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Project Management and Field Crew Meetings That Work


Why do most people feel meetings are a waste of time? Because they often are! Too often, managers call too many meetings to report on what’s happening and don’t involve the attendees, ask for input, have meaningful discussions, or adjourn with an action plan. In some meetings, the leader rambles on and doesn’t keep the group focused on tasks or priorities at hand. In other meetings, there’s no agenda or structure and they become free-for-alls, without direction or conclusion.

Meetings maximize bottom-line results

Can you imagine a football game without a scoreboard and player statistics to see who is winning and does the best out on the field? Without scorecards and weekly feedback, results don’t matter much to supervisors. Consequently, the meeting leader must create a scorecard tracking system to record each attendee’s performance on every job for all to see every week. This will improve job performance and allow your foreman and supervisors to know, track, and hit their goals, rather than working blindly without anything to aim at.

When you hold regular field supervisor meetings, for example, each foreman and supervisor is challenged to achieve specific results, track progress, report on last week’s progress versus their weekly target, and then discuss plans for the upcoming week. They report on their job schedule, crew-hours, equipment hours, safety, quality, and performance. Every attendee is then committed in front of their peers to hit weekly goals. This teamwork approach creates a competition among peers to be the best and beat their project budget and targets.

Consider holding the following meetings to get everyone on the same page and achieve your company goals. But, don’t start tomorrow by implementing all of them unless you are really committed to holding them on a regular basis. There is nothing worse than starting something and then deciding it wasn’t really that important after all.

Field Crew Meetings

Daily Crew Huddle-up Meeting

Can you imagine a football team winning games without calling plays before every down? Before every play in football, the team huddles up to discuss what they’re going to do next, and to make sure everyone clearly knows their role and what they’re expected to do. Get your field crews to gather in a daily huddle if you want your teams to be winners. This activity will improve your bottom line, as daily activities become better coordinated and focused on what end results are expected by team captains or foremen. This is a short ten- minute meeting first thing in the morning where everyone talks about the upcoming daily targets, goals, activities, progress, production priorities, milestones, needs, conflicts, confusions, schedule coordination, material requirements, equipment needed, availability of tools, and deadlines.

Monday Morning Quarterback Crew Meeting

Just like on every winning football team, every week the coaches review their team’s accomplishments, progress, needs, challenges, areas for improvement, and then decide what they need to do the next week to achieve their winning goals. Then, on Monday morning, they meet with their entire team, review the game plan for the next week, and discuss what needs to be done to make it happen. Every field crew, management team, division, or department needs a similar program to get everyone focused on their game plan for the upcoming week.

Meet on Monday morning in a convenient place where every crew member can get involved and contribute. Use visual charts to explain the goals and plays like a football coach. Discuss key success factors such as production targets, crew goals, customer satisfaction, quality requirements, schedule milestones, safety issues, and project requirements. Use this meeting to review the weekly game plan and team tactics for the upcoming week, including last week’s achievements and challenges. Set the current week’s goals, targets, and production plan. Have each team member discuss their role, provide training on upcoming activities, discuss safety concerns for the upcoming week, and provide training on upcoming activities and issues to be aware of.

All Superintendent and Foreman Weekly Meeting

Every week you must get together with all of your field foremen and superintendents to review their individual project progress, goals, results, schedule, activities, manpower, workload, equipment requirements, material needs, subcontractor performance, safety success, and customer issues. Each foreman or supervisor reports individually on their project and commits to hitting weekly goals for all to hear. Then, the group will work together to help each other with ideas and suggestions to meet or beat schedules, budgets, safety, and productivity goals.

Project Management Meetings

Project Start-up Meeting

Before football teams start a game, the coaches have spent many hours together mapping out their game plan to win the upcoming game. They have discussed every possibility for success and failure. Then, they decide the best way to execute their plan. In order to build successful projects, the same amount of advanced planning is required by the project management team. The culmination of this project pre-planning is the presentation of the game plan to the project subcontractors and suppliers. This meeting will force your project manager, superintendent, and foreman to get together in advance and create a project plan to present to the team. Get everyone together on the jobsite to discuss your project plan for success.

Make this a mandatory meeting held on the jobsite before every project starts. Make sure all the subcontractors and major suppliers attend. And have the meeting led by the project manager and field superintendent. The agenda includes a review of project goals and objectives; issuance of ALL plans, specifications, and subcontracts; review of the project schedule and discussion of anticipated problems, coordination Issues, and long-lead items; identifying quality, customer satisfaction, and safety requirements; and reviewing job rules, permits, inspections, and contract procedures.

Weekly Project Field Coordination Meeting

This one meeting can improve your overall construction project schedule and completion record by 25 percent or more. By getting every subcontractor and major supplier to attend weekly field coordination meetings held at the jobsite four weeks before they are required to start their work, they become aware of the urgency of the situation. You have heard the statement: ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ This is reality. Subcontractors who get phone calls from project managers or superintendents to discuss upcoming crew needs only hear the pleas. But, once they see the project moving forward, they become aware of the schedule and then make it their priority as well. This is a mandatory meeting, no exceptions. Your superintendent won’t want to hold this meeting because they don’t want to push their subcontractors too hard or stand up in front of a crowd and take charge. But force them to hold these meetings and the results will be incredible.

The agenda should review the schedule, progress, milestones, and priorities; manpower and crew requirements; field coordination issues, problems, and needs; approvals required, shop drawings, and finishes; permits and inspections required; jobsite management and cleanup; safety and quality; and customer relationships.

Make meetings work for you

Each of these meetings will work. But they may not all be right for your company. Run your company like a winning football team. Hold regular meetings. Start with one or two of these meetings to see how effective they are for your company. Then, try another one in an area where you need the most work. But remember, when you never hold meetings, you are carrying the entire company on your shoulders and not getting the full support of your team.

Business - Commercial Construction Industry

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This article contains general information only. Sunflower Bank is not, by means of this article, rendering accounting, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This article is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, before making any decisions related to these matters, you should consult a qualified professional advisor.