Calling All Project Managers!

Greetings friends! Welcome back to our Day in The Life blog series where we are identifying potential pitfalls and stumbling blocks that can be easily avoided on any jobsite with proactive use of the Clear Flow Matrix.

Manage Expectations

The Superintendent’s Greatest Challenge

Most recently, we discussed how the superintendent often finds himself becoming the bottleneck on the jobsite due to his own natural tendency to appoint himself as the problem solver for absolutely everyone. As a result of this unrealistic expectation, he often finds himself trapped in the middle of the No Flow Circle. Communication breakdowns then become systemic as trade partners work to stay one step ahead of the next trade, delivery, or RFI – only to provide yet another excuse for why time keeps slipping away. Learning to trust balanced production and flow empowers superintendents to set themselves (and their teams) up for maximum success. Using the tools of the Clear Flow Matrix (CFMx), the superintendent can confidently distribute responsibilities to his team and the corresponding trades – enabling him to manage trade handoffs and maintain balanced flow.

Sustain Progress

The Construction Engineer’s Driving Motivation

Our discussion has also been around the potential bottlenecks that can be avoided by construction engineers in their role. It falls on the shoulders of the construction engineers to work out design issues, prepare documents needed to detail the area handoffs, and sequence project logistics – all well in advance of commencing work on each site operation. And they need the tools to communicate effectively with their respective trade partners. With CFMx, the balanced production front starts smaller crews earlier and encourages more timely completion of the submittal functions by managing production rates versus schedule dates. With this manageable momentum, the construction engineer can both establish and maintain flow.

Overcome Inertia

The Project Manager’s Primary Task

And now, we focus on the project manager! One of the most important functions for setting the team up for success, the project manager is tasked with initiating momentum at the onset. And this can be overwhelming, no doubt! Emotionally, it is very difficult to possess and impart the intensity felt near the end of the project at the onset, or even during the preconstruction phases. The Clear Flow Matrix encourages earlier starts in each area with smaller crews, establishing momentum much earlier in the project. Those project managers that are most successful will encourage a sense of urgency at the onset of the job – ensuring the motivation is established and momentum can be sustained.

One of the most important ingredients for this is the capacity to understand balanced flow. Having a balanced production front with two flows driven by production rates, versus schedule dates, enables the project manager to initiate what we call manageable momentum. The capacity to balance the two flows (through use of the CFMx) results in more intentional focus on process flow early on – demanding increased intensity the very first week. A sense of urgency around preconstruction function is essential, as well as avoiding the assumption that you can still make the finish date with bigger crews. Starting small and keeping it manageable will enable more successful handoffs and a 40% increase in trade direct work.

A Clear Path to Momentum

The Matrix Keeps It Manageable

What’s one of the biggest benefits realized by project managers when it comes to the Clear Flow Matrix? The capacity to keep you from getting overwhelmed. How? It’s one page versus 30 (for starters) and the simplicity of the matrix mitigates the challenges that come with having to create so many different time-consuming reports on project status. Having all your data on one page enables you to focus on the job, rather than on the reporting. Not to mention, CFMx requires one tenth of the time usually spent on multiple page analysis, allowing you to redirect the time saved to overcome inertia with sustainable momentum (at the onset and throughout).

Get Clear!