3 Invaluable Lessons from Terry Tuggey

  1. Break the pieces of a fast-paced project down into pieces to make sense of it.
  2. In a fast-paced project, you have to keep moving.
  3. Don’t create two identities for one team project.

This week, host Sue Dyer speaks with Terry Tuggey about breaking down fast-paced projects to make them manageable, and how not to bottleneck a project so it can keep moving forward at a good pace.

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The following show notes are a transcription from the Construction Dream Team Podcast episode 16 audio interview between Sue and Terry Tuggey. Please subscribe to Construction Dream Team for the latest episodes on our website, iTunes or Stitcher! We would LOVE a 5-star rating to help us show up in the search engines so more of Construction Nation can listen to industry leaders and experts on their computers, phones, or tablets!

About Guest Terry Tuggey (2:10)

Terry is the Area Manager for Graniterock and has worked on very accelerated projects. Terry has known Sue for over three decades.

Terry’s Journey to Becoming Area Manager at Granite Rock (2:59)

  1. Terry started at a small construction firm in MA right out of college, he originally had a communications degree (3:05)
  2. Terry started as a Surveyor and learned about the business side of construction (3:35)
  3. He met the former owner of Graniterock who hired him to work in Construction.  Terry worked on a couple of projects before starting one at SFO and he has been working at SFO ever since (4:30)

Terry’s Greatest Strengths as a Leader (7:00)

  1. Caring about the people you work with and who work for you (7:10)
  2. A healthy life leads to healthy work and vice versa (7:37)
  3. He asks, “How is your family?” “How is your weekend, how is your day or night?” which demonstrates you care (8:10

How to Lead Projects That are Very Fast Paced (9:00)

Terry explains that sometimes the pace and the duration of a project on paper are overwhelming. It’s acceptable, even as a leader to admit that you’re not sure the team can do it. Digest the information and then divide it into pieces and re-assemble them back together in a Master Schedule. Sometimes you need to build the job in planning from start to finish multiple times to find unforeseen hurdles ahead of time.

What Does the Pre-Planning Process Look Like? (11:43)

  1. Outline everything on a whiteboard/grease board (11:55)
  2. Start to put things on paper and really look at it (12:05)
  3. You can’t set a definitive timeline, but you can set some type of deadline (12:25)
  4. The team is made up of the two Project Managers, one from each side, a couple of Engineers, a couple of General Superintendents, and the subcontractors (12:30)
  5. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments or to change (13:15)

How To Deploy Hundreds of People on the Project Effectively (14:08)

You have to break the people into certain groups and let them handle certain pieces. You can’t have everyone working on the whole thing.

Focused Action Strategic Teams (FAST teams).

Each team will be assigned certain pieces of the work.

The Most Important Things a Project Manager Should Be Doing  (15:43)

  1. Get a set of achievable common goals that are shared by the entire project team (15:55)
  2. Communication is key, you have to have open lines (16:42)
  3. Elevate issues quickly and get answers – it moves things along quicker (16:55)

How Terry’s Team Makes Co-Location Work (18:15)

  1. Create an environment where you see everyone every day (18:45)
  2. People need to learn how to talk to each other – less emailing, more talking (19:40)
  3. Set people up on FAST teams equally from the owner, contractor, and subcontractors (20:30)

What You Don’t Want to Do on a Fast-Paced Project (23:30)

  1. Don’t let momentum stop (24:40)
  2. Think about how to keep the job moving toward its goal (25:00)
  3. Everyone has to step up to make things happen (25:19)

How to Make a Joint Venture Work (25:42)

A lot of companies name their Joint Venture “Party A/Party B Joint Venture.”  These two companies created its own company by calling their Joint Venture by a different name, “Golden Gate Constructor.”  It set a tone that everybody in the office complex wasn’t working for someone else’s company, they were working for one company.

The Worst Challenges Terry Has Faced (28:40)

Losing Bruce Wolpert, the owner of Graniterock, made Terry and the rest of the company have to overcome grief and figure out if the company could carry on without him.

The Best Advice Terry Has Ever Gotten (31;00)

In construction, you always have to have a plan A, B, C, D, and E. You don’t want to spend money and then waste it.

Resources for Listeners

Book: It’s Your Ship (affiliate link)

Terry’s Favorite Piece of Tech (36:13)

Microsoft Project Scheduler – a simple, easy to use bar chart that helps get things organized.

Contact Information for Terry Tuggey

Contact Sue at Sue@ConstructionDreamTeam.com

Terry’s Parting Advice (37:56)

Make a list on a little piece of paper on your desk every morning, get them out of your head, prioritize them, and scratch things off the list.

Dream Teams don’t just happen. they are built one step at a time. Why not send out this episode to your team, so they can help you. The more people you have helping – the faster you can build your Construction Dream Team.  You can’t have your dream until you build your team! Please head on over to ConstructionDreamTeam.com to sign up for our newsletter and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or Spotify! 

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Remember…Construction Dream Team drops every Monday morning at 4 am PST. Please join us next week when Sue will interview another industry leader or expert so you can learn how to create your Construction Dream Team!

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