Five Ways to Make Daily Reports Better

Read 10 min

In this blog, I’m going to talk to you about the different important parts of a daily report and five key things that will really help you make it a consistent habit that you can implement. So, what are the most important parts? How can we make it not such a tedious, boring task? How can we turn all of that into a habit? Another thing that we’re going to discuss in this blog is why just saying, “Hey, get it done” will never work. 

Before we dive into the eleven key components of a daily report and the five key things that you can do to make daily reports better, I do want to mention that most of the time, the situation is this: you’ve got to do daily reports. Someone tells you that you need to do it, they harp on you and remind you, and it’s this push scenario. It feels like, “Oh my gosh, there’s all this paperwork. I’m not an author. I don’t want to write a book every day or a chapter of a book every day. I don’t have time. There’s duplicate work. There’s waste. I have to transcribe it into this other platform. I don’t know how to use the platform.” This environment will not work unless we streamline the flow of how we do it. You can’t just tell people, “Do daily reports. Do them, do them, do them,” and keep pushing. It’s not going to get it done because human nature is at play here.

So, let’s talk first about what a good daily report includes, and then second, what are the key things that we can do to beat human nature and get them done.

How to Do Daily Reports at a Consistent Time

Consistent timing is key for doing your daily reports. I love this concept. I always talk about the three habits of a builder: studying your drawings for 15 to 30 minutes every day, being in your schedule for 15 to 30 minutes in the short term to look ahead and make work ready, and doing your reflection walks. I love the concept of doing the daily reports on the reflection walk while also taking other pictures. The best practice I’ve ever seen is using an app like NoteVault, where you can take pictures, use voice-to-text for any data, and it automatically transfers all of the pertinent information. It becomes a habit. Consistent timing is crucial.

Benefits of Having a Standardized Format

Having a standardized format is essential. Your brain will take your typical habits and put them into a habit loop, pulling them from your active processing into your subconscious, making them habitual. Your brain can more easily do this if you have standard formats. This way, you get the best information consistently.

How to Write Detailed Content in Daily Reports

Detailed content is important, but more words do not mean detailed content. That’s why using NoteVault and taking pictures is beneficial. A picture is worth a thousand words, and it really matters what we noted. We were able to take more pictures in a more addictive manner, capturing more content without needing more words. The descriptions are brief but on point.

How to Capture the Weather Conditions for Daily Reports

Capturing weather conditions is crucial. In a daily report software like NoteVault, you can attach these applications to a local weather station, which typically logs the date, time, and complete weather and atmospheric conditions for your daily report. This is important for documenting any weather-related project impacts, such as rain or snow days.

Benefits of Including Photos and Visuals in Daily Reports

Photos and visuals are crucial. If you ever need to present your case in court, to your owner, or in a meeting, having pictures and videos is the best option. They can help with communication, providing evidence, and supporting your claims.

Other Important Details to Include in Daily Reports

  • Site Issues: Document any issues on site clearly.
  • Correspondence with Trade Partners: Ensure your daily reports correspond with your trade partners’ reports, providing the full story.
  • Productivity Metrics: Include metrics for completed work, labor counts, and other relevant productivity data.
  • Signatures and Approvals: Ensure your reports are signed and verified.
  • Accessibility and Storage: Make sure your reports are stored properly and accessible.

The Five Key Things to Make Daily Reports Better

  1. Align the Habit: Pair your daily reports with an existing habit that you have intrinsic motivation to do.
  2. Make it Natural: Use methods that are natural for foremen and superintendents. If they prefer working with their phone or iPad, incorporate these tools.
  3. Use Software: Especially software that allows for pictures and voice-to-text, making the process real-time and fast.
  4. Eliminate Waste: Remove unnecessary steps and focus on real data. Streamline the process to make it useful and addictive.
  5. Make it a Habit: Set an example and help others normalize the process until it becomes muscle memory.

Additional Tips to Make Daily Reports a Habit

Tie the process to reflection walks and follow a pattern for reviewing and completing reports. Make it a consistent part of your routine, just like subscribing to this blog for regular updates.

I hope you’re able to turn this tedious task into a natural, efficient habit. Daily reports are crucial from a legal standpoint and a contract requirement.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!

How Construction Foremen Keep Projects Running Smoothly

Read 8 min

Welcome to our latest blog post! Today, we’re diving into the crucial role of construction foremen and the importance of work packages in keeping construction projects running efficiently. If you want to understand what a work package needs, how to plan successfully, and how work packages interact in a seamless process flow, this blog is for you. Stay with us as we explore these concepts in depth. 

Understanding Work Packages

Let’s start with how to identify your zones in a project. On a construction site, different areas such as rooms, sections, or pieces of work are divided into what’s called a standard space unit. This is the smallest divisible unit in the project, which helps to build your work package. A work package will have a zone and a time duration.

