Field Leadership Program

Jim Kaloutas:
On Jim Kaloutas, and this is why I started our field leadership program. I'm walking the site with one of our most talented foreman, and they're telling me that there's something wrong with the estimate. There aren't enough hours to get the job done on budget. You've had your field tell you that, right? So what did you do then? Hearing that there was a problem with the project I had to prepare. I went back, I reviewed the estimate, everything looked good, nothing jumped out at me. When I go back on site and walk the job with my foreman, he explained that we were about halfway done with the project. We took out the estimate, we looked at what we had spent for hours so far, and how much time was left over. Everything's still looked on track. So what was the issue? The issue was that there was a perception that it was a bad estimate.

Jim Kaloutas:
After walking my form and through the entire estimate and the production rates, while giving him a pat on the back for being on track with the budget I realized something. What I realized was that my foreman was really good at what he did, but he didn't know trade math and he definitely didn't know how to estimate, which leads me to, how would he know if he was given a bad estimate? This really got me thinking about how are we going to invest in our field leaders? How will we give them the information and knowledge that the office has about estimates and the production rates? Wouldn't you want your field to understand what was in the budget and that the estimate that you gave them was a fair one?

Jim Kaloutas:
A couple of years ago, we ran a pilot training program to invest and grow our field leaders. We wanted them to understand the budgets that we gave them were fair and that they should focus on other success factors instead of just blaming the estimators. After eight, two hour sessions of writing goals, teaching them some trade math, measuring production rates, and how to talk to customers, we concluded the pilot program successfully. Please share a comment below if this was helpful and stay tuned for next week when I share what we rolled out this year and the surprise I got.

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