We are all familiar with using handwritten punchlists to finish up projects. These are the ones that start out neat & legible on ruled paper and end up looking like graffitti art with all kinds of random notes, measurements and tasks crossed off the list.
I am doing a video project in which I will be comparing this hand-written approach with a more formal database driven system. I am in need of some good examples of the hand written approach.
If anybody has one of those artful punchlists and would be willing to let me use it in my video could you please contact me via woodweb reply or perhaps post an image here?
I'm not interested in identifying anybody or any firm in this video. I just want use it as a demonstration that compares different methods of construction management.
Thanks in advance to anybody who can help me with this project.
In the granite/quartz shop we use lists where the customer initials the seams, sink cut out, edge detail, the installers performance as courteous and professional, etc and they make notes at the bottom
in the cabinet shop they use an install check list for tools and job shipments the back sheets have tips for install and a lined sheet of paper that lists for that job room by room needed items to finish.
It has lessened the load tremendously as to the client actually walking the work and and them signing off and the cabinet guys getting together a comprehensive detailed list to complete the job
I'm curious to see your video. Here's my latest punch list, which starts out as a list if things to bring to the jobsite (beside what we keep on the truck). I do find it to be an effective system as long as it's just me both making the list and making sure everything gets done. Once you get more than one person involved it's a whole different story.
Thanks guys. That's the kind of stuff I am looking for.
Cabinetmaker: I like your idea about having a list of the tools etc that need to be taken to the job site.
When we used to do install work we would carry along a tackle box that was designed to just hold screws. It had 24 compartments where you could put things like beauty rings, or shelf pins etc. This box would hold a couple of hinge mount plates and the fat screws that sometimes get loose and fall out. Just having the box in truck kept you from sometimes making a trip all the way back to the shop for 50¢ worth of hardware.
Our screwbox also had a list of hand tools and supplies taped to the cover of the box. This list was laminated and lived behind a piece of plexiglass that was pop-riveted to the lid of the toolbox.
The purpose of this lid was to serve as a visual reminder of things you might want to take along to the jobsite. It's one thing to keep this list in your head and quite another to write it down. If it's written down you can scan it to prompt you to remind the list in your head that you should include some painters tape or cabinet shims.
A written down list also allows someone else to participate. The install foreman can put a check by all the things he wants his helper to collect before you head to the install.
A check list like this can also remind you to make sure you collect all the tools you used before you head back to the shop. This will keep you from leaving a battery drill inside a cabinet.
We already have enough stimulation competing for the limited RAM in our heads. Writing stuff down just frees your brain up to think about strategy rather than logistics.
I remember those lists well. After a while they kind of start to look like a Rorschach test, don't they?
Somewhere on one of my hard drives is a picture of a handwritten punch list like that. One of my 50 year old journeymen kept it taped to front of iMac screen so he could find it.
The funny thing was this guy had 25 years of experience but complained long and loud about how he wasn't making enough money. He could use the web at ease to check a sports score or check his email but somehow couldn't make a simple list in Microsoft Excel or GoogleDocs. My hunch was this had something to do with attitude rather than aptitude.
I gave up on trying to stimulate the guys on tools they might need for casework, corian or granite installs and just printed out lists and now the office packs it in with the job binder forget to fill it out or use it and it goes in your personal file. No excuses
All trucks are emptied, tools and supplies come out another cleans them and the installer repack their tools and red tag for repairs or damaged equipment
As for pinch lists it is reninded in writing all punch list items are to written in cutlist and shop delegation style to facilitate the list getting cut or filled properly to close out the job as soon as possible
Allow me to clarify. That tool list/punch list was for a custom project that I personally handled. It's definitely the old way of doing it. For our closet installs I made a checklist in Word that gets printed out and attached to every job clipboard. Most of the stuff on the checklist is kept on the truck anyway but the checklist alerts them to make sure in case something was removed, which happens for various reasons. It has been made painfully clear to them that if they call in from the field because they are missing something on that list, it's on them. First time verbal warning, second time written, third time goodbye. They have another list they check off at the end of the job, then sign, certifying that everything was completed. There is also a (small) space on the job traveler for them to write any missing or punch list items. That gets turned back into the office so we can make sure they get taken care of.
