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RE: Office Communication Challenges

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I see a quote in my office everyday because somebody taped it on the side of
a filing cabinet and it looks like it has been there for at least 12 years
and nobody has taken it off:  "Plan the work.  Work the plan."
The philosophy at my last company was "Throw anything on the plans to make
it look done."
Per one of my professors in college, "Every line on a technical drawing must
mean something.  If it serves no purpose then it should not be there."
I guess every office has a different operating procedure and everybody needs
to agree on the process.  Even if one person doesn't follow the process,
then havoc will ensue.  One of the methods in place here is a basic Total
Quality Management (TQM) system.  It has flaws when trying to apply it to
every situation, but with a good watchdog type of administrator, it forces
you to comply.  Even though the process adds a few hours, the time is well
spent in my mind.
So to answer your question, I would suggest investigating a TQM
system/seminar with the entire company.  Hope this helps ...

William J. Keil, P.E.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Fasula [mailto:tibbits2(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2000 4:02 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Office Communication Challenges

I work in a small office that recently expanded from 1 to 3.  I have noted
that nearly every problem that has come up in project work can be attributed
to a communication break-down between the Principal, myself, and the
drafter.  One of the most nerve-racking instances is when the drafter starts
pulling details and sections off other jobs, and I'm not clear what has come
from the Principal, and what comes from the drafter.  I have suggested color
coding or layering to the drafter several times, but he just does not do it.
Before I wring his neck about it, I thought it would be good to see what
solutions others have come up with.

Another, much less common, source of confusion it when preliminary ideas are
misunderstood as finished designs.  Other problems occur when three
different people are talking to the client.  I'd like to hammer out some
rudiments of an office procedure before the season is hot & heavy on us.  Of
course, the challenge is always to spend *less* time on projects, not more.
Maybe the best solution is to simply take an hour (still very hard to come
by) at the end of a project and review together... any ideas or experiences
shared much appreciated, as always.

Ed Fasula EIT