It’s essential to know both your smallest divisible unit and your standard time unit. In construction, the standard time unit is typically a day. This unit provides the aggregate base information needed to plug into the calculator and determine your zoning for the project.

How to Create a Takt Wagon Based on Zones

Once you have identified your zones, you can create what’s called a takt wagon. This determines how much work can be completed in a zone within a specific takt time, which provides a rhythm for the work. For example, if the overall takt time is three days and framing takes two and a half days, you have some buffer time to absorb any variations or productivity losses.

It’s crucial to have enough buffer to avoid pushing and rushing workers but not so much that workers are standing around. This balance is key to effective work packaging.

Creating Phases in Your Projects

Once you have your wagons, you can create a phase, the basis of all construction scheduling. A phase includes multiple zones and ensures that each level of planning is aligned. Important factors in a phase include the density of work and the direction of flow from zone to zone.

Important Factors in a Zone and a Takt Wagon

Within a zone, you need to ensure that the crews can fit within the takt time and that the work is packaged and leveled appropriately. This involves planning the crew’s activities, identifying necessary buffer times, and ensuring smooth flow from zone to zone.

Key Responsibilities in a Construction Project

Successful construction projects require collaboration between general contractors and trade partners. Trade partners must bring the right people, tools, equipment, and expertise. General contractors must provide materials, space, permissions, culture, respect, information, and layout.

Collaboration with other trades is crucial to ensure that each trade partner can complete their work in an open, organized, and well-prepared environment.

Achieving Flow and Efficiency in Construction Projects

The central focus of all construction activities is the crew working within the work package. Project management systems must ensure that the crew has the right team, plan, resources, culture, and training, all aligned with a takt time and visual systems.

Every aspect of construction should create flow toward the work package, ensuring that information, materials, and tools are delivered in a manner that supports the crew’s work.

Preparing the Work Package for a Zone

When preparing a work package for a zone, ensure that information is packaged into lift drawings or shop drawings, materials are kitted or prefabricated, and tools and equipment are ready on time. This approach ensures that workers can start immediately and work efficiently.

Conclusion

To achieve optimal efficiency in construction projects, we must design production systems that support the foremen and their crews. This involves careful planning, collaboration, and a focus on creating a smooth workflow.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!

What Is Higher Than A Superintendent In Construction?

Read 19 min

I get asked this a lot when I go around and do consulting and visits and training. So I’m going to answer that in this blog post right now. So here’s the question, do you want to know where the site manager belongs, where he or she ranks and how it fits into the system? If so, you came to the right place. So this will help you if you want to be one, if you want to know how to interact with site managers, and so you know, who’s really in charge of the project. So that’s fantastic information. 

Different Positions In A Construction Company me get this started off by saying, hey, there’s lots of company positions above the level of a site manager. You’ll have your typical CEO, President, COO, perhaps Director of Operations, operations managers, and in a lot of cases, their project director, and the project executive will oversee the site managers and the project manager together. I love that. That’s amazing. And let me give you a little bit of a warning here as we go, because I want to say this the position of General Site Manager, which is how I was brought up, meaning you have your director of operations, and then you have your operations manager or project director or project executive, and then GS would oversee the site manager, and the project director would oversee the project managers now I love General Site Manager and where I came from, and Hensel Phelps, when I was there, and I haven’t been there in a while. So I don’t know. But when I was there, that role was highly functioning. I mean, these were like, huge bridge builders, dam builders, like you could send them to Europe, and they would build big embassies in huge, like $500 million prisons and billion dollar data centers like these were like the lowercase g gods of the industry, right. And it worked and when they came to the project site, they were they were, well acknowledged that they weren’t easy, like they expected a lot. Now, the

Current Problems With General Site Managers role of General Site Manager has really failed in the last, I would say 15 years last decade, at least, and it continues to fail. Here’s why gentle site managers are starting to get promoted earlier and they don’t know as much. They’re not the master builders that they used to be. So when they and they and everyone has been told, hey, you know, you can’t yell or be like, dictatorial. So there’s a lot that haven’t learned proper ways to motivate and hold their team accountable. So what happens is they become buddy, buddy with all of their projects, and they become friends with the site managers. And they start to do the same thing that site managers ended up doing with trades, which is to sympathy, vote them, shield them and protect them from the project director, Project executive or Ops Manager, which is not a thing, right. So now, you’ve disconnected the PM in the site manager at the project level, you have someone playing savior throughout the organization, and it’s not driving results. And the general site managers are typically not responsible for finances. So anywhere this is happening, the General Site Manager position is being looked down on and it’s failing, well, we have to do is get back to that builder mindset, actually drive results, be responsible for the finances and hold the site manager accountable, and train them. So they perform on a higher level. So let me be clear about that. I love the position of General Site Manager it’s just not being done. Well, most of the companies revert to No, my project executive director or ops manager is in charge of the site manager and the pm because they’re so frustrated with that situation. So you can look at this, like Jason’s bad mouthing you or I’m just giving you a heads up for something that we should really watch out for. So there you go take it for what it is. But here’s the answer on the project site, technically, there’s no one

