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“Question everything” was a theme of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) Educational Foundation’s popular Essentials of Project Management boot camp last week. There were 23 attendees in the four-day class conducted March 15-18. The event was held at the Viega Seminar Center in Broomfield, Colorado, with lead instruction from Purdue University Professor Emeritus Kirk Alter.
“Too many project managers just accept the numbers generated by their accounting software,” said Alter in the class section on making accurate projections. “The software creates a column of numbers showing that a cost code is 80% complete just because 80 percent of the money from the original estimate has been spent. If there is a cost overrun, are you telling me that that part of the job is 110 complete? This is information generated by your accounting software that you think is helpful, but it is actually misleading you. Don’t use it for your analysis. Question everything!”
In another section of the class, Alter explained “All of our contracts with the general contractor include a clause that says ‘These drawings are diagrammatic in nature. It is the intent to have a complete and operational system.’ Courts have said that this clause is unenforceable. This is just a strategy used to push risk and design responsibility to subcontractors who love fixing things and making them work. Stop doing the customer’s engineering for free on plan and spec jobs. It is the consulting engineer’s responsibility to make sure systems work. Don’t just accept that something included in your contract is legally enforceable – question everything!”
Viega hosted the project management class at their Broomfield, Colorado Seminar Center, and provided A/V, meals for the attendees and more. Kohler Co. and Milwaukee Tool also sponsored class. “We are happy to have PHCC’s project managers in this week,” said Bo DeAngelo, manager of technical training at Viega. “This facility was built to provide a place where contractors can learn best practices and the latest in industry technology. Hosting this class fits perfectly with that initiative.”
The foundation will be conducting a two-day Creating Super Foremen workshop at Viega’s Seminar Center on May 5 and 6, with Kirk Alter again providing instruction. Visit https://phccfoundation.org/essentials for more information and to register.
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