about Im gonna bring some doom.

  • Is the method repeatable? Yes
  • Is it a transformative experience? Yes
  • Does it make work & profits better? Yes

BUT, in pursuit of short term & instant gratification most people scale the wrong thing. I guess the fact that they are actually scaling something is a good thing, however they leave lots of goodness and gross margin on the table.

I think this happens because construction professionals are action oriented folk. 

The bias to action, production freaks like me, drives us to only scaling the "tool"

So whats the right thing to scale? 

The right thing to scale is the THINKING. Imagine a situation where trade superintendents and foremen had the process and mental models to examine work activities and redesigned them to be safer and way more productive. 

What if those foremen and superintendents did this on a quarterly basis and those new best ways were shared through out all the projects you currently have on the books?

Its possible, actually its happening.

What are you waiting for?

Sign your people up for the next Virtual SQI cohort๐Ÿ˜

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