About 15 years ago I got tired of scouring the shop for installation tools, filling up milk crates etc. to ready the truck for an installation. I bought duplicates of everything and outfitted the truck with everything I needed for my typical installs, including a duplicate personal toolbox. That alone saved hours each month.
We use Microsoft One Note (a free app) for all paperwork traveling through the shop. One Note is synced between all office computers, my computer at home, my tablet and tablets at work stations in the shop and the installers phone.
From the start each job gets a notebook in one note and each notebook has sections (tabs) for each room in the job. Every room section gets some standard pages, Room Notes, Room Job Info, Room Cut Lists, Room Line Drawings, Room Punch List and Room Photos. Anyone can add more pages if needed.
At the initial meeting with clients, Notes are entered on specific pages and One note allows us to imbed or link to documents (appliance specs, design idea photos etc.) As the project continues cut lists and all line drawings are added so all information is available to everyone on the network from anywhere.
Punch lists are handled the same way. They are usually created by the Installers onsite with pictures from their phones as they find issues and then completed with the finial walkthrough with the customer.
This list is a bulleted list with checkboxes to show when this issue is corrected. One Note allows you to highlight, circle or underline specific items to bring attention to them.
The goal is no more sticky notes and piles of scrap paper.
I am amazed that this is even a topic. For all you guys who endlessly prattle on about lean, it seems you are trying to needlessly digitize, and add unnecessary levels of bureaucracy, to an otherwise efficient manual process.
Perhaps you can use Alan's software to create a legible project punchlist during a walkthrough, have the customer sign it as complete, have someone correct those project issues, have the customer approve the corrections, get your money and move on. Make someone responsible for this process from start to finish, and you will have eliminated the major stumbling block in punchlist problems.
For someone whose penmanship has been compared to a doctor's prescription, I can nonetheless generate a legible list that others can read. Perhaps your employees can be persuaded to do likewise.
Paper notes get left at the shop, hotel, or the truck, washed, eaten by the dog, you get the idea.
Folks often take pictures of notes with smartphones, not a bad start to lessen or eliminate the effects of the above.
The same physical note can't be in 2 places at once, and if it's just a picture of a note on the cloud, that you have scribbled on physically or digitally, you can archive it and learn from it, have revision control, and hopefully, have less items to cover on your next note or traveler with the same type of job.
This allows a note to easily used for process improvement, instead of having the same items listed over and over on different notes, maybe even have less to note, or eventually no note at all.
I like Kerry's post regarding One Note, makes sense to me.
This part is not Lean, you've been warned...;) But it can help with construction management.
A digital solution can allow you to be discrete. Sometimes simple embarrassing items need attention that you may not want to broadcast are identified by a note. Tools left in cabinets, Red Bull cans, notes left in cabinets :), things like that. It's usually more difficult for a customer to see a device screen than a piece of paper, not a bad thing to keep in mind.
Something cloud based allows pictures to be taken of the job site before, during, and after installation to be archived for training, things like field conditions, evidence of work delivered, in progress, completed, damaged or stolen, or not damaged or stolen. You get the idea. It can be tough out there, documenting what happens in the field can save a lot of headache, heartache, and money.
Being able to bring up a recent relevant picture has shut down many accusations regarding work done with project managers.
Yes Pat after reading Kerry's post I looked into what google apps had to offer because this is what I have started using over the last few months, and I found a very similar note/check list feature in the "google sheets" app which allows you to check off and or cross out items on the list. All automatically saved in google drive. I think Im going to start working on using this feature right away.
Allan and Tony, yes the almighty pencil and piece of paper is most lean and more simple, my shop has used this method for 25 years. But putting you notes into "the cloud" makes the information accessible to everyone involved immediately no matter where they are. Even if you forget your tablet or phone you could borrow someone's and still be in the game. If you forget or loose that piece of paper you're SOL. For the last two years I have been using the measures app on my phone to take job site pics with dimensions added to them, then emailing them back to my dad in the office. This has been an awesome way to put him on site with me and get his input/feedback. Several times he has been able to bring things to my attention things I would have forgotten. I really see a lot of potential in adding a cloud based check list/"traveler" to our jobs. I would be interested to see how some of you have yours laid out/organized.
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