Page 13 - Mississippi 811 Magazine 2020 Issue 4
P. 13

He continued, “When I say do what
you say you’re going to do, I mean if
a locator says he is going to mark the entire intersection by an agreed upon time, he needs to mark the entire intersection by that time and let the excavator know he did what he said he was going to do. If the excavator says he is digging one block on the west side of the street, that’s what he needs to do. Don’t push ahead of the locator, just do what you say you’re going to do. If you can’t do what you said you were going to do, for whatever reason, it needs
to be communicated to the other side immediately. Avoid surprises which lead to failure.”
I then asked the utility contractor
to explain the difference between a “good” project and a “bad” project. He said, “It’s the same difference between
a ‘good’ team and a ‘bad’ team. It
boils down to just good old fashion communication and documentation. If our crews are going to start a major project, before we touch a blade of grass, we want a preconstruction meeting. At that meeting, I’m going to identify the person that speaks for us on site. We want to discuss the do’s and don’ts for the project, exchange phone numbers and be ready to adapt on the fly. We tell our folks to call in work you
can get done within the life of the ticket and to use the information given.”
When asked what he needed from
the locators involved in the project he said, “Oh, I don’t know. I guess I’d say make themselves available. The most successful projects we’ve been involved with over the years were because we could work with the locator, because he was able to work with us. We all have obstacles to overcome on these kinds of projects, so we must work together as a team to keep from having unnecessary conflict. The truth is it just makes sense to learn to work together because we know that it won’t be long before we’ll be working with these same guys on the next project. It makes sense to start off on the right foot.”
Both the excavator and locator find success when they learn the benefits
of creating a team with a common
goal. One that works well together, understands the strengths and the weaknesses of each team member. The value of such teamwork is that they become adept at identifying all aspects of the project and accept responsibility for updating one another.
This in a way is the essence of effective communication. As the article began, we always hear “we need
By Roger Cox ACTS Now, Inc.
to communicate better.” Effective communication is the most important part of teamwork and almost never happens unless you see one another as being on your team instead of being your biggest problem. Of course, being a good communicator means being a good listener. Not only is listening a matter of courtesy and respect, it goes a long way in building the trust in one another necessary to be successful.
Clint Eastwood may have said it
best, “A man has got to know his limitations.” A strong and effective team develops confidence in one another.
By working together, they learn each other’s capabilities, then communicate their needs and find ways to keep
one another working with minimal disruption. It’s through this process of communicating with each other, both become aware of what must be done, what can be done and commit to what will be done.
So how do we build that successful team? We already know the formula. Walt Disney said, “The way to get started is to stop talking about it and start doing it.” I expect that’s the same first step in the field too.
Your move!
TEAMWORK
2020, Issue 4 Mississippi 811 • 11


































































































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