While many contractors are still working this Monday morning cleaning up from one of the largest snowfalls in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast since the winter of 2009-2010, this morning I’m personally reflecting on my own experiences from the past. I have seen many positive posts on social media of contractors successes during this storm and I have also seen and heard of major operational failures through social media and from actual clients of mine. Some of the things that I have heard have included; major equipment breakdowns, lack of the right equipment for this type of storm, labor challenges, unreliable service-providers and of course, unrealistic customers demands.
In response thereof and in support of helping others improve, this morning I share some insight of post storm priorities. Last Friday I wrote a post called, “Doing your best, preparing for the worst, winter storm Jonas 2016”
In this blog I wrote about the 7-critical phases of winter storm operational preparedness. For this current blog I would like to focus on the Post-Storm Phase: This is when all facets of snow operations are preparing for next storm. Crews are performing post storm clean-up and preparation for the next storm. Operational TEAM leaders should be performing an evaluation and assessment of storm related operational decisions/issues and problems are being addressed.
Getting pummeled by such a storm in such a short period of time not only tests your personnel and resources, it also tests your personal and professional limits. In the end, it must teach you a few things about preparing for whatever the future may bring. After completing your contractual obligations it is imperative that you dig in and perform a post storm analysis.
The post storm analysis/review starts with asking these three questions:
WHAT- What worked well, what did not work?
WHY- Why did it work? or why did it not?
HOW- How are we going to maintain and improve on what worked, or how are we going to fix what did not work so it does not happen again?
To start; your meeting must consist of all required leadership including operational executives, managers, supervisors and administrative staff. These meets shall take place ideally within 24 hours post storm while thoughts are fresh in everyone mind.
Your Operational Director will need to lead the meeting by addressing these subjects for example;
You must analyze previous storm activities compared to the current one. Discuss differences. What worked, what did not. This is a perfect forum for an open discussion and input from front line managers. This is the ‘The What’ part of your analysis process.
You must discuss what operational worked well and what improvements must be made. In this part of the analysis you must dig-in and really look at the ‘root-cause’ to operational and service delivery challenges. This is where TEAM synergy comes in for creating solutions. This is the ‘The Why’ part of your analysis process.
You must devise solutions for each problem and appropriately delegate to responsible parties for accountable actions. At this stage of the Analysis process you must design performance metrics for bench-marking operational performance throughout the storm. This is ‘The How’ part of your analysis process.
While I can’t solve everyone’s problems with this blog, at the very least I hope to at least challenge your mind as to how to prepare for the next storm by looking at what you can do to perform. Remember, you can only control, the controllable.
About the author; Steven Cohen is a Landscape-Snow Industry SME and Chief Innovation Officer at GreenMark Consulting Group; a Landscape-Snow Industry Business-Consulting/Advisory firm that specializes in helping small-medium sized growth oriented companies. You can reach Steven Cohen by phone at 610.905.3637. Email Steven at email@example.com or visit our website at www.greenmarkgroup.com to learn more about our services.