If you think you’ve got it tough turning a renovation project in six to 10 months, imagine having only six to 10 weeks. That’s the kind of pressure Cocozza Group faces along with the congestion of working in NYC.
Along the way the company has figured out that by focusing on what they call “the most important things,” they can meet their project schedules as well as their business goals.
Here’s a peek at how they do it and some ideas you can use to trim weeks, or more, off your typical schedule.
Creating “Real” Schedules
Cocozza Group is a construction company specializing in restaurant and retail construction. They do full gut renovations and everything in between, and they manage it all in very short time frames. In order to achieve it, they’ve had to adapt and develop processes to support their clients so that they could remain a customer-driven company.
Dan Cocozza, principal, said there is a big focus on creating “real” schedules. They break down the schedules so they identify the key issues for the critical path. These schedules actually also depend on the buy-in from the people who do the building.
“That means the information on the schedule comes from the person doing the work,” said Cocozza. “It’s not something that is made up or a guesswork. It has to come from them so they can be held accountable as the experts completing the work.”
Another important aspect is having complete agreement on the scope, said Reed McNaughton, Cocozza Group’s director of business. The company also uses milestones. The idea is to break up the project into bite-sized pieces that align with the critical path. This strategy improves participant focus and rewards the owner with a clear vision of the progress.
However, Cocozza focuses on soft skills as well.
The Big Three
“We have a company philosophy called the big three,” explained Cocozza. “It starts at a very high level. As a company, we identify the three most important things we want to do each year and each quarter. Then, that gets broken down so that each individual in our company has the three most important things they want to accomplish each quarter. That’s further broken down into the three most important things we want to accomplish each week.
“We really believe if you set your priorities straight, week over week, both as an individual and as a company, and you’re hitting those goals, then you’re going to have success personally, professionally, and on individual projects.”
Another important piece for the company is relationships, not just building them but maintaining relationships. Cocozza believes open, honest communication and transparency allow to build trust, which is essential to creating real schedules.