Lessons Learned #20: Happy Holidays! The Lessons of 2014, and More…

As another year comes to a close, I would like to review the lessons that I covered in these pages during the year.  Below is the subject, title, a brief summary, the feature quote and a link to all issues.

Issue 11 – Is Technology Serving (or Hurting) You? (Part 1). This issue raised questions about technology overkill, implementation without training, and trying to force technology where inappropriate. “I fear the day when technology will surpass our human interaction.  The world will have a generation of idiots.” (Albert Einstein).

Issue 12 – Technology (Part 2). A discussion of the challenges faced when applying technology to manage field operations.  “Technology is like a tool to a craftsman, you must select the proper one and learn how to use it well to get the job done.” (Your’s truly).

Issue 13 – Technology (Part 3).  Applying technology to help manage your business.

Issue 14 – You Have More Leverage Than You Think, Use It!  Negotiate what you can, but don’t ignore your contract, once it’s signed.  Use it to manage your work.  “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein).

Issue 15 – Perseverance Results in My Book!  This summer I was able to release my book “Document to Reduce Risk” which was the product of many years of work and captures my philosophy for construction management. “Perseverance can help you accomplish what might first appear only to be a dream.” (Your’s truly).

Issue 16 – Once You Lose A Point, You Never Get It Back.  Time is a precious commodity in construction, treat it with great care.  “Once you lose a day, you never get it back.” (Your’s truly).

Issue 17 Don’t Rush When You’re in A Hurry.  Whether you’re estimating, accounting for work, or building in the field, mistakes from rushing your work can be very expensive!  “Dress me slowly, because I’m in a hurry.” (Napoleon Bonaparte).

Issue 18 Learn From Your Mistakes – Do A “PM” Analysis.  Conducting a “post mortem” analysis of your construction projects will yield profitable benefits.  “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.” (John Dewey).

Issue 19 – If You Control The Clock, You Can Win The Game.  As in football, when you can exercise control over your work activities during construction, you will secure a better chance of a profitable finish.  “If you control the clock, you usually control the game.” (Tiki Barber).

Once again, we’ve covered a variety of topics from application of technology to negotiating contracts, and managing time and construction schedules.  If you missed reading some of the issues, you can get a copy from the “Lessons Learned” tab on my website [download here].

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And now for an update on the Yellow Jackets!  Since the last issue, my team went on to defeat #18-Clemson and our arch-rival, the Georgia Bulldogs (who were ranked #8 at the time).  That was the first time we had beat our in-state rivals in 13 years!  The victory was all the sweeter since it took place in their stadium.  That win over Georgia also lifted our ranking to #12 and set up the matchup against FSU for the ACC Championship.

I received many calls and words of encouragement from many of you, who, for a variety of reasonsLL_20-GT Homecoming Game 2014, were hoping our team would beat the Seminoles.  Unfortunately, the Seminoles played error-free, arguably their best game of the year, ending up on top in what was a close contest.

We are now headed to the Orange Bowl Game to play Mississippi State on New Years Eve.  I plan to be there with a loyal contingent of family…

It was cold at the Homecoming Game! My wife and I with my daughter’s family (including a future GT cheerleader & linebacker) endured the weather & cheered our team to victory!

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As we reach the end of a year, it is customary to reflect on the year that is concluding.  For my family, this was a year of personal loss, as both my wife and I lost a parent (her father and my mother).  Though painful for us, we are consoled by the knowledge that they are resting in everlasting peace.

I want to take this opportunity to offer my sincerest personal thanks to all who have helped me in so many ways this year: my wonderful family, trusted clients, and friends.

Through all that I experience each moment of every day, I am constantly reminded that all the health, joy and physical riches in my life are made possible through the grace of God.

May you and your loved ones be blessed with the joy and love that I have been most fortunate to receive, and may the New Year bring you good health, peace, and prosperity in great abundance!

Happy Holidays, Paco Farach

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