Problem-Resolution Cost Pyramid - Earlier is Always Better

An easy way to visualize the cost of problem resolution at different stages of construction is with this pyramid.

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To illustrate this we will use a common example of a commercial kitchen equipment plan not being coordinated fully with the electrical plans.  

Field Productivity: Problem-Resolution Cost Pyramid.

A piece of equipment requiring a dedicated circuit is shown on the panel schedule but not the power plan so it was easy to miss in the estimate.  When the problem is identified determines the total cost of fixing the problem:

  • Before - some plastic conduit run under slab, some wire and a couple hours (max) of time.  
  • During - more expensive metal conduit run overhead and 6-8 hours of time.
  • After - remobilization time to the work area, protection for finishes, working above hard lid ceiling, etc. plus the customer is likely frustrated.  

The cost of the problem is the cost of the problem (1X).  Finding it ahead of time minimizes the costs and maximizes customer satisfaction.  Finding it during construction will cost about 3X and after construction 10X+.  


What systems do you have in place to find problems early?  

How many problems did you have last month that could have been found earlier? 

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