A few months ago, it became apparent that my backyard was in need of some work. After several weeks of consulting with four different contractors, reviewing design concepts, and considering budgets, we hired an experienced contractor to demolish our existing, splintering deck and replace it with a travertine patio. With contracts signed, we anxiously awaited the start date.
Initially, I was incredibly impressed with the vendor we chose. They immediately set us up on their online portal, which also featured a smartphone app, which I valued. Upon signing into the portal, I was pleasantly surprised to see our contracts, drawings, and scope of work documents were uploaded in the documents folder, and in the messaging section, our sales manager had already made an introduction to our project manager. She followed up very quickly with a message notifying us that once we had approval from our Homeowners Association (HOA), she would let us know the date construction would begin. As a project manager, this level of organization and communication made me feel warm and fuzzy.
A few weeks later, with the HOA approval in hand, I messaged our project manager to let her know everything was ready on our end. This was on a Thursday. By Friday, she replied that she was coordinating with the crew and would let us know our start date when she had one. This is when, sadly, things went downhill.
The following Monday started like every weekday morning: I silenced my alarm, walked to my backyard-facing window and opened the shades to let the natural light fill the room, and started the coffee maker. Once I got my daughter settled with breakfast, I snuck away to take a shower. As I was exiting the bathroom, I heard some voices. I turned toward the window to see a crew of men gathering in my backyard, while I stood in my bedroom wearing only a towel. I immediately dropped to the ground, army crawled to my dresser, grabbed something to put on, and army crawled to the bathroom where I could dress myself in privacy.
Needless to say, the arrival of the crew caught me by surprise. Did I miss something? I instantly logged onto the portal to review the communication I had been having with the project manager. I confirmed that I did not miss any messages or misread anything; I was just the victim of poor communication. Sadly, the problem persisted throughout the project with deadlines being missed and frustrated workers arriving before materials were delivered—all issues that could have been avoided if a strong project manager was at the helm, maintaining efficient communication between her internal team, material suppliers, and me, the client.
At Kinetic, our project managers are not only trained in how to move a project efficiently through the production process; they are also taught the art of over-communication. This is because we believe the only surprises a client should encounter are pleasant ones like a project completed before the deadline, a deliverable that surpasses your expectations, or a cake to say thank you for your business.
Don’t fall victim to the perils of poor communication. Work with a team who has learned, firsthand, the importance of over-communication.