by Pat Geary, COO


In reviewing Daily Planned Activity Post-It notes at the end of each shift, we mark the notes with a check mark if the activities were completed on that day, and an X if they were not. If the activity receives an X, teams also provide one of the following reasons:

  1. Weather
  2. Pre-Requisite Work Incomplete
  3. Congestion or Crew Conflicts
  4. Manpower Absent/Shortage
  5. Equipment/Tool Failure
  6. Lack of Materials
  7. Lack of Information
  8. Wrong Information – Plan Bust
  9. Change of Priority
  10. Completed Task Early (and not because of another reason above)

Take a look at the list above and guess which variance reason is most often cited for why a daily planned activity wasn’t accomplished… Did you guess weather? You might be surprised to find that the most cited reasons are not weather, but #7 and #8 – missing or bad information. This tells us that effective communication throughout a project is one of the best things to focus on if we want to give that project the best chance at being successful for all teams involved.

We track these variance reasons through each project, and they tell us important information about where the inefficiencies and the bottlenecks are occurring. Not completing a daily planned activity on our projects is not a reason for anger, frustration or blame. It’s an opportunity to look at how we and our project partners can deliver projects more efficiently and effectively, saving time and money for everyone.