Does this sound familiar?
Your organization has a painstakingly complicated way of doing things; a process that requires a bunch of redundant steps or approvals from every department under the sun.
No one necessarily planned for it to be that way - it's just the way the process evolved over the years.
Every heard this common reply when someone asks why - "that's just the way it's done!"
And then there's this doozy - "that's the way it's 'supposed' to be done, but no one does it that way ..."
So, what really is the ideal process?
If you had to summarize, many would boil it down to two fundamental criteria.
The process needs to be extremely effective (i.e., do what it is intended to do) and very easy to implement (i.e., actually gets used).
Sounds pretty simple, right? But this is rarely the case in construction.
Look at the diagram below from a study done by “Get It Right Initiative” (GIRI). GIRI focused their study on the construction industry. (NB - you don't need to read what's inside the boxes)
Y axis is how effective the process is, and X axis is how easy it is to implement. You want to be at the top right of the graph.
Look at where various construction entities self-identified - pretty far away from the top right sweet spot. The bigger the organization, the worse it gets.
At GIRI, they explain why.
The human tendency, especially in large organizations, is to add more to the process when they encounter problems.
"We have an issue! Add a process to alleviate that issue".
Here is it in real life ...
“Hey, we keep losing materials when they get dropped off at the laydown yard. Let’s buy inventory software and add spreadsheets to the process.”
Now a foreman, who already works a 12-hour day, must add another step to their day to day.
Something gets dropped off, they sign for it, copy it down, return to an office, and transcribe it to the spreadsheet software.
It's a painful thing to go through - especially without any sort of automation. In fact, so painful, they might just not do it.
What went wrong here?
The GIRI study recommends that any new process should look to delete more than it's adding. Because if you just keep adding, well ... a 24-hour day is always a 24-hour day - you have to get that time back somehow.
And by looking to delete first - it's a great way to 'sell' the process to the end user. Make their life better, not more complicated.
If the end user doesn’t buy in to the process, then it's doomed from the start.
At BitRip, missing materials has become one of our focus points. We have a process that we're trying to sell.
Slap tape on the materials. Scan the tape with a smartphone to populate a GPS pin for it. Upload a photo to the tape to confirm delivery.
This process adds about a minute. And there are no spreadsheets involved – just rip, stick, scan, and quickly upload.
1 minute added, but what does this delete?
Minutes spent having to fill out paperwork and transcribe it to spreadsheets later.
Hours looking for materials placed somewhere in the huge laydown yard.
Hours spend having to get someone to drop off a new batch of materials to replace the ones that went missing.
One scan instantly records the what, who, when, and where...
MOST IMPORTANTLY – this process makes the end user's life better. They get their time back. They get to go home earlier.
Better life - higher likelihood of proper implementation.
Process Minimalism - look to delete more than you add!
Check out our case study on Material Tracking - PowerPoint Presentation (bitrip.com).
Check out the overview on the GIRI study - https://getitright.uk.com/news/industry-news/problem-solving-why-less-can-be-more
Reach out to email@example.com if you’re interested in discussing it some more.