Construction Today - December 2009 - (Page 94)
PROFITABLE CONTRACTOR Civil TICK -TOCK T ime is a finite, valuable resource, and managing it efficiently is critical to the successful, on-time completion of construction projects. How managers and employees manage their time affects performance, productivity and profitability. Accordingly, failure to deliver projects on time usually has negative financial consequences for construction companies and their clients. Although the principles of time management are not rocket science, they are easily forgotten in the rush to put out daily fires. Here are 12 best practices in time management that can help ensure efficiency and the timeliness of project completion. 1. Establish time as a corporate value. Time management starts with truly valuing time as a non-renewable resource. It doesn’t grow on trees, it can’t be manufactured, and it can’t be slowed down. Everyone’s time is valuable, from the company president’s to the janitor’s. For leaders and managers, time management is a double duty – managing both their own time and the time of employees. Unless time is valued and measured as a resource critical to the company’s mission from the top down, people won’t always use it wisely. 2. Link time to money. Time is money. Strike a good balance between performance-based pay and time-based pay. While performance-based pay is an effective incentive, it can be taken too far, driving people to move so fast that they compromise the integrity and quality of the work. 3. Set and prioritize obtainable, reasonable goals, objectives and tasks. Understand the company’s key performance indicators and the tasks and subtasks that contribute to the successful completion of each project. Establish how individual tasks fit into the larger scheme of a project and prioritize the order in which they need to be completed. 4. Set realistic, executable timelines. Unrealistic schedules set people up for failure. Create and communicate reasonable schedules for tasks and subtasks, allotting sufficient time to allow people to accomplish them while meeting quality standards. Provide the resources people need to complete the work on time. 5. Track progress. The most common time management mistake is setting a goal for day 10 and then waiting until day 10 to see if the goal has been met. Between days one and 10, someone has to take responsibility for ensuring that daily accomplishments are on track. Many businesses have adopted inprogress reports (IPRs) as a standard operating procedure to help project management track and report on results. 6. Communicate and listen. Open lines of communication between managers and subordinates, as well as laterally among teams. This helps to keep everyone on the same page and working toward the same goal. Remember that communication has to be a two-way street – top to bottom, bottom to top, and peer to peer. A good business practice is peer review, which gives everyone responsibility for making on-spot, on-site corrections. It is important for everyone to be willing to listen and respect the viewpoints of others. Even seasoned employees with 20 years’ experience may learn something from a worker who is new to the company. People who are unwilling to listen sometimes create problems that result in impediments to growing and learning and, as such, waste time and energy. 7. Create efficient operations. To avoid wasting time as well as the successful completion of projects, develop systems that eliminate duplication of effort, redundancy and overlapping tasks. Make sure everyone knows the tasks for which they are responsible and that they understand the company’s quality standards so rework can be avoided. 8. Remember: Haste makes waste. Multitasking is overrated and overused, and it can be a detriment to quality, timeliness and efficiency. Everyone can multitask to a certain extent, engaging in two or perhaps three simul- Proper time management increases productivity and profit. Tom Camarda is survey services director with IPA. Located in Buffalo Grove, Ill., IPA and its related companies provide comprehensive business consulting services and business valuation services to companies in the United States and Canada. For further information, call 800-531-3442 or visit www.ipa-c.com. CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM DECEMBER 2009 BY TOM CAMARDA
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - December 2009
Construction Today - December 2009
2010 Construction Forecast
Product Showcase: Hand Tools
F&R Construction Group Inc.
Suffolk Construction: Met 2
Weitz Co.: Solaris at Crossroads
Chance Construction Co.
Allied Building Products Corp.
Bird Construction Co. Inc.: Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Broccolini Construction Inc.: EDC Headquarters
CJ Pink Ltd.
Cobra Corporate Management Inc.
DDRM: The St. Regis Deer Crest Resort
T.N. Ward Co.
EllisDon: North Park Quad Pad Arena
Blumenfeld Development Group & Forrest City Ratner – East River Plaza
Clark Construction: Michigan International Speedway
Morton Buildings Inc.
Triangle Associates Inc.: The Gallery on Fulton
Vogel Bros. Building Co.
Walsh Construction: Mercy Corps.
Wasatch Advantage Group: San Tropez
John W. Danforth Co.
Shore Environmental LLC
American Civil Constructors Inc.
Archer Western: I-75/I-475 Reconstruction
Cleland Site Prep Inc.
Delaware DOT: Indian River Inlet Bridge
Goodfellow Bros. Inc.
International Construction Equipment Inc.
Kiewit Pacific Co.: SR 519 – Seattle Intermodal Access Project
Plaza Construction Corp.
B. Gottardo Construction Ltd.
Bergmann Associates: Walkway Over The Hudson
Craig Olden Inc.
G.M. Sipes Construction Inc.
Idaho Sand & Gravel Co.: Ten- Mile Interchange
Malcom Drilling Co. Inc.
Mid Eastern Buildings Inc.: Southampton Wastewater Treatment Plant
Minnesota Department of Transportation: I35W Crosstown/ Urban Partnership
Nicholson Construction Co.
Papich Construction Co. Inc.: Route 46 Expansion Project
Tilcon New York Inc.: Interstate
Tyam Excavation and Shoring Ltd.
W.C. English Inc.: U.S. 321
West Electric Corp.
Turner Construction Co.: Eastern High School
Gafcon Inc.: Carlsbad High School Modernization Project
DASNY: Gouverneur Healthcare Services
Stuart Olson: University of Lethbridge Markin Hall
University of Houston Student Housing
HDR Architecture Inc.
Marshall-Lee Construction Corp.
RA-LIN & Associates
Suffolk Construction: Boston Renaissance Charter School
Suffolk Construction: FIU School of International and Public Affairs
Tower Construction: Huntington Memorial Hospital expansion
Absher Construction Co.: Chief Sealth High School and Denny International Middle School
Casey Middle School
Cedar Ridge High School
Clark: Lowell Reception Center
Gilbane/Banks Joint Venture: Coppin State University
Hensel Phelps Construction Co.: FORSCOM/USARC New Headquarters
Shaw Construction: Mesa State College Student Center
Shiel Sexton: Butler University
SpawGlass Contractors Inc.: Austin Community College Rio Grande Campus Parking Garage
Stuart Olson: New Edmonton Remand Centre
The Christman Co.
Turner Construction Co
Weddle Construction Ltd.
Kite Realty Group Trust: Eddy Street Commons at NotreDame
Last Look: DANSY
Construction Today - December 2009