Start with asking the right question's and following up:
- When starting a task: set aside enough time to plan out the work, evaluate the entire process. Talk through the sequencing, schedule and budget. The planning meetings designed to find an efficient way to construct a project (logistics, sequencing, material and manpower). The pre-planning meetings need to be organized with an agenda to break down the objectives into steps, finding critical areas to discuss in detail or items needing research, to be followed up later. Challenge crews to think, finding the best plan before starting the task.
- When observing a task, find the bottlenecks or the time wasters, what process demands a considerable amount of time to accomplish? If we're spending hours greasing or taping bolts, can we buy cheap pipe foam to cover the bolts that could speed up the process. Or setting forms once for footings and eliminate the stripping (what material's needed to form a footing, yet not necessary to strip).
- When completing a task, ask the crew what can we do; to execute the task simpler, quicker or easier?. Break it down; find a way to shorten up time consuming task, figure out how to improve the process. Changing a crews thought process might be simple as starting a conversation. Bring it up in the morning meeting, explain the objective (finding ways to eliminate inefficient steps) and how they can develop their own critical thinking.
- Finally, develop and implement change! If they come up with ideas to simplify a task, show them ideas won’t be ignored, rather implemented. This is how we become successful.
It's time to stop using the phrase "this is the way, we've always done it” and replace it with " How can WE keep improving", constructing it faster, simpler or easier on the crew. Don’t become complacent; complacency will only continue our rote way of learning. So change it up! Develop a creative minded atmosphere that will aspire crews to strive for nothing less of success.
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