Jason Casey is an experienced Operations Director at Ardmac helping international projects deliver large, complex, and fast build construction projects including fit-out, clean rooms, data centers, and refurbishment & construction. He leads teams to ensu...
Jason Casey is an experienced Operations Director at Ardmac helping international projects deliver large, complex, and fast build construction projects including fit-out, clean rooms, data centers, and refurbishment & construction. He leads teams to ensure the safe delivery of projects on time, within budget to agreed quality, and client satisfaction. Jason serves as the Lean Construction Ireland Vice-Chair and is responsible for Ardmac’s strategic adoption of lean project delivery of capital projects. Jason remains a dedicated advocate of Lean for nearly a decade and counting.
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Jason Casey 0:00
Yeah, there's a lot of things around the world now that wouldn't have happened as a result of COVID butcher if we embrace the change and, and bring it on and share it only makes us better and makes us look at things a little bit differently. So absolutely does. Hopefully we can get something that actually makes a difference somewhere, but we'll see. Hopefully.
Felipe Engineer 0:16
I don't have I have no doubt on that, Jason. Jason, you are. You're one of my favorite people to talk to. Welcome to the nbfc show, the easier better for construction podcast. I'm your host Felipe Engineer-Manriquez. This show is all about the business of construction. Today's episode is sponsored by…
Boshrefinemysite is a cloud based construction collaboration platform that applies Lean principles to enable your entire team to plan, communicate and execute in real time. It's the digital tool that works in tandem with your last planner system process and puts it all together in one simple, collaborative ecosystem. This easy to use platform is available in English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and French and can be used on desktops, tablet and mobile devices.
According to Spencer Easton, scheduling manager at Oakland construction, refined my site, in my opinion, is the best cleanest tool on the market the last time here's what our users have to say. We've looked at three other digital scheduling platforms and none compared to the straightforward approach refined my site takes four miles milestone planning all the way down to daily tasks. This program gives every general contractor and their trade partners meaningful collaboration, accountability and KPIs. Registered today to try refined my site for free for 60 days. Today's episode is sponsored by construction accelerator, the design and construction industries come up with and build great things. But we also build in waste in how we do those things, in our interactions in our contracts in our logistics. So what does this do for our bottom line, or our next project, the best firms maximize their value by removing that waste, and only doing what's essential to the work what makes them money. Construction accelerator will train you to see the waste and give your teams the lean tools and experience to remove it immediately. All online construction accelerator is made up of three to nine minute videos that can be watched again and again, in the field, at the office and at home. All broken down by topic. need to learn pool planning, we have videos on the process, how to set up a room and how to kick off a team need to set up a target value delivery project, we discuss all the aspects of TVD especially costs. Or maybe you just need to brush up on five as well. We have videos on that as well. You can download and print reference materials to use on site to immediately translate watching into doing subscribe today at tri ca now.com. Let's build an industry, not just a project.
Felipe Engineer 3:05
Today's show is also sponsored by the lean construction Institute. LCI is working to lead the building industry and transforming its practices and culture, its vision is to create a healthy and thriving industry that delivers outstanding project outcomes every time for everyone. Check the show notes for more information. Now, to the show. Welcome to the show, Mr. Jason Casey, Jason, I am so pleased to have you on the show. I have been a fan of your work for a long time and you had no idea. The first time I met you, Jason, I'm gonna just throw out it's it was half a decade ago, because we've got a pandemic in the middle of that. And I'm pleased to say that I met you the proper way, the Irish way. And we met in Ireland, and I got to tour around with you and spend some valuable time in your office on on your projects. And I absolutely love your approach to construction and what you're doing inside of your company ARD Mac, in order to improve how we deliver projects everywhere you go. And I will tell you Jason that your work in Lee construction Ireland is inspiring people beyond the borders of Ireland. So I want to thank you so much. On behalf of all of the viewers and listeners and watchers of this show. Thank you for helping us improve how construction is delivered. Appreciate you. But I'd like you to tell everybody a little bit about yourself Jason.
Thanks for that energetic introduction and we would expect nothing else from Philippi on a an energetic introduction, you know in no other way. Part of the reason why we probably became close friends over the years is a certainty you're you're in your energy that that was very evident from the first time we would have met a I suppose my name is Yes and KSM, a deputy Managing Director at ardamax. A, and we would be a art maker and international construction specialist that would deliver high value workspaces and technical environments and data center. microelectronic, a biopharma and commercial sectors. Also current vice chair with lean construction Ireland a which Philippe has mentioned there so yeah, that's that's pretty much who I am and a looking forward to the chat. See, and hopefully we can get something out of it and have somebody along the way maybe in the doting Father, I was that up.
