John Macdonald is a Superintendent on the Shiel Sexton team with over 40 years of industry experience. John has previously written a perspective piece for Shiel Sexton, and is now bringing some more unique insights on the role of an onsite superintendent.

Occasionally I have an intern or a young new hire visit my job site and during our walk through I give them my view of the process and a ground-level look at what we do. When I tell them that “We are in the business of change” I always receive a nod of the head as if they comprehend, but a blank stare ultimately gives them away.

This is not what is taught in Construction Management. Our business, unlike any other, deals in change. From beginning to end, from the office to the field, we are about change. We change presentations, we rework the estimate, we value engineer, we rework the pre-bid process, we reschedule to meet the client’s expectations, all change time and again. 

Whether it’s new construction or a tenant upfit, we wipe the slate clean and start fresh with each new project. A new problem to overcome, a new demand to satisfy, then present the client with their vision.  No other business model revolves around the constant of change. Step by step, we work the process improving every year. Introducing new technologies, new safety measures, more efficient methods to complete the same old tasks. 

This is not an easy process. It becomes a grind – day in and day out.  But when you get the job all that toil seems to fade and it’s on to the next challenge. Then the job is done and all is forgotten. On to the next.         

We are about change!!!

The Messenger | January 2019 | More from this issue