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Culture change, Leadership

A perfect job!

Is this good work?


The issue  is summed up by the image.

Time, money and effort went into resurfacing a road that created more work for another team to fix the failure.

There was not one, but six drains like this!

Time pressure, unit costing and specification all got in the way of a job done right first time.

I established through the council call centre that the road had  been inspected!

Obviously the inspectors tick sheet did not include make sure the drains are not full of road dressing!

Inspection is  another function that is better built into the role of those doing the work.

I know that  councils’ don’t  have money to pour down the drain, so why do they do it?

A change of leadership thinking is required, but are they up for it?

The  road surface had been getting worse over time.

Image by renjith krishnan FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by renjith krishnan FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The occasional botch job had put ‘chewing gum’ in a couple of holes, but as we all know this does not last a winter.

But this is not good value for money in the long run.  Temporary fixes are a waste of time and money: a temporary fix that ought to fixed properly the first time.

This is magnified by the madness of inspection and scheduling of work on the basis of arbitrary priorities made against a limited budget.

One day I arrived home to find a road  machine ripping the surface off the road for a stretch of about 200 metres. So far so good.

Unfortunately for the residents and road,  footpath users the road then lay in its temporary state for a week with raised inspection covers and signage on the pavements, blocking access and causing confusion for road users.

Organising the job as a continuous flow would make a lot more sense, save time, money, accidents, not to mention complaints.

Then it was all systems go!

The road workers and machinery arrived and by the end of the day the road was complete. Bingo!

At face value the job looked a good one.

image by ddpavumba at FreeDigitalphotos.net

image by ddpavumba at FreeDigitalphotos.net

The resurface was well finished sealed to the existing surface. But then oh no!

On my way back I decided to look at all the drains on the road, and guess what all of them were full/blocked by road dressing.

So a great job on the face of it had turned in to rework.

A further job for a different team to return to site and unblock each drain.

More inspection, rescheduling and prioritisation; not to mention cost.

The damage caused by blocked mains drains is obvious; and all caused because the job was not done correctly at the time.

Bad system or sloppy workers? Ironic really that the council faces a financial crisis, and by taking sort cuts based upon unit cost it has increased its costs!


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About mushroomgrower

Leadership coach, systems thinker, interim manager, organisational development consultant, corporate director. Walker, motorcyclist, lifelong learner. Living in a very beautiful part of Lancashire with my wife and two fantastic young adults who keep me in tune with life.


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