What Is Higher Than A Site Manager On A Construction Project Site? higher than the site manager from an authority perspective on the project, you could say that the project manager in some companies is higher right from a business or a chain of command standpoint. But from a practical standpoint, there’s no one higher no one more important on a project than a site manager. Now I come from the belief system that we shouldn’t have a pm over a site manager, that they should work together like to in a box where they’re combined efforts together, add up to more than what they would be if they just added the results here and here separately. And independently. I believe that I’ve seen it work. I’ve seen it work over and over. It’s a fantastic pairing if it’s done, right and I believe that it needs to be equal. Okay. So that’s the school of thought that I come from. If you go back to the book, Building the Empire State, the site manager was in charge of everyone, right and it that project worked out very well, I must say then I saw and historically I wasn’t alive during these years. But a shift to our site managers, we’re getting less and less trained and project manager started to take over. And then about 10 years ago, folks started to balance out and now ended up somewhere right here where project managers from an org chart standpoint are still shown above a site manager. I do believe that that’s a mistake. Here’s why. We have a failure to train site managers and this is not a dig I love you site managers here’s a little heart symbol. By the way, before I go into this next topic, please heart symbol this video, and subscribe right now, because we’re getting into some hard stuff. Please stay with me, I appreciate it when you do. So here’s the

Why Most Site Managers Lack Training Nowadays deal. There are fewer trained site managers nowadays than there used to be, I have witnessed this, you have witnessed this, we do not have training programs that are widespread as project managers, we do not have as many books if I go on to Amazon, and I type in Project Manager, I’ll come up with like 13 books and programs and training programs. And they have an entire institute for it right? If I type in site managers. I’ll find my book like why am I the first one in the last few centuries that has written one, there’s not a lot out there. But what we have is pretty good stuff. So there’s not a lot of training, a lot of the site managers in the industry don’t know what they’re doing. And they deserve to because they’re good people and they’re capable, right? And so what we have to do is start enticing people through these ranks. And we’re not going to do it if they realize, Oh, I’ll always be under the PM, oh, I’ll never have a seat at the table. In at the executive level, oh, I’ll never be in the leadership team. Oh, there’s not a career path for me. So we’re incentivizing people from even being good at the site manager role, because they don’t have a path. And they always know that they’re going to be number two and command instead of equal, which is what I would prefer. So from a practical standpoint, there’s no one hire, still companies have this out of balance, and they’re not equal to in a box, which they shouldn’t be. And so that is the direct answer. Because on a project site, the site manager, regardless of the support, controls, all of the acts, aspects of the performance in the field, in that position must be well trained. Let me clarify something though, from an importance from

Importance Of Workers & Foremen In Construction execution standpoint, that’s the site manager from a value and love and put on a pedestal and consider our heroes. There’s no one more important than the workers and foremen. So I’m talking about an organizational structure to execute. I’m not talking about who’s the most important person on the project site from a value standpoint, because we all know, that’s the workers in the foreman, they make the money. They’re the craftspersons. They’re the experts. It’s our job to support them. And so why am I saying this? All of you, site managers Yes, I gave you some hard news. Yes, I said, we’re

Important Reminders For Site Managers not as well trained as we should be. Yes, I said, if we have a room of site managers, you’re going to have a lower percentage of trained and competent people in that group, as if you took a same sampling from a project manager group. But I didn’t say that to insult anybody, I want it fixed. I want you to get the training you deserve. I want you to have the stature and respect that you deserve. Because it’s so important. So I’m enabling and enabling this position, we need powerful, vulnerable people in these positions in order to get this role done properly. So you must see yourself as that you have to believe that you’re that important. You have to know that you’re the head leader on the project from an execution standpoint, that will then determine, hey, I need to take care of myself, I need to leverage the team, I need the training, I need the support, I need the knowledge, I need the resources to go do my job in a remarkable manner. That is my hope for you. And so I want more confidence. I want more training, and I want more capability. I said

How We Can Train Better Site Managers I want more. There are site managers in this industry that are like Walmart security guards, they just have their gun in their holster and nothing else. And they’re just walking around asking questions and bullying people. That’s what a lot of site managers that are untrained

 

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!

