Archive for the ‘Project Management’ Category

Does something on your construction project stink?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Bob Vail and Tucker Elliott attended the Cleveland Engineering Society’s Leadership Breakfast, and listened to a presentation by Mr. Julius Ciaccia. Mr. Ciaccia is Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD). Mr. Ciaccia discussed how far the Cleveland area has come in cleaning up the local rivers and Lake Erie, the sheer size of the sewer system, as well as the challenges of working with a multitude of community governments. The current main tasks being undertaken are reduction of combined sewer overflows and improvements to storm water management.

Tucker Elliott makes the observation that sewer system management is a lot like project management – if it breaks down, something starts to smell bad really fast! So if you’re on a project and something doesn’t smell right about how it’s being managed, give us a call!

THE PROACTIVE USE OF PUNCHLISTS: SURPRISES ARE FOR BIRTHDAYS

Monday, May 19th, 2014

By: M. Tucker Elliott

19 May 2014 Part 1 of 3

There are all kinds of surprises in life, some of which people like and some of which people don’t like.  Pleasant surprises have the effect of giving us a dose of adrenaline followed by a positive experience (a nice piece of birthday cake comes to mind).  In the world of construction, even pleasant surprises represent events that were unplanned and unaccounted for in budgets or schedules and are, therefore something we want to avoid.

Unpleasant surprises, of course, can have some pretty negative outcomes.  On construction projects, these outcomes can impact a range of project elements including the safety of workers, project budget, and schedule.  A punchlist is one of the tools available to control the risk of surprises on construction projects.  As a project or portion thereof is nearing completion, a punchlist isolates parts of the work thought to be complete and identifies items requiring action in order to bring them into compliance with the contract.

Congratulations Tucker Elliott on 16 years at VN Services!

Monday, April 14th, 2014

VN Services holds its 2014 Company Renewal

Friday, March 14th, 2014

We held our annual company renewal on February 27 and 28 at The Club at Hillbrook.  Every year we travel off-site and review the previous year’s goals, accomplishments and LTOs.  Then we use basic project management skills and CPM (Critical Path Method) scheduling to create measurable individual and company goals for the year forward.  Because the schedule has proven to be a highly useful management tool, we revisit it regularly to ensure that we are on target to achieve our goals.

Of course, we also need some R&R, so we spend the second afternoon doing something that is fun and entertaining.   We had a delicious lunch at The Harley Cafe at South East Harley-Davidson (no motorcycles were purchased at the time).  We followed lunch with bowling at the Freeway Lanes, where we all let Richard and Bob win!

Tucker Elliott has just returned from another trip to the Middle East.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

While Tucker was in the Middle East, he visited with government officials regarding one of the big mega-projects underway in Saudi Arabia. He also met with several different companies including a real estate developer, a construction management firm, and various contractors. When he was leaving to return home, Tucker’s host told him to “consider himself part of the family”. Sounds like the trip was a success.