The Need for SPEeD in Project Management

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Book 3 from The DYOJO is Available for Kindle Pre-Order

Author Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, uses a unique blend of narrative, personal experience, and humor to bring life to otherwise dry concepts. His third book in the Be Intentional series, So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? is a primer on the mindset and habits for success as a project manager. The book is set for release on Kindle and paperback on Thursday, November 11, 2021.

One section of the book discusses The Need for SPEeD as a framework for elevating your team and project efficiency.

Project management is all about managing the project to completion, according to scope, on time, and on budget. The scope is based upon estimated time and material costs to complete the work. We will break this down more in the next chapter. You can begin to master these basics, even as a technician or carpenter, by simply setting daily objectives for yourself. If you know what you will be doing tomorrow, you can set out your materials the night before, have a plan for how you will be efficient throughout the day, and document for your supervisor that you have met or exceeded the benchmarks that you set for yourself.

For example, when you arrive on a project you can use the following acronym to develop your work SPEeD; this stands for:

Scan

Plan

Execute

Document

Use this sequence to set your own goals with your team and see if you can meet them. This is reverse engineering your production rates and will help you to better understand over time what you should be capable of on a regular basis. If you document your goals and how consistently you have met or beat them, this data will be helpful in showing value to your supervisors as well as for your own point of reference when you become a project manager.

We will discuss the keys to team SPEeD in more detail in Chapter 4 as it relates to project management. I wanted to introduce it here as I believe it is a helpful tool in preparing yourself to master your current role so that you can advance from where you are.

SCAN your worksite to understand what needs to be done, how to do it safely, and how you can develop a PLAN that optimizes your resources. As a technician, If you have a detailed work order that your supervisor provides you with the night before so that you can prepare for the following day, you can create the framework for your PLAN before you ever set foot on the worksite.

As a project manager, the PLAN becomes a key benchmark in setting your team up for success. Communicating clearly and consistently so that everyone is accountable for their roles and responsibilities on a given project. Your ability to execute will be contingent upon your ability to communicate your PLAN with your team and get them to buy into your ideas. As a person in a position of leadership, it is important to be able to adapt when you are faced with new challenges and/or information, as well as recognize when someone on your team has good insight and even a better idea/plan to help you EXECUTE.

As you develop as a person in a position of leadership, remember that being a leader is not about always being right. No manager is infallible. Doing it right is always the right thing (integrity). EXECUTION starts with communicating the PLAN to everyone on your team. When people know the PLAN and their role in achieving it, they are empowered to help you EXECUTE.

Communication of the plan is critical to seeing the plan through. Chris Farrell from Philadelphia, shared these tips for project managers, “Take care of the work being done. Attention to detail. Don’t always micromanage, rather always follow up and check on the work being done.” Whether you are a project manager or you want to be, these are great insights for developing your framework of onsite leadership.

Chris shared this key to success, “Find more efficient ways to complete the tasks at hand.” This sentiment can be applied in your current position, whether that is a technician in the field, someone learning to be a project manager, or a manager helping your employees develop. The idea of not micromanaging and yet innovating reminds me of a classic story about Charles Schwab who needed to increase steel production in his factory.

After many frustrated attempts to get the team inspired Charles finally noticed a simple piece of chalk. With this utensil in hand, he asked the nearest worker how many “heats” their shifts usually make. The employee answered, “Six,” so Schwab wrote a “6” on the floor. When the next shift came to work, they saw the number, discovered what it meant and set out to beat their peers.

When Charles and the day shift arrived, there was a “7” on the floor. The competition continued to elevate the team performance, driving this once under performing mill to surpass all others in the plant. A piece of chalk was all that was needed to innovate a new means of communicating, executing, improving, and even documenting the plan.

In property restoration, we get paid for what we DOCUMENT. If you don’t have it written down with an accompanying photo, it will be that much easier for a customer and/or an insurance representative to dispute your charges. If you can master SPEeD from where you are, you will be proactive in pursuing your goals, and you will also have a solid foundation for leading your teams as a project manager.

The Kindle pre-order is NOW available through Amazon. Pre-order will be available soon directly from The DYOJO. Orders through The DYOJO will include a signed copy and a DYOJO sticker (as long as supplies last).

If you are wanting to pursue a career in project management, this book will encourage and challenge you on your journey. If you are responsible for hiring and training project managers, this book will help you reinforce the roles and responsibilities of the position. If you are an owner or a manager, this book will help you communicate the process to your team.

Jon Isaacson

Jon Isaacson is an author and host of The DYOJO Podcast. He speaks, writes, and coaches through his organization The DYOJO helping the start-up phase owners and growth-minded restoration professionals to shorten their DANG learning curve for personal and professional development. Jon recently published two books, Be Intentional: Estimating addressing mindset and habits for insurance claims estimating and Be Intentional: Culture which is a collaborative work discussing how small things enhance or undermine your efforts to build a strong workplace culture. 

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