How To Run A Meeting Like A Boss

Read 9 min

Bad meetings suck, but great meetings can change the whole game. So, do you want to know how to run a meeting in a killer way? How do you keep people’s attention and avoid death by meeting? Let’s go through these steps one by one. 

Step One: Prepare

This might seem like a simple adage—everyone says to prepare for the meeting—but I’m being really serious. It’s not just about listing out an agenda, deciding what to talk about, or sending out invites. You need to ask yourself, “How can I create an impact for the people attending?” What is the main point we’re discussing? What is the outcome we want? How can I get people to engage in that topic? Structure the meeting so that attendees feel it was worth their time.

Importance of Having a Purpose

Your meeting must have a purpose. Meetings done right can change the game. They’re essential to your business, but they need a clear, articulated purpose. If a meeting is on the schedule simply because it’s supposed to happen, rethink it. People should know the value of attending; otherwise, they’ll mentally check out. If you state the purpose clearly, attendees will understand its importance and be more engaged.

Importance of Targeting the Outcome

Don’t let the meeting wander off into unrelated topics. Focus on the desired outcome from the beginning. For example, “Today, we’re going to find a way to hit the milestone for level three.” This clear goal lets everyone know the meeting’s objective and encourages the team to contribute towards achieving it.

Different Types of Meetings in an Organization

There are different types of meetings: connection meetings, regular meetings, work sessions, and briefings. Connection meetings are for one-on-one engagement and deeper conversations. Regular meetings need a clear purpose and focus, with no distractions. Work sessions allow for individual work and occasional engagement. Briefings are for disseminating information, where listening is key. Recognize the type of meeting you’re in and be present and engaged accordingly.

How to Grab People’s Attention in a Meeting

First impressions count. In the first few seconds, attendees decide if the meeting will be valuable or a waste of time. Start with something engaging: a crucial decision to be made, an important milestone to discuss, etc. This grabs attention and sets the tone for the meeting.

Importance of Having Healthy Conflict

Conflict is essential for a productive meeting. It drives engagement and brings up real issues. Encourage opinions and disagreements to find the best solutions. Avoid meetings where everyone just agrees without discussion—those meetings don’t lead to progress.

Importance of Having the Right Order/Sequence

Structure the meeting efficiently. Address items that require the input of only a few participants early on so they can leave if necessary. Longer discussions should be at the end. This keeps the meeting flowing and respects everyone’s time.

How to Keep People Engaged in a Meeting

Engagement is key. Include some fun elements: shout-outs, jokes, or short video snippets. Recognize good behavior and gently call out bad behavior. Make the meeting interesting to keep people attentive and involved.

How to Encourage Participation in a Meeting

Actively seek participation. Engage attendees by asking questions and involving them in discussions. This ensures they process and retain information better. Measure the interaction level rather than just the meeting duration. Use real questions to keep the energy high and the meeting interactive.

How to Make Meetings Relevant

Ensure the meeting is impactful and results in actionable outcomes. Curate the experience with relevant handouts, visuals, and presentations. Attendees should leave feeling it was worth their time and that they gained valuable insights or information.

Importance of Asking for Feedback

End each meeting with a plus-delta session: what went well and what could be improved. This feedback helps refine future meetings, making them more effective. Encourage honest input and use it to enhance the meeting structure and content.

Learn More About Meetings

Meetings are essential for aligning your team and driving success. A well-run meeting can replace hours of individual conversations and reduce chaos. If someone prefers to avoid meetings, they likely haven’t experienced a well-structured, impactful meeting. Invest time in perfecting your meeting strategy to ensure they are clear, engaging, focused, and productive. For more insights, check out the book “Death by Meeting.” Implement these strategies, and you’ll run meetings that people actually want to attend.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!

Why Are Metrics Important In Business?

Read 7 min

You’ve all heard the quote, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” But what exactly should we measure, and how do we measure it? This is a common question, especially in construction. In this blog post, I’ll share some valuable tools and tips to help you effectively measure the success of your business. 

Importance of Performance Metrics in Business

The full quote is: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure and you can’t measure what you can’t see.” Visibility of metrics is crucial, particularly in construction where things can get quite complex. When performance is measured, it tends to improve. Furthermore, when this performance is reported to teams, the company, and the executive team, the rate of improvement accelerates. Therefore, we must measure performance to understand how we’re doing.

Imagine if you were diagnosed with stage one cancer. Would you prefer to find out early when treatment is possible, or later when it’s too advanced? The answer is obvious—you’d want to know early, despite the pain of knowing, because it allows you to act. The same principle applies to your business metrics. Identifying, discussing, and solving your problems hinges on bringing everything to the surface.

