How do we increase production in self-perform work? Well, this is a complicated topic with many aspects to the answer, but I can tell you there is one very key thing we can do to increase production for our crews: See the target and hit the target daily!!!
So, what are some of our targets? We have safety targets, schedule targets, and quality targets. These are all super important. To hit the target, we must see it. So, I hope you have clear safety, schedule, and quality standards and expectations on your project site. If you do, great!!! You are ahead of most people in construction. But one target I never see when touring the US on projects is a solid production target.
So, what is a production target?
There are a few types. Let me explain:
1. Production Rate Target – this is the target that is quantified in the amount of work accomplished by labor hour or crew hour for a specific scope of work. This target allows you to know if your labor hours are being spent well, and ensures your people are producing work at a good rate. This is a great measure. It tells you if you are hitting the mark. One last note on this one though…. It tells you if you are hitting the mark, but it may not help you know why you are or are not hitting it.
2. Quantity per day Target – this is the target that most projects use. They simply track if you can complete a certain amount of work per day by crew size. This is a helpful measure, but it primarily shows whether we are on schedule in our work.
3. Optimized Target – I call the third one the optimized target. This one is designed to show how a crew can be productive in the time they have to do a task, and, in the space they must work. It targets the most optimized flow of work in time and space. I like this format because it allows you to see where you can make improvements and do better tomorrow! Below is how it works…
First, you identify your work for the day. For the example below, lets take 180 linear feet for water line installation in a roadway. We first select the time intervals. For this one, we have identified every 10 minutes. Secondly, we select the stations we will measure, or the areas. For this one, we have identified every 20’-0”. We have also added a legend to the left showing tasks by crew. P is the Pipe crew; G is the Grading crew.
As you can see, when the schedule is populated, you can see where everyone is supposed to be throughout the day. Check it out.
Now, what do we do with that information? I will tell you. We compare this data with what we do that day. When we do that, we can see why deviations happen. If we can see when deviations happen, we can then fix them and improve production.
If we know what winning looks like daily, and we track what happens in the field, we can then see and fix deviations. If companies implemented this system on their projects with their foremen, they would save millions of dollars. We usually lose money in self-perform in these four areas:
1. Estimating busts
2. Untrained foremen and workers
4. Production loss
The fourth one, production loss, accounts for much of the fee loss. I invite you to try this on one of your projects with one of your foremen. If you do, you will quickly see at least a 25% increase in production. So, then ask yourself, what if you could get everyone to do it?