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Excuse me if you've heard this before ...

In what we can't exactly call a surprise, another government program aimed at helping underwater homeowners is falling well short of it's goal.

Today, a sharp young guy named Ryan wrote to me after seeing a Keynote Presentation I did at the recent BuilderExchange meeting in Las Vegas. Two-hundred fifty people attended from 60 suppliers and a like number of builders.

My Aunt Janice (rest her soul) gave amazing Christmas gifts when I was a kid. One of my favorites was “Hugo the man with a thousand faces.” It was basically a bald plastic head with a case full of disguise equipment. Hugo had mustaches, glasses, eyebrows and wigs galore.

A Risk Management Benchmarking Survey in 2010 showed that 65% of businesses conduct no form of risk analysis prior to making major corporate decisions. While on 42% have any form of risk management audits or procedures.

When you look at your trade contractors, your suppliers, product distributors, what do you see?

Are they a line item, an expense, a necessary evil or are they true partners?

Last fall the president of one of America’s “Top 10” builders who I have known for years corralled me at a conference. Because I travel this industry about as much as anyone, he likes to pump me for intelligence – as I do him. He wondered, what did I see out there? Who was making it? Who wasn’t?

Construction projects are complex in nature and prone to cost and schedule overruns. A significant factor that often contributes to such overruns is rework. 

I catch myself from time to time spending money on things that I just don’t need to.  Whether it’s the cool action video I think I will watch after the (wife selected) romcom,  the twenty piece Mcnugget vs. ten, or the third hot dog at Home Depot, it’s all waste – well, usually anyway.

The NAHB in conjunction with Professional Builder Magazine launched the National Housing Quality Award (NHQA) in 1993 to encourage and recognize best practices and best builders in the continual improvement of product and process.

Flat, team based and empowered organizations have the potential to out-perform tall hierarchical organizations in most every competitive industry and that includes home building!

Process improvement can often be received with impatience and inflated expectations of its impact. One of the regular problems is that a particular piece of the organizations process is asked to be improved in isolation.

Let me be straight - I am anti-Net Promoting Index (NPI) in the home building industry and this is why...

Often managers set goals for employees such as a minimum number of units to be produced each week and once this is achieved on a regular basis, then the minimum number is raised and so it continues.

Checklists and audits may be one of the most basic approaches to quality but they frequently lead to problems of accurate data collection. A common issue that arises is not recording errors or defects in the field.

I often wondered why a consulting friend of mine wrote of his miserable air travel experiences, and now I get it.   The airline industry, with its product and personnel scenarios are a reasonable proxy for the homebuilding industry.  How?  Read on.

NHQ Award winning builder, NHQA Judge and consultant Tom Gillespie has developed a set of process diagrams that provide an overview of the intent behind each NHQA category and how it flows through each of the requirements.

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