Post #9- Kyle Majchrowski Shares His Thoughts on Leadership and Quality

It is my pleasure to present Kyle Majchrowski, a Senior Project Executive with Banner Health. Kyle supports the team that manages renovations and new construction throughout the Western Division. He is also a founding member of Seek Change, a non-profit group which organizes built environment events focused on improving people’s experiences. His teams continue to improve the project delivery experience, implementing collaborative efforts.

Kyle shared in invaluable thoughts on the key issues related to leadership and quality .

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Zul– Consultants mostly do not follow a schedule the way Contractors do and before they realize the design team eats up most of the billable hours and not much is left for construction drawings and spec. Why sometimes the Consultants do not realize the value of allocating enough time to produce good quality drawings and spec which are essential for quality of construction and protecting their business from liability exposures?

Kyle– The question is interesting in that it assumes that designers and consultants are ignorant of their fees. In my experience, I have found that consultants are indeed very aware of their fees (i.e. time) both forecasted and spent on a project. The challenge is that project teams do not openly discuss regularly where they  in regards to effort, cost, and financial performance -what was forecasted to be spent, what is being spent, what was spent etc. Therefore, they are missing a great opportunity to regularly have the conversations in regards to who is spending their time where. If project teams were more open in regards to their contract amounts, spend, and forecasted spend of their own time, then there exists a higher chance of success when it comes to allocating the right amount of time to documentation.

Zul– Construction QAQC procedures can reduce a lot re-work and increase profitability for the Contractor. Why sometimes the Contractor resists having a QAQC procedure unless explicitly required by the spec and why QAQC is seen as intrusion into the Contractor’s comfort zone?

Kyle– I have seen many field QAQC programs, including when I started my career as a subcontractor. The majority of these efforts are simply people watching people. Checklists, check offs, inspections, spot measurements, random sampling – all of these efforts are based in finding faults in the work and then prescribing corrective measures.

What I have seen work is that when you empower and engage the people doing the work, the quality increases. People fundamentally want to do good work – by our nature, we despise rework, doing things twice, and having other people tell us what we did wrong and how to fix it. When the project connects a why, a purpose, a genuine care for those working on the project, the engagement increases which directly impact the quality of work done by the individuals on the job.

Zul– Please share your thoughts and examples of your own concept of courage, collaboration and  leadership that can create leaders and what works or doesn’t work.

Kyle– Leadership has evolved and will continue to evolve in the way we work together. Authenticity, transparency, stumbling, seeking help, and actually working with others are staples of leadership in today’s business environment. People emulate our leaders, or despise and criticize them. We are in a transformational period where organizations that approach work top-down, do as I say, and view leadership as making decisions are going to lose out in a big way. The reason being that true collaboration is difficult, messy, risky, and tremendously engaging. Employees are seeking environments where these attributes exist, and command and control organizations are definitely not delivering.

Zul– Please share your thoughts on how to inject leadership culture into the process from beginning of programming to end of construction so that everyone feels that quality is everyone’s job?

Kyle– My work through our Symposiums in Denver, Phoenix, and Portland have explored the question of leadership within projects. We often speak of order takers versus value creators, how we as people display leadership attributes and characteristics, and spend a lot of time self reflecting and sharing with others in a safe environment the difficulties we all face on projects. This community aspect of improving the industry is helping shape what it means to demonstrate leadership at all levels of the project team, throughout the entire project.

Zul– What else can help eliminate/ reduce risks from construction and improve quality?

Kyle– Quality is a direct indicator of the culture of a project team. When the culture is strong, articulated, and healthy, people are engaged, focused, passionate, and care about the work they do. When people care about the work and each other, quality naturally goes up. Without forms. Without checklists.

The interview ended here. There is so much we can learn from Kyle’s style of collaborative practice in the industry. Kyle focuses on building a strong culture of trust and vulnerability in order to deliver successful projects. Driven to substantially impact workplace engagement, his group explores new opportunities in delivery means, methods, and relationships.

According to Kyle- PMs for any type of project (construction, IT, new business service line, etc.) think they have control over many aspects of the project. Schedule, scope, budget, and plan all come to mind. He adds- where PMs don’t actually have control, they seek to invent it through various tools such as meeting minutes and documentation, so they always have at their fingertips a “so and so told me on this date” which creates the illusion of control.

Kyle will be conducting a webinar with James Pease that is titled- The One Thing a PM Can Actually Control Yet Often Ignores.” on June 27th, 2018, at 9AM Pacific :12PM Eastern. You may register for the webinar by clicking on the title.

Would you like to share your thoughts? Please do so in the comment box below.

This post has been edited for clarity and vetted by Kyle Majchrowski. If you would like to find out more about him, you may visit his website at http://seek-change.org

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