The Missing Piece

After many years in the workforce as an Administrative Assistant, I earned my degree and began working as a Project Manager.  I found one to be the perfect preparation for the other; well, that and having six children to raise.  There are two key things to remember with any project:  1) no matter how many balls you have in the air, you will have more before it’s over  2) NEVER put off until tomorrow what you can do today. 

Any project, regardless of the area you are working in; be it Information Technology, Renovations, Mechanical Turn-Arounds, what they all have in common is the need to expect the unexpected.  There is no such thing as starting with a to-do list and sticking to it.  You must be adaptable and willing to change or even improvise when those unforeseen needs arise. 

As for the actual schedule, every project has a beginning, middle and end date.  Those end dates are based upon the needs of your client.  They count on those and rely on you to deliver the end result as promised when expected.  Therefore, if for any reason you find yourself ahead of schedule, you do not have time to kill until you get back to your schedule.  Take full advantage of your good fortune and continue on with your momentum.  Odds are, you will need that time for the unplanned event you have not encountered.

That brings me to the real downside.  There are many players in a project much like there are pieces to a puzzle.  Each player has his/her role in the completion of this project.  The manager’s job is to see that things move along for each contractor so that they have the opportunity to come in as scheduled, do their respective jobs and finish up on time for the next one to come in.  Sounds easier than it is.  Aside from the hiccups that arise when you open up a wall, some contractors have not embraced the notion of a work schedule being critical.  Those who operate in a vacuum focus only on their roles and think nothing of the before or after.  What that means is that by not coming when you are scheduled, being done when you said you would be done – or worse, not showing up at all, you impact the entire project in a negative way.

Such is the case with my recent bathroom remodel.  I had retained the services of a plumber who came, looked at the project and work detail that comprised his area of responsibility, and without a hesitation told me in no uncertain terms that he would be doing the work the following weekend.  Friday came and I received a text advising me that he had been assigned to work his regular job that weekend but for certain will be there the following weekend.  These things do happen.  Well, the following Friday came and into the afternoon I thought it best to check with him and see if we were still ‘on’ for tomorrow.  Oh, I’m not going to be able to do the job at all. 

I understand the word “NO”.  I really do.  What I do not understand is a commitment to do a job and then with absolutely no intention to do the job agreed to – zero communication. 

I say this to all craftsman in all trades:  Your word is your bond.  You may be the best at what you do; but failure to do it makes you a zero.  And failure to keep your word – dishonest.  In this era of small business owners struggling to keep themselves afloat, bad press is something you neither need nor can you afford.  Do what you say you are going to do – or find something that you want to do and do that.  But do not deceive people and hold up a project because you are just not man enough to state what you do mean.

Emergency Plumber | Evanston, IL

As for my bathroom, we are back on schedule with a plumber who is committed to doing this job in a timely manner.  Every problem has a solution! There is always someone who wants to work.  Seek them out and stick with them.


Posted in