Five major national energy home building programs, Energy Star, LEED for Homes, Environments for Living, Building Americas Builders Challenge and the National Green Building Standard all have as a core element of their programs the use of the Blower Door Test (ASTM Standard E1827). Due to this the simple blower door test has had a national impact in the building of millions of energy efficient homes. For example by just focusing on the Energy Star program, its impact has meant that over one million new ENERGY STAR qualified homes have been built to date.
The title of a best selling business book 'Death by Meetings' says it all. No one likes meetings, however, they are a crucial part of a well functioning communication process in an organization. The point of the book was actually that it need not be death by meetings, if only they were conducted efficiently. Meetings are not held just for the sake of holding a meeting they need to have a purpose, to have an agenda to be addressed, for those in attendance coming prepared and for the meeting to conclude with issues resolved, new goals and work assigned and deadlines agreed.
Whatever the issue. Whatever the idea. The first response was, no. Not an adamant no, not an angry no, not even a thoughtful considered no. But a calm, clear, instant ‘no’.
While running a Kaizen Blitz (a short term improvement effort focused on a specific issue) or having a systematic Six Sigma project can have dramatic impacts on improving performance, don’t forget about getting small ideas everyday. For example in 2008 Coca-Cola Stockholm saved 1.5 million Kronor by using Six Sigma but at the same time saved 9 million Kronor from using simple front line improvement ideas!
Mission, Vision and Values are commonly used together, but what do they mean?
Mission is why you exist
Vision is what your striving to do
Values are how you do your work
In this blog we will focus on Mission. A mission statement, describes the PURPOSE of an organization!
You may feel that by talking with customers on a regular basis and reviewing surveys, that you have you finger on the pulse of your customers thoughts and attitudes. But the key to Focus Groups is to that you get a specific group of people together to discuss indepth a specific issue. This gives you detail that you otherwise would not get.
For a real relationship with trade PARTNERS we need to practice what we preach. First of all do you have a good partnership and relationship between the departments in YOUR homebuilding organization to start with. If your departments work in an integrated way, understand that you are each your INTERNAL CUSTOMERS and work as true partners then you will be able to translate that to the relationship with your trade partners.
This is where so much time, effort and money is lost. Doing it right the first time, not having rework, call backs, defects and warranty issues, is obviously a huge cost saving!
A critical danger in any business is tunnel vision. The focus on just one thing at the expense of others! We can be the best at one particular area while others suffer and pull us down overall . The key is to be aware organization wide of the range of issues we need to balance to create excellence. The National Housing Quality Award is a powerful tool to allow us to view an organization in its entirety.
Now if your thinking, ‘in this economy I can ONLY see one week ahead, maybe a month at most, so what good is strategic planning?’ Well you STILL have a strategic plan, you are STILL following some framework you have established for your business, some agreed approach you are having your team follow. For example you are building ONLY certain types of home plans in a certain price range. Why that price range, why that home plan range? Because that is the strategy you have decided upon. So you DO have one! But the question is are you communicating it to your whole team?