Importance of Having the Right Metrics

Remember, if you tell me what you measure, I’ll tell you how people behave. For instance, if you measure project managers solely on cutting costs, they’ll likely cut essential services, jeopardizing project success. Similarly, if a company only measures project completion without considering employee wellness, it risks burning out its staff. Therefore, your metrics must focus on achieving the right outcomes.

How to Measure the Right Things in Business

To find your metrics, collaborate with your leadership team and seek input from your employees. Clarify your business focus and value proposition. Understanding what makes you different helps in defining effective measurements. For example, in construction, if you measure the critical path instead of trade flow and rhythm, you’re likely to encourage harmful practices. So, measure what predicts success.

Avoid focusing solely on financial metrics, which are often lagging indicators. Instead, measure leading indicators that can predict success. For example, in construction, instead of just measuring the percentage of completed plans, track roadblock identification and removal. This focuses on finding and resolving issues before they impact the schedule.

How to Identify Your Key Metrics

Identify your key metrics and ensure they’re leading indicators. For instance, instead of just measuring sales, track customer outreach. Instead of just revenue, focus on strategic hiring, growth, and market diversity.

How to Write Down Your Metrics

Articulate your metrics clearly and assign responsibility for tracking them. For each metric, track progress weekly over three months, aiming for specific goals. For example, if your goal is to make 15 key client connections in three months, track your progress weekly to ensure you’re on target.

How to Track & Make Progress Based on Your Metrics

Regularly track your metrics and report progress in weekly meetings. Make corrective actions if necessary to stay on track. For instance, if you’re not making enough sales calls or engaging with employees enough, adjust your actions to achieve your goals.

In the description below, I will link the template from Gino Whitman’s “Traction,” which can help you implement this system. By consistently tracking and adjusting based on your metrics, you can drive meaningful results in your business.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!

What Does An Assistant Superintendent Do In Construction?

Read 5 min

An Assistant Superintendent in construction plays a pivotal role in the successful completion of projects. They ensure work is executed efficiently, safely, and with high quality. The following points provide a detailed overview of the responsibilities and focus areas for an Assistant Superintendent. 

Key Responsibilities

  1. Field Presence and Safety Oversight:
    • Maintain a visible presence in the field to oversee operations.
    • Ensure safety by monitoring the environment and enforcing safety protocols.
    • Avoid getting bogged down with office tasks or duties meant for other roles (e.g., field engineers).
  1. Planning and Execution:
    • Implement short-interval planning to ensure daily and weekly tasks align with the overall project schedule.
    • Coordinate with the project superintendent for long-term planning and resource allocation.
  1. Logistics and Deliveries:
    • Organize deliveries to ensure materials arrive on time and are placed correctly on site.
    • Monitor and manage the logistical flow to prevent unnecessary movement and inefficiencies.
  1. Crew Management:
    • Ensure crews are adequately staffed and equipped with the necessary tools, materials, and permissions.
    • Assess the functionality and efficiency of crews, making adjustments as needed.
  1. Maintaining Operations Stability:
    • Keep the work area clean, safe, and organized to facilitate efficient operations.
    • Proactively address any issues that may disrupt the stability of ongoing work.
  1. Coordination with Trade Partners:
    • Enforce project rules and ensure trade partners adhere to safety, cleanliness, and organizational standards.
    • Support trade partners by addressing their needs and ensuring they have the necessary resources to succeed.
  1. Quality Control:
    • Perform regular inspections to maintain high-quality standards.
    • Conduct zone control walks and oversee the completion of work according to project specifications.
    • Collaborate with field engineers and foremen to ensure work meets quality requirements.
  1. Short Interval Planning:
    • Manage day-to-day and weekly work plans to ensure alignment with the master schedule.
    • Focus on creating and maintaining workflow for efficient project progression.

Strategies for Success

  • Be Present in the Field: Prioritize being on-site to supervise and support the workforce, ensuring safety and quality standards are met.
  • Focus on Short-Term Goals: Concentrate on short-interval planning to ensure immediate tasks are completed effectively and align with long-term objectives.
  • Organize and Optimize Resources: Efficiently manage deliveries, crew activities, and site logistics to minimize delays and maximize productivity.
  • Enforce Standards and Support Trades: Maintain a balance between enforcing rules and supporting trade partners to create a productive and harmonious work environment.
  • Commit to Quality: Regularly inspect and verify work quality, addressing issues promptly to maintain high standards throughout the project.

By excelling in these areas, an Assistant Superintendent can significantly impact project success, impress supervisors, and become an invaluable team member.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!

How To Motivate Employees As A Team Leader

Read 7 min

Do you want to know how you can motivate your people and the truth about motivation? What are your responsibilities in this, and what are some pitfalls to watch out for? We’re going to cover all that right now. 

