Do you ever feel frustrated with follow up by other people? I am sure you have experienced this more than once. It is especially frustrating after meetings when you had strong agreement on the course of action only to have people forget their commitments to you. That commitment was counted on for you to meet your deadline.
Several phone calls later, your time is wasted reminding people to complete their tasks. It is not productive nor is it profitable. It can be embarrassing when you lack promised information to keep your promises.
We have found an effective technique to keep others (and yourself) focused on the actions that need to be completed.
No more basic than the use of an action plan template. Many contractors and their field supervisors and project managers have found it is an effective way to document what has been agreed and thus, keep people committed to necessary actions.
A repeat offender can be faced with the physical evidence of unachieved commitments. It is a fact placed in writing leaving personality and emotion out of the discussion.
Any print shop will print and bind these in a gummed, carbonless pad. Productive for carrying in your brief case and using as you meet with people daily.
Keep these handy in your day book or brief case. As meetings or discussions occur, agreements to perform certain tasks will emerge. Document them, give a copy of the action plan to others and keep one. It is simple and effective (meaning fast and efficient).
We should expect others to keep their commitments. We know we must keep ours. It is one of the reasons that people buy our construction services. However with others, sometimes we have to force them to keep theirs.
For more information on this critical subject, purchase a copy of my McGraw-Hill book, Managing a Construction Firm on Just 24 Hours a Day. We offer a bundle with Excel templates that are featured in the book to help assist in making financial, estimating and project management decisions.
Matt Stevens is President of Stevens Construction Institute, Inc. A management consulting firm which works only with construction contractors. Learn more at www.stevensci.com