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Archive for March, 2011

Everything seemed to be going so well, when all of the sudden we find ourselves thrown under the bus by another team member!  Working on a project with a team of people from different departments, companies, or disciplines it is inevitable someone is going to be thrown under the bus.  It is almost comical to me because I have found myself under the bus many times. I have been thrown under the bus by people I brought on to the job who are protecting their own interest (AKA covering their own butt).  I have been thrown under the bus because I am nice, because I was late or not at the meeting, because I was doing too good of a job, and  I have been thrown under the bus because I was the problem.  In any event it seems inevitable that doing projects with big budgets and tight deadlines people will be thrown under the bus for all sorts of good and not so good reasons.There are some people that are particularly good at throwing co-workers under the bus.  Usually these expert “bus chuckers” are gifted at gab but lack the skill sets that would make them proficient at the task at hand.  The boss likes them because they talk a big talk, are bold in their actions, and kiss up like it’s an olympic sport and they are the reigning world champion.

I like to instill in my employees a different way of conducting business and completing projects.  What you lack in perfection you must make up for in integrity.  This means that personal responsibility must come  first and foremost over the blame game.  The hope is that when an employee makes a mistake they don’t wait for everything to unravel and for panic to ensue.  This is a paradigm that allows for mistakes and mishaps but requires everyone to throw themselves under the bus when the time comes.  This mindset allows for the “human factor” to be real in our company without the need to malign others because of an inevitable error.

This approach has the benefit to us as a company as well as for our clients.  In the world of process equipment, pressure vessels and other custom fabricated products we are always striving to improve cost competitive, time tables, a quality of goods.  While we allow for “new development” we have to also allow for a mistake because sometimes things don’t go as planned.  The errors can make for cost over runs, late delivery, re-work, and all the other complications you hate to see in a project.  Again, some would see this as an opportunity to throw their own client under the bus and try to recover some of the lost profits.  However, I see this approach as a risk reward business strategy that has given Precision Pipe great advantages over our competition in fabrication and assembly techniques. We would never pass along a cost to a client based on our own errors.  In fact once Precision paid more than 100% the cost of a tank because of our own trial and error.  Precision fronted and benefited from 100% of the error and our client was never the wiser as we still delivered in their eyes on time and on budget.

Denver Stainless Steel Welding

Exceeding expectations and standards

Calling a foul or a penalty on yourself is a humbling experience.  You can face the wrath of your customers, co-workers, management, money managers (they seem to be the least risk diverse as a constant in the universe) or even yourself.  However, if you can be transparent the dividends pay in happy customers, good products, leaner fabrication, and better schedules, and good reputation is well worth being labeled as imperfect in execution, but superior by integrity.

http://www.Precision-Pipe.com

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