Throughout the year, we at Mark IV Builders track a number of performance measures for each of our six superintendents (lead carpenters). At the end of each year, I summarize this data in an objective, statistical snapshot of each individual's performance for the last 12 months.

We use the “year-end tally form” to identify each super's strengths and weaknesses, to set performance benchmarks for everyone to aspire to, and to help determine each super's compensation for the coming year. Here are some items from one super's report in 2005:

  • Total gross amount of completed projects (two jobs, $817,360)
  • Total estimated gross profit ($175,687, or 28%)
  • Total actual gross profit ($236,077, or 32%)
  • Total slippage or gain ($60,370, or +4%)
  • On-time delivery (both jobs closed on time)
  • Total labor breakdown ($75,937 to produce the total gross, or roughly 9% of the total)
  • Daily and hourly labor breakdown for those jobs (roughly $113 per hour, $907 per day)
  • Somewhat more subjectively, the year-end tally also includes a full-circle review of how the super's manager (usually myself) and his field crew rate him in nine categories, including job knowledge, problem solving, business relations, job safety, and quality of work. We rate him on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest) in each category, based on several dozen possible questions. A rating of 3 or lower in any one area triggers an action plan for improving performance in that area. We then average those scores for that super's “performance rating.”

    With the information in this report, we can give each super the kudos he deserves or the attention he needs to improve. We also share some of this data with the entire Mark IV team, inspiring friendly competition to be next year's “top-dog” super. — Andy Hannan is the production manager of Mark IV Builders, Bethesda, Md.