Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 6 seconds
For starters, “No client has ever been upset about having their job done on time or early” the inverse is also true.
For years I would tell my clients upon signing a remodeling project when I thought their project would start and end. Rarely did we make our “Best case scenario”. I had been racking my brain for years for a way to schedule a project properly. Every now and then we would magically nail it, the majority of the time; it was just a pleasant accident.
We Were Using The HIIK System.
My staff would be given a project and get going as fast as possible, truthfully they could care less about deadlines, they would just work as hard as we could calling subcontractors as we needed them. No matter how frustrated I would get, the results remained the same. This is what I call the “HIIK” (Hell if I know) system. Something had to give.
During slow times this random guessing system works but things are busy now. I figured the clients understood when we had a weather delay, lots of business, Change Order, or illness. Wrong-O. I got burned badly, and recently seriously disappointed several clients.
It reminded me of a race I was volunteering at. My job was to keep folks on course. A fellow glanced at his watch as he was blowing past me and asked “How am I doing?” “Great!” I said, “But you’re going the wrong way!” “Story of my life”, he muttered, as he spun around and got back on course.
Now that several jobs are always being done simultaneously, even the smallest problems causes a domino effect making us consistently fall short of expectations. “Enough is enough”, I said.
The Rhythm Method Just Isn’t Good Enough!
No matter what the task if it takes up time, you have two choices
Plan ahead and schedule the darn thing properly. / Use the rhythm method. (We all know how well that works)
The problem is that the vast majority of Project Managers, (including myself, until recently) only schedule as far out as they can see, that might only be until tomorrow or the end of the work week. Crossed fingers, as it turns out, is not a good “Plan B”. We consistently fell back into what I call it “The squeaky wheel system” Wherein the loudest complainer gets first dibs of the available staff and resources.
Truth is, any schmuck can guess when something is going to be done, it takes a mensch to actually orchestrate it successfully. In the old days we would use the famous line from the movie The Money Pit when asked how long until completion “Two Weeks” Not anymore!
Scheduling, As It Turns Out, Is Like Rocket Science.
We now plot the “TA-DA” first and work backwards to be sure we have enough time for emergencies and unforeseen issues that are bound to crop up. To confirm my suspicions I asked my neighbor Al who actually is a real physicist. Al said “Joe, scheduling a project is like rocket science,” therefore it must be true.
It Took A Paradigm Shift To Fix It Once And For All
- We now use our online scheduling to coordinate the day to day operations and expectations.
- We order all time sensitive materials when we sign the Remodeling Agreement.
- We are debuting a secret weapon we recently devised to reflect the days we have left to hit our target.
It turns out that the trick is to be able to see a week or two into the future extremely clearly. Anything beyond that can be foggy. When it comes to scheduling, “Two weeks, one week, tomorrow” Is our daily morning mantra. Expect your project schedule to be looked at daily and adjusted as needed to reflect what is really happening.
Now, upon signing a remodeling agreement, our team will talk with you about your project schedule and share when we will be able to start and “Call the shot for when we will finish”. Our goal of the entire process is to be accurate. Any assumption about speed is merely conjecture. Buffering a percentage of time at the end seems to be the best avenue to absorb any spill over.
Results are King
It is quite a different feeling to get excited clients emails praising us for our consistent progress and focus on the finish line. “If I only knew then what I know now”. There are hundreds of ways to do it wrong and I’m sure we have done most of them. That is behind us now. This is how a professional remodeling firm handles project scheduling.
Some major obstacles still remain in our way, availability of materials. The warehouses of America are bare. Many products are produced overseas or over the borders. Less and less is being stored locally and many items are being manufactured when ordered. This blows lead times out of the water. The key is that we talk about these things early in the project and work around them purposefully.
Orchestrating a remodeling project takes a clear plan, laser like focus, previous experience to draw from, buy-in from all parties involved, trust, and compassion. Hiring a company with a team of experienced specialty subcontractors that play well together is what you get with Levco.
Then it can all go to hell in a hand basket when mother nature throws us a curve ball like winter 2016.
Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261
If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor please contact me, you’ll be glad you did.