Virtual SQI, Where did it come from

sweat equity

Have you noticed that Ive been talking about this Virtual SQI thing🤓 I should probably let you know why and maybe a little about where it came from.


Well what had happened was.....    I launched my business about 20 months ago and Sweat Equity Improvement was what I wanted to be doing any where & every where. I had no idea how to get the word out or what services people would want from me, but I knew that this approach to continuous improvement would be transformational for the learners and their projects. Luckily a colleague reach out for some SQI magic, and I was about to run my first solo event. Decisions makers from the Trade Contractor and the GC committed 9 days to learning the thing and making the work better. I was especially motivated by the "awakenings" they had along the way. Dont worry, we will talk about the awakenings in a bit. 

The experience was awesome but the in person version is a heavy lift. Imagine being away from the day to day of your responsibilities for 3 back to back days, 3 different times in an 8 week period. Yeah rough! This was the rub and I was compelled to find a way to produce the awakenings in a less invasive manner. I had played around with the idea of a virtual version but I was biased to in person engagements. I think my bias is rooted in my appetite for the action on a jobsite.

Anyhow, my buddy Adam Hoots asked if I would help him brain storm about some lean training for trade contractors. I think it was like 2 calls later that he asked if there was a virtual or hybrid version of "that Sweat Equity Improvement thing"  I chewed on the idea and the truth was yes there was a way to break it up into a more nimble delivery method. But I was concerned that it wouldnt have the same impact, and there was only one way to find out.

So we Did the Damn thing👊 and to my excitement the first awakening happened, then a couple weeks later the 2nd awakening happened and by the end the 3rd awakening!!!!! I was so damn excited because the experiment proved that the information could not only be delivered in a lighter bite sized format but the experience could also cause the mind shifts that are super important to me.

So that explains where Virtual SQI came from and now for why I am blasting the socials about it. It comes down to the transformations. Virtual SQI and Emotional Bungee Jumpers  both have the same effect in terms of how they impact the participants. I get to see the light bulbs go off, truth be told sometimes the light bulbs hit more like a Mack Truck. Still the participants seem to have discovered a new & simple approach to doing life. This is WHY Ive decided to focus on introducing everyone I can to Virtual SQI

And now time for the awakenings

Awakening #1: Gold at the Micro Level

On day 1 the group is tasked with watching a short video of some construction work being done and writing down every step they see. Then we tag each step that is "hard". On this first rep most learners cant label anything as "hard" because they didnt get into the "micro steps" as one construction leader called them. And when you zoom into the micro level, the painful & burdensome stuff is so pronounced it sparks empathy for the worker. We now have an understanding& appreciation for what our precious people tolerate every day, and we cant unsee it. This is the first awakening, and its ultra important because this new found empathy is the fuel for all the learning and improvement going forward.

Awakening #2: Buy In through collaboration

If you have messed around with Lean Construction at all you probably know how hard it is to get BUY IN🤬 well that ever so elusive buy in, is a natural outcome in Sweat Equity Improvement and its actually why I gave it that name. The "sweat equity" is a reference to the time & effort the learners/leaders put into vetting out their improvement ideas and testing these improvement ideas. The system requires us to present our ideas to the installation crews that we are studying and asking them for their feedback on the ideas. Some ideas are rejected out right, some are accepted and a lot of them are enhanced by the workers. Just in case you missed it this is what buy in looks like. After socializing the improvement ideas the next step is to go get the material, tools and equipment needed to test out the approved ideas. This piece helps us evolve from buy in to trust. Trust because we are finally using our influence and authority to better serve the men and women doing the work.

Awakening #3: Locking it in

Ive been learning this Lean stuff since 2000 and my biggest frustration has always been around how quickly it dissolves. Like Id have alot of progress on a project and get super excited at the prospect of the guys taking it to the next project. But that rarely happened😭 They would go to another team and go back to the way they used to do things or at best it was some watered down version of the thing. But now we have a way to lock in and spread the improvements. This is a high discipline element though, its sorta like cleaning your room and washing dishes. Not fun but totally necessary. After we have proven the gains of the tweeks we made in removing the "hard word" we get ultra precise behind the what, how and why of the newewst bestest method. The document participants produce explains the big important steps. For each of the important steps there is definition behind the make or brake elements of the step. And lastly the reason why it is important. The result is we now have produced a training tool and an auditing tool to use in maintaining and spreading the updated process that is easier for the people.

Yes production is improved, Yes safety is improved, and Yes quality is improved. 

But those are all outcomes of making the work better for the people doing the work.

If you are ready to have a mind shift around studying and improving work. You can sign up here if you choose to do so: 

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