Dealing with the unexpected
October 22, 2014
What to do when Murphy ’s Law rears its ugly head during a restoration or repurposing project? Murphy’s ugly Law states that – “whatever can go wrong will, and most likely at the worst possible time”. Restoration and repurposing projects carry with them a certain amount of expectation that something unknown will be uncovered during the project – especially in regions rich in architectural history like New England. In these circumstances, it is most likely that the complication was unforeseeable – or some type of reasonable estimation would be included in the project time and material projections.
In business since 1948, we have learned to recognize when possible obstacles or delays might occur and we clearly communicate these potential concerns to our customers prior to beginning work. It is our belief that you can never communicate too much with a customer to ensure that clear expectations are reviewed and understood on both sides.
It is inevitable that at some point if you are involved in renovations, a project will present an obstacle that will mean unforeseen delays will occur. The goal, of course, is to minimize this possibility and then minimize the impact. This happens through detailed project management with a constant height of awareness and review and always communication in the field. When the inevitable does happen, extensive experience has taught our teams to:
R E A C T
Responsibility – It is our project, we immediately accept responsibility to overcome the obstacle and keep the project moving forward as quickly as possible without cutting any corners. Time is money for everyone, but safety and quality are always part of the equation. It is important for us to REACT quickly to mitigate the consequences right down the line. We know that delays can have a tremendous ripple effect when there are multiple, tiered parties involved in completing the project.
Evaluate – In order to efficiently evaluate the situation, the right resources need to be determined to get an effective plan in place for implementation. Staff, experts, materials, equipment . . . . . . evaluate the needs with every possible resource under consideration.
Assess – Once the best solution or multiple solutions are determined and respective time and material implications are assessed, it is time to make an educated decision. Options will be presented to all parties involved for approval and processing of change orders processed when applicable. The next step is implementation of the revised plan.
Communicate –We always communicate, communicate, communicate to keep our customers educated every step of the way. This provides our customers confidence that every effort is being made to keep the project moving forward to a safe completion with excellent craftsmanship and within budget expectations. Deadlines cannot always be met, proper communication on our part ensure that the customer can communicate well with other parties involved and internally.
Team – Our on-site team is key to the successful completion of every project. Our foremen are seasoned, knowledgeable and great team leaders that always strive to safely to get the job done right. The revised implementation plan will be communicate to all team members from our on-site crew to our in-house supporters at Hascall & Hall. Our owner, Rob Bergeron, is hands on, all the time, and readily available.
There can be times when the financial implications of the unknown derail the project. These decisions are made by the one holding the purse strings with knowledge of the overall value of the completed project and whether the new budget makes sense. Sometimes the scope of the project can’t be altered no matter how much the owners want it to go through. We strive to always have the right level of communication with our customers so they can make informed decisions prior to work beginning.
Educating the on-site team with this information also creates a different level of heightened awareness allowing the fastest level of reaction. It is impossible for anyone to accurately estimate the unknown. If a project gets delayed or canceled mid-way, Hascall & Hall’s team strives to protect everyone possible and to maintain all professional relationships. This is why we have over65 years serving The New England market successfully.