By Mike Kenefsky
They are lurking in the hallways of the trailer, walking the jobsite, waiting for their opportunity to pounce.
One sly note in a submittal… a slight modification to a spec… a simple chore added to the punch list. They know what they’re doing and they feel justified: the client seeking to get as much as possible from you.
The worst part is that your people aren’t good at saying “no”. In most cases, your guy is programmed to “get the job done” and is genetically unable to utter the words “no” or “I can’t”. Instead, your Type A’s personality forces him to want to cross the finish line first and resolve issues later. This strength — or weakness depending on the task at hand — will be exposed by The Creeper in no time.
Your objective must always be to Marginalize The Creeper by cutting off its head, or minimizing its influence, whichever is easier and more aligned with your company’s policy. Decapitate its source of power by getting ahead of him/her with solid process controls. Tell your Type A that nothing gets done without your signature, or — and good luck with this — demand The Creeper only speak with you regarding changes.
Complex projects only magnify The Creeper’s effect and make it harder to erect and maintain these barriers. Again, much like daybreak or a flaming torch, systematic process controls to the rescue. This might be workflows defined by different processes. Workflows that require approvals where only YOU, or a close subordinate, have the authority to allow these risks to proceed based on key parameters.
Don’t let scope creep pile on to the horrors of a complex project. Identify and implement systemic process controls before the Creeper and its unholy requests gets its hands on you. The success of your business depends on it!