Complete documentation is essential for the success of the lead carpenter system.

The salesperson or owner does not have everyday contact with the jobsite, so the lead carpenter is responsible for making decisions. For a lead to make informed decisions, the salesperson must transfer all information in the initial paperwork.

Client contract. As the company representative, the lead carpenter must understand what the contract calls for.

Job specifications. This should include a complete description of the work. Each item needs to be written so that someone who has not seen the job-site can still understand the content.

Complete plans. The dimensions, details, and finish schedules should be presented clearly.

Subcontractor agreements. Lead carpenters need this detailed information so they can adequately supervise and instruct the subs on site.

Estimate. The lead makes daily decisions that affect each penny of the budget. He or she must have access to the estimate and be trained to analyze it.

Sales notes. The salespeople should include copies of the notes they made during the job planning stage that will help prevent complications, such as client hot buttons and unresolved issues.

—Tim Faller, Field Training Services,