Time Management Expert, Event Speaker: Mark Lamendola

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Productivity Knowledge Base: Avoiding rework

The costs of rework often go well beyond simply "doing the job times two." These costs include doing the original work, undoing that work, doing that work again, expediting parts and materials, handling wasted materials, reassigning workers, disturbing other finished work, coordinating with other trades, adding overtime to make up for schedule delays, and the inability to do income-producing work.

On top of that, any equipment leased to do the work may need an extended lease. Think how much you pay to lease or rent lights, generators, lifts, cranes, and other such equipment. If you are using an outside testing firm and stretching their job out from three days to eight days, that’s an added cost, also.

Don’t forget the negative effect this has on the crews—nobody feels very motivated by doing a job over. Most folks, in the course of doing rework, have it in the back of their mind the thought, "This should not be happening. What a waste." And that thought is exactly right. Let’s bring it to the foreground of the mind, and look at how to prevent that waste.

Bill’s Project

To illustrate some principles, we can look at a job run by Foreman Bill. After we look at how Bill could have prevented rework, we’ll "zoom out" to see some effective strategies for preventing rework—strategies Bill’s company or yours can put into place. While Bill in this story isn’t real, your costs of rework very much are.

Bill’s crew ran power and communications wiring in a new office building. Unfortunately, the following things occurred:

  1. The architect made some last minute changes in response to the owner’s change orders (sound familiar?). The electrical drawings didn’t reflect these changes. Consequently, Bill’s crew installed one transformer and panel right where an interior wall had to be built. This meant uninstalling/reinstalling that equipment and redoing the related busway and wiring.
  2. The 480V/208Y transformers were of varying sizes to match different panels. John, who sets up jobsites with tools and materials to save the electricians time, delivered some of the equipment to the wrong locations. Bill’s crew installed "what was there." When the project manager asked why nobody checked the equipment against the drawings, Bill replied that the drawings didn’t have equipment specifications—all of that information was in other documentation the electricians didn’t have access to.
  3. Bill was so proud of the job his crew did on the communications cabling that he took photos for the company newsletter. Unfortunately, some of the cables later failed testing—after all that work terminating and bundling them.

Preventing Bill’s Project Rework

An examination of the three items above can teach us some valuable lessons. To see the lessons, identify the strategies, and learn how to correctly implement the strategies, talk to us about doing a seminar at your location.


Do you want to radically improve how well people in your organization make use of the limited number of hours in each work day?

Contact me to arrange a time when we can talk about a presentation: mark@mindconnection.com. Why arrange a time? So I can give you full attention during the call. There's a really powerful time management tip. Ask me why it works.