Phillip was all ears. We had been talking about the core skills for a Project Manager. During the past four years, Phillip had been involved in hiring this level of project supervisor. In his mind, the most important skills were the technical construction skills.
He slowly understood that the role of Project Management was different. While the role of the crew member was to do the work, the role of the supervisor was to make sure the work got done. It required a completely different set of skills. It had nothing to do with hammers, saws or heavy equipment. It had to do with scheduling people and materials. It had to do with making sure the work was complete and finished on time.
“You said we need to teach our PMs how to put a schedule together?” Phillip asked.
“Yes, and a schedule is only one of the tools of the supervisor. Another important tool is a checklist.”
“You mean, like the punch list we use at the end of the job to wrap up all the unfinished details?”
“You got it,” I prompted. “Why use a checklist only at the end of the job. Checklists can be very useful through the entire project. There are a hundred things that need follow-up and no one can keep all that in their head. In fact, after a few jobs, a master checklist can be created for different parts of the project, like a template that can be used over and over.”
“And we should teach this to our supervisors?” Phillip was slowly getting on board.
“Yep. I know it comes second nature to you, but not to your junior Project Managers.” I stopped. Phillip had enough for today. “Tomorrow, I will come by and we can pick up the next Project Management tool.” -TF