Posted by: JC Gatlin | March 20, 2011

Standard Set-Up & Organization of the Building Partner Council

The standard organization of our Building Partner Council has, through some trial and error, started falling into place.

Based on direction from a fellow home building company and the advice of our Lean Consultant, we broke our construction schedule into two halves, allowing each meeting to “zoom into” the activities within that half. One month, our meeting focuses on the activities from slab through frame. Then the following month, we focus on frame through Quality Inspection. Our fellow lean  builder broke their schedule into 3 parts, and they cycle through their entire schedule each quarter.

Setting our meetings to rotate monthly, we next standardized our basic agenda structure. A standard agenda keeps each meeting on track and value-added. A quick Google search shows that there’s a wide variety of agenda formats and samples — some seem very complex. For our structure, we wanted to keep things simple.

1) Builder information (Upcoming communities & starts, Construction Professional locations & contact info.) If for no other reason, Building Partners return just to stay in the loop with what’s going on with their Builder client.

2) Building Partner goals . For us this year, our Building Partners wanted to focus on improving plan corrections/redlines and allowed lead times. This is their opportunity to address those goals.

3) Builder goals. As the lean home builder, our goal this year was to improve our cycle time. We’ve been focusing on getting the duration time for each activity inline with the expectation.

4) Recurring problems on the jobsite. We go over waste, return trips and rework found on the jobsite during the past couple of months and how to prevent those issues from recurring. Our 3rd Party Inspector generally leads this topic, as he is a neutral party. But individual issues are recognized by the jobsite Construction Professional prior to the meeting, by our First Time Quality Program and by the Building Partners themselves.

Building Partner participation in and commitment to the concept is what will make or break the Council. Traditional “Trade Partner Councils” have a Building Partner team organizing and running the meetings, and we looked into implementing this component into our Building Partner Council format. However, in today’s environment, we found having Building Partners take turns leading the meeting has been more productive and better received.

© March 2011 Homebuilding Partners, Inc.   twitter-logo

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