It’s a busy time in the remodeling industry, and more of your job leads are bouncing around multiple jobs — whether they’re Lead Carpenters or Project Managers. There are a lot of companies out there where leads are working on three to four jobs at a time, but are struggling to keep all the balls in the air.
The challenge is the need to have the lead on current jobs and new jobs and everywhere in between. You can use this system and still maintain some control, even when everyone is crazy busy.
The primary need is great scheduling. I think it’s obvious, but to have one person essentially running three or four jobs while getting some work done on all of them depends detailed scheduling. This great scheduling breaks down into four main parts.
No 1. Be Specific & Detailed
It’s vitally important to set daily goals. In each project phase, the people on the site know what has to be done by the end of that day to stay on track. You want to specify those tasks, set deadlines, and leave no room for just “finishing tomorrow.” That detailed schedule shows everyone involved that tomorrow’s deadlines depend on today’s, so it has to be finished.
No. 2 Be Realistic
A schedule will only help if it’s humanly possible. A realistic schedule will help your leads juggle jobs and get the projects through Production successfully. Involve your leads in creating the schedule — they know what they and their crews can do.
No. 3 Will-Do Attitude
The attitude of all the players has to be “this has to be done” not “let’s see what we get done.” The difference is huge! In one case, people think in terms of daily goals and work hard to hit them. In the other case the schedule is a guideline and if we hit it all the better. This usually leads to missing the deadlines.
No. 4 A Skilled Team
Without having a key person with skill to leave on a job, the leads finds themselves just bouncing around. If they have someone to instruct and leave on the job on each site, they can move to start another project or finish one up knowing the work on all the sites will be taken care of.
It’s also critical that everyone has the “this is my job” mentality, so if a support carpenter sees a problem they fix it. In some cases, it’s probably a good thing to create teams of a lead and one or two supports, and then give the lead the responsibility to use them well on all their jobs.
It all comes down to planning. Both the upfront planning as well as the daily plan must be used by everyone, every time, to make this work. It’s a challenge but it can be done.
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