12 Apr Construction “I don’t have time myth; How to change your story
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Construction “I don’t have time myth; How to change your story
Corona virus has forced us to change the way our businesses run. Now most offices are closed and employees are having to work from home.
It has also changed our methods of communication. We are now communicating mainly through virtual channels using meeting software to practice social distancing.
Corona Virus has also changed how we live our daily lives. For example here in Dubai we have to request permission to leave our homes, by obtaining a permit; even just to go to the supermarket. This is aimed at minimizing the risk to our health.
A life once filled with optimism, opportunities for adventure, socializing, travel and fun, which we took for granted, is now a life confined to home quarantine and restriction.
However, despite all of these rapid changes, we, as humans, are resilient and good at adapting and changing to meet our new situations, conditions and environments. This is what will get us all through this situation, working together. With the negatives, also come opportunities.
Although having said this, there seems to be one small phase being used in the construction industry which keeps being vocalized and hasn’t changed over the past 2 decades. We want to address this today – this is what we call the “We Don’t have time, Myth”.
Why don’t we have time for Quality?
During our discussions with clients to learn about their quality challenges, we find that there are two main reasons they need help with quality.
The first is that the organization has grown exponentially in a short time and there are only verbal processes in place. They have no written or formal procedures.
Or the company has a few processes in places, however they are not working effectively. This is leading to additional cost and time spent resolving issues, customers complaints, and correcting the work.
In the first situation, we ask the CEO’s and Managers, why they don’t have procedures already in place.
The answer given is usually; “Well, we don’t have time!. We have so many other projects running”.
We hear this myth from Project teams on every project we work on. This phase simply put, is false ,and is really a story that we tell ourselves, and I am going to explain why.
What do we have time for?
We don’t have time to do this work. Yet, we do find the time and resources to spend on rectifying defective work after production or even installation.
We do find the time to write letters, in response to claims related to poor quality, performance, and/or work.
We do find the time and extra funds, to spend on hiring lawyers and contract personnel to advise us on our contractual position, after delays and errors in our work and performance has been raised by the client.
The “we don’t have time” phase is a reactionary response, usually given by management and staff alike, working under pressure (and who isn’t?), often to mask over many fears or misconceptions and beliefs. This includes “the task is too time consuming and difficult”. Or “we do not know where to start”.
There is a perception you need hundreds of different written procedures in place to manage the works. Along with having a “quality” manager, to write the processes and coordinate with all departments. An External auditor will come next, to check everything.
This perception and belief aren’t correct. Quality runs through the whole organisation. Every department can play their part in the process. Every employee can help to improve the operation of their processes. There just needs to be a quality culture to promote and encourage these values, so that it can flourish.
Release your creativity
ISO9001 provides a template for you, on how to set up these processes as a guide, however you do not have to stick to traditional formats to communicate the information.
You can use tables, flowcharts, pictorial, info-graphics and creative presentations to communicate and demonstrate the procedures to your team. Get excited by releasing your creativity.
You can then hold a training session with your employees, so that they can learn about the processes and are regularly updated on any changes. They can also provide feedback, if something isn’t working effectively.
Take charge of your quality today
For now, most of our businesses are operating from home and our construction projects have either stopped, or slowed down; waiting for the peak of the Corona Virus to pass.
Why not use the time for something positive for your business?
4 quick steps to get started with quality
- What causes daily frustration and repeated issues that you “learn to live with” and make justifications for, within your organization? or on your project?. These are the issues that need your focus to resolve.
- Can you identify the areas where operations are not running efficiently? Do you know why this is happening? Explore this further.
- Collect and analyse customer feedback and determine, what is the root cause of your customer complaints. Are customer complaints highlighting similar and repeated issues?
- What are your goals and targets for the business going forward? Where do you see the business going?
We often know exactly where the issues are in our businesses, but never find the time to improve the situation.
Take these small steps today to start your journey to improve quality. It isn’t about applying for an ISO certificate or analysing your business only once things go wrong. Take a proactive approach and get rid of the phase “We don’t have time” once and for all from your work environments.
A gift of time
Corona Virus has bought us a gift. A gift of time.
Now you do have time to spare, to make changes, and this article will help you take the first step to do this. Take these small steps today to start your journey to improve quality. It isn’t about applying for an ISO certificate or analysing your business only once things go wrong. Take a proactive approach and get rid of the phase “We don’t have time” once and for all from your work environments.
One suggestion is you can plan to relaunch your business, once operations restart – with a fresh approach, increased efficiency and more positive communication.
This will save you time and reduce your costs, reduce resources and complaints. All of which leads to a more profitable and professional organisation and a happy workplace for your employees and customers.
Contact us at Qualitaz if you would like help to start the process today, to improve your efficiency and quality in your organisation so that you can become more profitable. Contact www.qualitaz.com