Trust and verify
Harold, Operations Manager for a crushing, screening, and conveying capital equipment manufacturer based in Woodland, WA told Session 6B of the Leadership Development Lab:
“This past Monday, I closed out an order for a new VSI (Vertical Shaft Impact) Crusher. A VSI Crusher is a chassis- mounted pull-behind trailer unit about the size of an over the highway truck trailer. As soon as our shop completes a VSI Crusher, they can be shipped and billed to our customers.The prior Wednesday,I asked our shop foreman if all the necessary finish work had been completed. He said yes, and they were ready for me to close out the job, so I went ahead and planned for invoicing and shipping.
“In our Monday morning production meeting, the day before the shipping date, I asked for the punch list so I could check it over to verify that all the needed items had been satisfactorily completed. Later that morning the shop foreman came to my office. He said he couldn’t find the punch list. I was disappointed and I knew I would need to double-check all the finish work myself. However, I had to check the VSI Crusher over without the benefit of the list.
“The shop had missed one needed repair that I remembered from the original punch list. I suspected that my foreman was trusting the word of his crew without verifying each needed repair step by step.
“I checked all the finish items to be sure everything was as it should be. After reviewing the job, I found two other missed items. I told our production team to fix the missed assembly items. I asked them to make the reassembly their top priority, and to stay as late as needed. It had to be completed by the following morning so we could meet our shipping deadline.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is the importance of providing my foremen with a standardized process, a check list, needed for closing out our complex jobs.
“The action I call you to take is to develop a detailed generic check list for review at the conclusion of your projects. The questions that must be answered with a ‘yes’ will be very apparent.
“The benefit you will gain is your jobs will flow smoothly without tempers rising. You and your company will gain greater profits both personally and financially.”
All work flows through a process . Map your process for a clearer understanding of who is to do what.
– Mark Twain
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