Wednesday 30 September 2015

Give your team the tools to succeed

Developing process to create inefficiencies.

Why develop a process
In a factory where your typical smart phone is assembled, there is a production line. Someone has put a lot of thought about that production line, the process of fabrication and how efficient the process of assembling a smart phone is.

The same applies to the design industry, however our focus is typically on the process of creating the design instead of production of the design.

Without an effective documented process and resources you’re production team is prone to inefficiencies. Every building is a “prototype”, however we still have the opportunity to create inefficiencies in the production process.

Get an “insiders” point of view
When I first became a BIM Manager I joined our project team to get an “insider’s” look into the production process. What I found was that without a process in place the team was not performing to their maximum efficiency, in fact they were performing at about %70 efficiency due solely to the fact that there was no process in place guiding them effectively through the production of the drawings.

These were capable people with many years of experience working on complex projects, the team had worked in the office together for many years, yet it was the first time that they have all worked together as a team in this configuration.
Without a team management process your team members lack a high level of monitoring and guidance that would allow them to be fully productive, work was being replicated and some tasks were not beings addressed causing friction and delays in the project production.

It was time to review our processes.

Develop a process that works
From this experience I developed a series of processes and resources that help the team become more efficient. We not only reviewed and modified the process of completing projects, we also looked at how the teams were assembled, how the team was structured and the dispercement of roles and responsibilities. By clearly defining the tasks of each individual we provided each team member with clear expectations.

The team should not only have a process to follow but also have available to them the resources to be efficient in their tasks. Having unreliable resources, or worse yet resources your team are unable to find, gives them permission to create their own content essentially disregarding any quality control and wasting time.

Review your own processes with fresh eyes to see where you can make improvements, look at it from the standpoint of production and what resources you would need to efficiently complete the task at hand.

Tips on developing your process
Develop a process of production and create the resources to back it up. We spent a significant amount of time evaluating our existing processes, what was working, what wasn’t working and what holes existed in the processes. Through reviewing and developing processes we were able to clearly define the flow of operations at all aspects of our business.
  • Make your process easy to follow, keep it clear and easy to understand, don’t make a process too constraining or onerous or you’ll find that no one will follow it.
  • Make your process flexible to accommodate a variety of situations or project types.
  • Make it easily accessible, if it’s too many “clicks” away people will get lost and not bother.
  • Provide information on the process in a variety of formats, such as online, printed booklet form, pdf etc.
  • Have upper management promote and endorse your process, this will help with adoption.

Stages of developing a process

Continual promotion of your processes will take time, monitoring your team and constant reminders will need to happen as you develop a culture that follows the processes. If your processes are good you’ll find adoption, if not review the process with your team to find out how to make it better.


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