Q: My company's new project supervisor is struggling to keep jobs on track. I hired him because I thought his learning curve would be fairly low. How can I help him to quickly get up to speed with what my business needs?

A: First, learn about the processes he uses to track each job. If you have a standardized format that he is supposed to be using, is it being used correctly? Also, determine how he is communicating with the rest of the team. Is the project supervisor assuming too much? Does the team clearly understand his communications? Find out:

  • Does the project supervisor have a clear, flowcharted written plan for each job?
  • How does he communicate timelines to trade contractors and other team members?
  • Is he allowing extra room in the timeline for unplanned issues such as a breakdown in timing from one trade contractor to the next, material shortages, and client changes?
  • Is the plan for each job being followed?

Finally, a project's success is closely related to the project leader's ability to delegate and hold people accountable — as well as be held accountable.

The sooner you teach the project supervisor what you know about running a project efficiently, the sooner you'll complete jobs on time and on budget, and you'll get the added benefit of growing your new project supervisor into the leader he has the potential to be. —Clay Nelson is a business coach to contractors nationwide, www.claynelsonlifebalance.com.