“Lean” is a popular term these days. Its principles of improved productivity and minimal waste can be applied to almost any industry or operation. But to truly understand it, you should go back to its original application.
Continuum Advisory Group recently released the 2017 Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) Owner Trends Study, the newest installment of their Owner Trends series. The study – a collaboration between both organizations – focuses on excellence in total project performance in the capital…
One of the core beliefs of Continuum Advisory Group is alignment. Put simply, alignment is all stakeholders in an organization being on the same page. Sometimes its scope is smaller – a two-person partnership, a business unit, or a project team – but the ideas of uniformity and consistency remain the same.
In construction, such alignment is particularly important. Our projects require communication with dispersed internal departments and external vendors, many of whom don’t operate within the same processes.
Today we’re discussing a successful story of alignment, this one from the petrochemical sector. It comes courtesy of Petrochemical Update, and begins in Mexico.
Continuum Advisory Group Releases 2017 CURT Owner Trends Study:
Excellence in Total Project Performance: Differentiating High Performing Owners
Continuum Advisory Group has released the 2017 Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) Owner Trends Study, the newest installment of their Owner Trends series.
The study – a collaboration between both organizations – focuses on excellence in total project performance in the capital construction industry. Through this research, Continuum Advisory Group and CURT sought to understand the challenges facing owners related to optimizing capital program delivery and to delve into how owner A/E/C partners can understand these issues and collaborate on solutions.
Think of all your dearest interpersonal relationships: your spouse, your children, your best friends. You trust these people. You trust in their ability, their sincerity, and their good intentions. Without that trust, those relationships would be transactional in nature and empty of emotion.
But what about your professional relationships? How can you build trust at work? A recent article from the Harvard Business Review says it starts with the brain.
How Trust Works
The feeling of trust can be traced back to a single chemical: oxytocin. Oxytocin is naturally produced by humans and animals, and it serves the evolutionary purpose of inspiring us to work together. Our ancestors likely needed it more than anyone!
Trust coincides with feelings of appreciation and recognition. This is why many companies introduce perks – parties and the like – for employees. But the sporadic nature of these perks mean that the oxytocin they release is equally short-lived. The HBR article explains that employees are most engaged when they experience a culture of appreciation. The resulting trust has a big impact: employees are less stressed, more productive, and actually take less time off.
HBR discovered that leaders can get those neurons firing with eight model behaviors.
Companies strive for excellence. Yet when asked to rate their organizations on excellence in total project performance, only 9% of respondents in our recent study rated their companies “high.”
This week, Continuum Advisory Group and the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) will share the results of the 2017 owner trends study, focused on Excellence in Total Project Performance.
Amazon is no stranger to stirring things up, and their newest invention is no exception.
Yesterday, I read an article about their first grocery store in Seattle – a pilot for now, but it’s really happening – with no cashiers and no lines. There’s not even a self-checkout: customers are tracked via technology that senses what they take from the shelves. When they’re done, they just walk out. Payment is processed automatically.
We don’t sell groceries, but we can learn from Amazon. Their efforts are an outstanding example of the type of breakthrough thinking we need in the construction industry. Supermarkets have lines, and beeping registers, and the candy next to the conveyor belt. That’s their paradigm. But what is the one thing we all hate most in the supermarket? Standing in that very line.
Do you remember the classic episode of I Love Lucy, where our favorite comedienne got a job at a chocolate factory? The bosses kept speeding up her conveyor belt, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t keep up. Lucy shoved chocolates in her mouth, her shirt, her hat. It’s a hilarious picture, but the feeling it captures is one of profound helplessness. Nobody would want to be in that position!
And yet, many owner organizations find themselves struggling with conveyor belts of their own. Capital spending is up, but staffing is at post-recession levels. I spent several hours today with the head of engineering for one of our owner clients that has, over the last 18 months, finally turned the tide in the war on the chocolate factory.
The purpose of owner E/C/F (Engineering, Construction, and Facilities) teams may seem obvious: build stuff so that business happens. You wouldn’t be wrong, in the same way that a computer’s purpose is to “do math fast.”
The strategic benefits of that team can be harder to identify. Continuum Advisory Group recently completed a study to uncover these benefits and interview people changing the relationship between E/C/F and the internal clients they serve. Above all, we want to show others how.
In our new blog series, we’ll be exploring the results of the study in greater depth. Each blog is focused on one of the eight identified themes from our interviews with 35 diverse corporations.
In our previous installment, we discussed the intangible aspect of an accountable, innovative culture. Culture does the talking, but money makes people listen. So today we’re going to talk about the bottom line, specifically how your E/C/F department can leverage that to increase its standing.