The Truth About Motivating Employees

Here’s a shocking revelation: You can’t motivate your people. It’s just not a thing. They must be self-motivated. This means that the person is aligned with you, excited about the work, and has decided to show up. So, you might be thinking, “Wait a minute, how do you motivate your people?” Let me explain. It’s your job to not demotivate them. Here are some steps to take you through this process one by one.

Importance of Having a Clear Vision

Are you and your company clear about your vision? This includes your purpose, mission, and core values. If you’re clear about your vision, highly motivated people who share that vision will come to you.

How Your Culture Affects Employee Motivation

Can a highly motivated person’s identity get excited about the work you’re doing? Do you have a culture that enables highly engaged people to be self-motivated? Evaluate if your culture is toxic, negative, or boring. A culture that burns out highly motivated people will not sustain their motivation. Hire hardworking, highly motivated people into a clear and exciting culture they identify with.

How to Create a Culture for Highly Motivated Employees

It’s not about the big things like culture or vision documents on the wall; it’s the micro actions that matter. For example, if you profess a culture of innovation but then shut down new ideas in meetings, there’s a disconnect. Ensure your daily actions align with the culture you promote.

3 Key Things to Provide as a Supervisor

People are inherently good and motivated. To be a great supervisor, provide three key things: connection, relevance, and measurement. Connect with your team genuinely, show them their work’s relevance, and ensure they can measure their success daily.

How Overburdening Leads to Demotivated Employees

Overburdening your employees will kill their motivation. Ensure they have a balance between work and personal life. They need breaks, time to think, and time to decompress. Don’t pressure them with too much stress or overtime.

Importance of Correcting Bad Behaviors in the Workplace

Nothing demotivates employees like seeing bad behavior tolerated. Address toxic behavior and ensure your environment is safe and supportive. This maintains the motivation of your highly motivated employees.

Importance of Creating an Environment for Motivated Employees

Hire motivated employees and create an environment where they can succeed. Command and control the environment to be safe and supportive, allowing your team to be their best selves.

How to Motivate Employees by Giving Them Opportunities to Succeed

Provide opportunities for your employees to succeed and recognize their achievements. Allow them to be authentic, and create an environment where they can express themselves without friction.

Helpful Resources for Motivating Employees

Lead your team properly, provide support, and energize them by amplifying their existing motivation. In the description below, you’ll find an outline of key steps to create this engagement and two book recommendations: “The Truth About Employee Engagement” by Patrick Lencioni and “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work and What Does.”

Understanding that it’s your job to support and nurture their motivation is crucial. On we go.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!

The Shocking Truth About Construction Project Management

Read 8 min

You need to know this: in this blog, I’m going to discuss what’s missing in construction collaboration and integration. We’re going to find out if win-lose situations really work. If not, how do we maximize the team that we’re a part of and truly take care of each group? If you’re interested in that, stay with us. We’re going to cover that right now. 

The Secret About Construction Project Management

Very few people know this, no matter how good they are at construction or how effective they are. We only win together. You can see this at every level—from construction companies to departments, from functional groups to project teams, and even among foremen and workers. We only win together.

The Flaws of the Win/Lose Concept

There’s this concept of win-lose, and I absolutely hate it. Think about it: let’s say you’re on your project site with various trade partners, some of whom are excellent while others are not performing well. If you decide to focus on the top performers and bully the underperformers out, you create a toxic environment. On every project, if you have a mix of high and low performers, the overall productivity will suffer because everyone is interdependent.

For instance, a top-notch foreman and his crew might be well-prepared, always on time, and following all the rules. However, if they’re constantly hindered by underperforming contractors causing delays and safety issues, their productivity will plummet. It’s not necessarily the fault of the underperforming contractors—they need support to rise to the occasion. If everyone isn’t performing at their best, the entire project suffers.

The Pace of the Slowest Trade

No matter how fast or good your best trades are, your job is only as fast as your slowest or most ineffective trade. Imagine driving an awesome Tesla on the freeway, only to get stuck in a traffic jam. You’re not going any faster than the bottleneck. Similarly, in construction, your project progresses at the pace of its slowest element. To improve, we need to stop toxic competition and work together.

Examples of Win-Win Scenarios

Here’s a practical example: if you benefit from this blog and decide to share it or engage with it, it helps spread the message and creates a win-win situation. Conversely, if you take the information but don’t engage, it hampers our ability to share more valuable content in the future, leading to a lose-lose scenario.

Important Reminders for Owners in Construction

Owners, your project will only finish on time if everyone—owner’s reps, designers, contractors, and trades—wins together. This is a historical fact. You must create an environment where everyone can succeed, or it will drag down your project.

Supporting and Enabling Designers

Typically, we criticize designers for incomplete drawings and constant changes. Instead, we should understand their perspective and support them. As builders, enable their design process, constructability reviews, and budget updates. Work together with early design assist trade partners and foster a collaborative environment.

