Planning and Setting Expectations
By Myron Ferguson

I am often being accused of being too through when giving instructions. Well I have to be because I have a plan and my schedule depends on expectations being met.

This past summer I took on a small repair and painting job to fill in a few days before I went on a vacation. Needless to say I had to finish before I left. I had five days to complete the job so I knew I needed to get some help as there was a lot of prep work, moving furniture, covering with plastic and drops, and a lot of trips back and forth from my work van. To help with this job I ended up hiring a helper which was a neighbor high school student.

The day before I collected all the materials I would need and loaded my work van with tools. On the way to the job I told my helper what we would be doing, how many days we had to complete the work and what our goals were for the day. When we got there I did a walk through with the customer and my helper and told them my plan of attack. We prepped one room together and I started my repairs. I had my helper prep the next room and informed him that he could expect me to start repairs in that room in a certain amount of time. From there he would start the next room. Day one was about a ten-hour work day but we did what had to be done and the rest of the job went easier because that first day was critical. I also explained that the next to last day would also be critical because everything had to be at a stage so all the painting could be finished on the last day. My helper followed instructions very well and when a task was completed he immediately looked for the next thing to do.  This was a small job with a tight schedule but is no different than a larger job with a tight schedule.

All jobs have a schedule so plans and expectations have to be outlined and explained. That’s how money is made, customers are kept happy, and jobs are completed on time.

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