Aron, Project Manager for a general contractor in Battle Ground, WA, told Session 7B of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“In the fall of 2015 we were wrapping up the completion of Phase I of a private water works plant in northwest Washington. My team was installing new water services for Phase I. The installations on Phase I were half the production’s rate calculated in the bid, and we were painfully behind. Still, I was determined to find a way to beat the bid. The challenge was how? We talked to the county and to the water company’s engineers and management to get their ideas. We brainstormed with our pipe crews. I was openly looking for any idea, every idea, any theory I could find that would help us turn things around get back on track to make up our lost ground. I knew continuing to do things the way we had started on Phase I would doom us to failure. After visiting with the county’s project managers and engineers, I went directly to their recommended tool supplier to check out a tool they thought could help speed up the pace of our work. The price of the tool they had recommended was off the charts, but I could easily see its advantage and loved the idea. So I called a second tool supplier to see if we could get the parts needed to convert the mole tool we currently own. I visited with James Dodford, Tapani’s Pipe Superintendent, and he recommended a hydraulic ram that might work.
“With 5X more enthusiasm I now have a hydraulic ram demonstration this Friday, a salesman calling about modifications to our current mole and a third salesman calling on us to sell us a new mole. In addition to this, we have several good ideas from brainstorming sessions with our crew. I now have three viable options for tools and 5X the chance to make the bid.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is when I hit a dead end, to apply 5X more enthusiasm. I learned that when I apply 5X more enthusiasm, I can find many possible solutions to my problem.
“The action I call you to take is to tackle bid production challenges with an open mind, brainstorm with your crew and explore every other tool option you can find to speed up production.
“The benefit you will gain with 5X more enthusiasm is you will increase your chances of making and beating the bid on every job.”
P.S. They bought the tool and by using the crew’s ideas and securing the greater engagement of everyone affecting the project’s pace, the overall project “beat the bid.” Phase I was a hard bid job. Phase II was successfully negotiated and our client is the preferred contractor for Phase III, which is coming on stream very soon.
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