Creating a Winning Environment for All Trades

On your construction project, all trade partners must be winning. This means creating a stable, clean, safe, and organized environment. Level all trades to go the same speed and distance, using real-time data to ensure everyone improves. Command and control the environment—not the people—to foster a culture where everyone can thrive.

Unifying Internal Teams

Internally, you can’t have silos and disconnection. You win as an individual and as a team only when everyone is winning. Construction companies, departments, and project teams must work healthily together. The secret is simple: we only win when we win together.

The First Step to Winning Together

Human nature tends to make us act individually, but the first step in any project is always to build the team. Always connect, always leverage collective wisdom, and always aim to be better together.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!

How To Give Recognition At Work

Read 9 min

Sometimes we think that giving recognition at work is too much of a silly subject, and we’re scared of it. But is there a way that we can do it comfortably? Is it appropriate at work? I get asked all the time, “How can I give recognition at work?” You, my friend, have come to the right place. 

The Importance of Recognition

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand that everyone wants recognition. Every single person. Even the toughest-looking person with a seemingly intimidating exterior desires recognition, love, and kindness. Human beings naturally crave recognition. Studies have shown that you can motivate someone at least ten times as effectively through recognition and positive reinforcement as through punishment and consequences.

The Purpose of Giving Recognition at Work

One of the best lessons from the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is that we can be hearty in our approbation and lavish in our praise. I’m not talking about insincere praise or flattery, but honest and sincere recognition. We need to make this a culture. If you really want to amplify the motivation of your team, it’s a game changer.

Every year since 2007, I’ve read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” to understand how people want to be talked to, the right way to approach others, and what’s important to the people I work with. It has been a game changer. Whether you read “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” “The Go-Giver,” “The Leader Without a Title,” or follow Simon Sinek, aim to have a positive impact on others.

The Truth About Constructive Criticism

There is no such thing as constructive criticism. It only tears people down. What we should have are praise, compliments, and feedback for improvement. For example, if someone is working towards a goal and makes a step forward, you can give them a compliment. If it’s before they took that step, it’s feedback for improvement. The difference is the timing—before or after their growth.

How to Give Sincere Recognition at Work

Sincerity is key when giving compliments. What we don’t typically do is notice the positive actions of others. If we’re always boxed in, typing emails, thinking about our own projects, and siloed away from everyone, we’re not noticing. To get good at providing recognition, you must start noticing and being interested in others.

Advanced leaders build people, and those people get things done. When you focus on people, it’s easy to notice when they’re doing a great job. Praise, recognition, and feedback for improvement will become natural. Make your recognition sincere, notice the actions, and practice giving it.

Practical Tips for Giving Recognition

  • Label the Behavior: Instead of saying, “You are awesome,” which attaches it to their identity, say, “Your work is awesome.” This detaches it from them personally and attaches it appropriately to their behavior.
  • Provide Details: When giving a compliment, explain why you’re giving it. For example, “When you did this, it really impressed the client and exceeded expectations.” This makes the recognition feel sincere and real.
  • Make Eye Contact: You don’t have to be overly intimate, but looking at someone and delivering recognition sincerely is effective.
  • Include Recognition in Meetings: Put recognition and positive shoutouts on the agenda for your meetings. Normalize giving praise as a regular part of your work culture.

How to Practice Giving Recognition

If you’re going to give someone feedback or recognition, practice it. For example, say, “I really like the way you handled that project.” Be detailed and explain why you noticed it and what others are saying about it. This shows sincerity and makes the person feel valued.

People don’t start doing great work because they’re lazy. If no one appreciates their extra efforts, why would they continue? Recognition is huge for motivation.

Making Recognition a Habit

In our company, Elevated Lean Takt, we’ve made recognition a routine. We do shoutouts every day, give awards every Monday, and always praise people in meetings. It’s become a natural part of our culture because we started it, made it a habit, and normalized it.

The Impact of Recognition

This isn’t just a good idea; it’s a game changer. Recognizing each other can mend hard feelings, heal relationships, and create a sense of belonging in a team. It’s amazing to see a dysfunctional team transform when they start giving and receiving recognition.

Learn More About Giving Recognition

In the description below, I’ll share some examples of things you can do to create this kind of culture. You can implement these ideas tomorrow. I’d love to hear in the comments how it’s going for you. I hope you find success with it. On we go!

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!

How To Prevent Cost Overruns In Construction Projects

Read 12 min

Do you want to know how to actually cut costs in construction? If so, what is the main strategy? Well, that’s what we’re going to cover right now. 

