If you are a leader in your company, you are hopefully spending your days working “on the business” instead of “in the business”. That is ideal, however it probably means you aren’t in the field very often getting a real-life view of where there may be issues in current operations processes. For any leader or manager, discovering that insight is crucial.
I am not suggesting that you block off every Friday to go back to working on the jobsite processing RFI’s and Change Requests. Although that may be fun, there are better options and here are some ideas:
(1) Create a committee (or several) to focus specifically on process evaluation and problem solving. For example, an Assistant Project Manager group could meet bi-monthly to go through each of their normal job processes and discover common problems.
(2) Start a “suggestion box” style Teams or Slack (or alternative) channel and select a moderator to get some conversations started. Don’t just ask “What needs to improve?” – you won’t get far. Ask specific questions, such as “When completing cost projections, where do you or your team members struggle the most?”.
(3) Send out a survey to specific groups of employees at least asking them to rate or rank a set of systems. At least then you’ll know where to start looking deeper.
And if nobody has or makes the time to participate in these efforts, hire a third-party consultant, a fresh set of eyes, to get out there for you and start digging. Invest in a focused initiative to interview your teams and find out where YOU can help resolve their frustrations. With the right communication, they will be happy to see how much you care about them and their work.
© Kendall Pouland 2022