... nd the form of the communication will vary. One sort of vocabulary may be used to address shareholders and a different idiom may be used altogether when chatting with construction workers. The skills principally lacking in verbal communication are public speaking and small group interactions. Public speaking scares people to death. This fear may be overcome by training (organizing and practice), videotaping the presentation (to review latter), and practice (on small group to build confidence).
Small group interactions are essential to buildup comfort and ease among the group. It will provide a sense of team work and it is vital to have small talk among the team. VIII. Nonverbal. Humans infer a great deal of information from nonverbal clues. This non verbal clues includes body language as well as things as dress for success.
Psychologists believe that nonverbal clues lead to 'gut feels' about how to interact with another person. Despite the similarities of nonverbal communication, there are cultural differences, and is probably most important to understand these, rather than reading individuals body language. It is easy to fall into the trap of over analyzing nonverbal clues and infusing them with meaning, when, for example, someone may be hard of hearing or near / far -sighted rather than being inattentive (or too attentive). 4. Continuous Evaluation Feedback is essential to continuous improvement. How else would we know if our goals are being reached? .
These feedback mechanisms may be simple oral or written reports, information systems, or complex automated statistical analyses integrated with our expert systems. The key is to receive the information in time to allow initiating corrective action. For example, in construction feedback from engineers, subcontractors and so forth can help us as managers to find new ways to reduce cost and schedule. Feedback may also help architects to find the best way to construct a building and therefore effecting the design. We also should understand and separate assessable causes from chance causes. Assessable causes have distinct reasons for there existence, while chance causes are those causes that we have no control over.
5. Continuous Improvement Unlike innovation, which require great resources, and no small amount of serendipity, continuous improvement is easier to manage and utilize everyone's talent. Japanese companies have used this idea for some time, and call this approach kai zen. This idea fits hand in hand with team building approach. Kaizen and innovation are compared in figure 5 below. Figure 5.
Improvement versus Innovation Continuous Improvement Innovation Effect long term and long lasting but undramatic. Shot term, but dramatic. Pace Time frame Small steps. Continuous and incremental. Big steps. Intermittent and non incremental.
Change Involvement Approach Gradual and constant. Everybody. Collectivism, group efforts, systems approach. Abrupt and volatile. Select few 'champions.' Rugged individualism, individual ideas and efforts. Mode Maintenance and improvement.
Scrap and rebuild. Spark Conventional know-how and state of the art. Technological breakthroughs, new inventions, new theories. Practical requirements. Requires little investment but great effort to maintain it. Requires large investment but little effort to maintain it.
Effort orientation Evaluation criteria People. Process and efforts for better results. Technology. Result for profit. Advantage Works well in slow-growth economy. Better suited to fast-growth economy.
To reduce cost and time and increase productivity, in any industry, the focus must be projected on the process that produces the product. Improving the process in construction, for example, reduced or may eliminate costly change orders and therefore reduced complexity and time. Through inspection and analysis of the process, everyone shares a common learning experience and the accumulated knowledge and understanding of the process become the basis for improving it. Precepts of Quality Improvement... Quality leadership must begin with top management... The most important aspect of quality is identifying the activities within the organization that effect quality...
Written procedure are one of the necessary communication media by which the management functions of directing and controlling are exercised... One of the most critical activities in quality improvement is preparing a clear, concise description of the services to be acquired... The cost, time, and effort devoted to evaluating and selecting suppliers must be commensurate with the importance of the goods and services to be procured... Quality audits must determine the adequacy of, and compliance with, established policies, procedures, instructions, specifications, codes, standard and contractual requirements. Quality audits must also assess the effectiveness of their implementation... The simple objective of most quality audits is to gather enough reliable data through inspection, observation, and inquiry to make reasonable assessment of the quality of the activity being audited...
the foundation of quality control is having timely and accurate information so that systems that are not capable of producing consistent quality can be identified and improved... An effective quality cost program can help the management team to allocate strategic resources for improving quality and reducing costs... Productivity, profit, and quality are the ultimate measure of success of the production system. 6. Customer/Vendor Relationship The 'hearing the voice of the customer' has become a key phrase in the past few years. This would seem to be a obvious point but it's not.
After world war II, The United States was the only major country that did not have a devastated economic infrastructure. Therefore, it was able to produce items of any quality and sell them. Industries were internally driven and not customer driven. As the glob markets grow, new competitors with new technologies approached these markets providing better quality products and involving the customers. This approach worked miracles for these new industries and valuable lessons should be learned from this.
Here are some strategies for improving customer and vendor relation: ... Link organizational vision to customer satisfaction... Reward suppliers... Move to a single source... Minimize the overall number of vendors... Identify the internal and external customers...
Identify end users and distributors... Establish routine dialogue with customers... Involve the customer in planning and development. Keep in mind that vendors must be qualified and have policies that are compatible with yours.
Viewing these vendors as partners, rather than adversaries leads to the ability to implement successfully such cost-saving measures as just-in-time, whereby materials arrive as needed to the construction site. 7. Empowering The Worker Empowering the worker means enabling the worker to achieve his or her highest potential. For most American companies, this is new, and may be the most powerful and useful concept in quality management. Allowing and facilitating workers to achieve their highest potential may seem obvious or impossible, but in fact it is neither. Empowering requires turning the organizations chart upside down, recognizing that management is in a place to aid the worker in overcoming problems they encounter, not to place new roadblocks on the way.
Empowering strategies may include: I. Ownership. A key strategy in empowering employees is to allow them ownership of tasking, project, or division. Ownership implies trust and requires a delegation of authority commensurate with the responsibility of the task. Ownership can also be granted to a team. Ownership also demands that the final resolution of the tasking be in the hands of the owner.
II. Value all contributions. Whether or not we appreciate them, it is important to enhance self-esteem of the contributor to accept their contribution and evaluate it. III. Every one has a value. If they didn't why would they be employed? Treat everyone with respect.
All work has dignity to it. IV. Teams must own problem. Teams are a waste of time if management vetoes or substantially changes their recommendation. If management is unable to trust the recommendations that come from the team, then management fear rules, and will spiral to lower and lower productivity. V.
Delegate authority to the lowest possible organizational level. Constantly ask: why should I do this? If you have hired competent people, let them do there job. No one knows about the job than the person directly involved with it. 8. Training The outcome of training is modified behavior. It may be enhanced interpersonal skills or specific manual skills, but there is a direct, identifiable modification.
Training need not consist solely of traditional classroom instruction. Employees can train other employees very effectively. A company-wide curriculum should be developed that address the needs of each department. Courses should be just long enough to be effective. Anything over three or four days is unlikely to immediately be absorbed into daily work habits. Immediate reinforcement of the training is necessary to be effective..