How to Prevent Cost Overruns in Construction Projects

Let me give you a secret. And this is going to make this whole video worthwhile. The secret to life, to marriage, to running a business, to delivering a construction project, and to cutting costs is to add value. In any scenario, even in your employment, instead of always being in the mode of subtraction in our lives, what we don’t want to do, we should be in the mode also, or most of the time, in the mode of what am I going to do? How am I going to add value? Am I adding value enough to where my employer would never consider letting me go, right? Am I adding enough value in my marriage to where there is no worry about the strength of that marriage? Am I adding enough value in my business to where I have raving fan clients? And am I adding enough value so this project doesn’t go wrong? That is the key.

Common Mistakes in Cost Management

I see so many project managers just going through and cutting, cutting, cutting costs. Do we need that? No. Do we need that? We don’t need that consultant. Oh, we can slash that budget. Let’s do better here. Oh, let’s cut that out of the budget. Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. I have seen people that will literally just try and manage their project from the standpoint of how many costs they can cut out of this, and they never look at engaging and adding value and preventing massive problems. And then they get into a scenario where they’ve now predicted the failure of their project, and now they’re going to have massive overruns on the back end. You can’t do that. You have to buy and pay for the things that you need to make sure the project goes right. You cannot manage through subtraction.

Managing Through Value and Subtraction

Now, can you do both? Yes, you can add value, ensuring you have everything you need to make sure that project goes well and that you pay for it and buy it and that your budgets are properly identified. And then you can say, are there any costs here that I don’t need, and you can cut from there. But you can’t manage through subtraction; you have to manage through value. And you can actually do it through value and subtraction.

The Key to Successful Construction Projects

So here’s what I mean. If you want your project to go well, you will not just reduce budgets and negotiate. You’ll actually plan the darn project. So that’s step number one: the predictor of success for construction projects isn’t did I slash enough budgets and did I reduce my expenses? It was, did we plan it well enough? So you see what I’m getting at here, right? It costs money to plan. It costs money to be in pre-construction. It costs money to get the right people there doing the right things. It costs money to get this thing started off right. And if you start it off with a mentality of subtraction, you’re going to reduce or diminish or remove these altogether. But these were the things from the beginning that were going to really determine the success of your project. So you have to plan the project. That means the right people, that means the right systems, that means the right integration, that means the amount of time that you need. Historically, projects will be 65% over on their duration and on their budget if they don’t plan their project right. So if you want to reduce real costs, not just job cost report-like little budget line item costs, if you want to reduce real costs, then plan the project right and spend the money on the front end. I hate it when we take the money from the front end and just add it to a contingency bucket. So we can spend 5, 6, 10 times the amount of money but just in a more acceptable bucket. It’s easier to pay for things out of contingency than early on in the budget upfront. No, no, get the right people, get the right training, get the right resources, spend the right amount of time and plan the darn project.

Steps to Prevent Cost Overruns

  1. Plan the Project: Get the right people, systems, and resources in place. Proper planning prevents projects from going over budget and over time.
  2. Add Value: Plan value-added activities and pay for them. Don’t just focus on cutting costs but ensure everything needed for success is in place.
  3. Take Your Time: Do not shortchange your pre-construction efforts. Time spent in planning will save days or weeks in the field.
  4. Build the Budget According to Your Plan: Don’t create an estimate and then plan. Plan first, then build the budget based on that plan. This ensures the budget aligns with how the project will be executed.
  5. Test the Plan: Identify risks and anchor to relevant data. Use historical data to ensure budget accuracy. Cover identified risks with time and money to prevent overruns.

Managing Risks

If you have risks, there are only three things you can do:

  • Fix the problem so it doesn’t become a cost overrun.
  • Absorb it out of contingency and fee.
  • Cover your risk with time and money and have a backup plan to counteract those risks and overruns.

Important Analogy

Would you like to go under the knife of a surgeon who doesn’t do very much pre-planning, creates a budget without looking at the MRI, or hasn’t planned the surgery? No, you’d want a thorough pre-plan with risks identified and covered. The same applies to construction projects.

Conclusion

Preventing overruns requires planning, knowing risks, anchoring to relevant data, covering those risks, and building an appropriate budget. Manage through value, not just subtraction, and ensure your project starts right to avoid cost overruns.

Further Learning

Please read the book, How Big Things Get Done, to understand the importance of planning as it relates to reducing costs. I’ll provide a link to our pre-construction planning Miro board so you can see an outline of the crucial elements for creating a great plan and budget to prevent overruns.

If you want to learn more we have:

-Takt Virtual Training: (Click here)
-Check out our Youtube channel for more info: (Click here) 
-Listen to the Elevate Construction podcast: (Click here) 
-Check out our training programs and certifications: (Click here)
-The Takt Book: (Click here)

Discover Jason’s Expertise:

Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

On we go!