Jason Casey 5:35
Absolutely. father of five and and her good self is at home is is a certainly the one that that makes my life a lot easier. And they and certainly a big support to me and and the brains of the family as well to add into that. So it certainly makes a big difference.
Felipe Engineer 5:52
Yeah, brownie points at home, we'll get you. Hopefully it will hopefully get you somewhere to further along. You never know what I've met the missus. And I was telling Jason before we started recording that I'm a huge fan of her as well. She's awesome, as well. So there's a good a good clan there in Ireland, working hard for, for all of us to make things so much bad or just love that. Okay, I don't when I met her, I didn't even know that you guys were together. And she was just so cool talking about Lean and being curious. And and I think that's something the two of you have in common? Because, Jason, I mean, you're you're reading papers, you're participating with the international group for lean construction. You're working internationally, how about many employees? Would you say our dmek is today.
Jason Casey 6:42
About a week between 350 and 400. In our industry at market Currently, we would have a lot of direct gaze in the grind with with trades and stuff as well. So that we would be used on a regular basis. So a you know, big enough number, but from a staff perspective on on certainly the direct people in Ireland and across Europe by 380. Currently, so big team a are growing growing year on year. So that's good. And it's a certainly something that our people that will be a lot of focus on. And people that we're very proud of are really, really good team and always trying to do the right thing and the right way. So yep, that's that's sort of where we're at at the moment.
Felipe Engineer 7:20
Ladies and gentlemen, please follow Jason on LinkedIn, he does post some beautiful pictures from job sites, and showcasing highlighting some of the things that are doing on our math projects. And I will say I have had the honor of touring a couple of ArcMap projects in Ireland, and they were immaculate the scopes of work that our Mac was engaged in, I got to see a couple projects and I can tell you that it's clean, it's so clean, and your people are so engaging. I mean, I just absolutely love it like having some stranger, you know, touring in with you to be so openly welcomed, is rare on construction project sites. So that's a testament to the type of culture that you're building inside your organization. So people follow Jason check out his cool post a lot of good stuff happening there. Absolutely love that. Jason, can you talk about you know, some of the different countries that are GMAC is actively involved in so people can just get a sense of where you are in the world.
Jason Casey 8:22
Yeah, so our headquarters are here in Dublin Ireland. We have an office then in Manchester in the UK and then we have a all their offices in in we're working in Belgium, a Holland currently big project in Denmark, a Finland, Germany, Austria try to think of some of the others but a that's mostly mostly around days a central Europe and Ireland and the UK as well. So that's typically where where we where we do most of our business and we're we're we're we're well set up and valuable to deliver. So that's that's currently where we're where we're operating through a large parts of our, our operation in Europe will be predominantly around the data center on the on the biopharma side of things. And then we will do a lot of the commercial federated stuff, which would be predominantly focused in the UK and Ireland as well. So yeah, that's that's typically there is we we work in we have done some other work outside of Europe, but typically Europe as our as our hub
Felipe Engineer 9:21
effectively. That's awesome. And then I remember Jason, you saying, and you'll find out as I have a decent memory. You worked in the United standards nine probably. You worked in the US prior to coming to work at our back, correct?
Jason Casey 9:38
Yeah. Did a couple of summer summer intern type things over there yet? Yeah. I spent a bit of time in New York and a New Jersey and spent a bit of time over on the on the West Coast as well. So yeah, it's a it's a place that's at around at home in New York, the bosun at something that was that I absolutely loved when I was there, and I loved the whole fact that it was just all go all the time. 24? Seven, I was a lot younger than as well. Probably. Have you sort of a You worked hard and you played hard? I
Felipe Engineer 10:09
Oh, can't imagine I can imagine you in the big cities. Yes. Yeah, that's often a lot of fun. I was thinking like, there's no way we're gonna talk and not mentioned. Mr. Brian Claire, where did when did you meet? Brian?
Jason Casey 10:24
I think we would have met Brian, I suppose would have been one at the early stages of lean construction Ireland, before we became a legal entity, even at that stage, we would have been in around different events and stuff. And that's where we would have met Brian, and a. Yeah, so we've, we've, we've met on numerous occasion, numerous occasions, and so always, always a man with a lot of words of wisdom, and lots of good quotes and lots of bits of experiences over the years that that, you know, make you think about things a little bit differently as well.
Felipe Engineer 10:54
So absolutely, he's a storyteller. He's a good storyteller on par with you, Jason, you have some really great stories as well. And I told Brian, the last time that I talked to him that I just wanted him to adopt me as one of his children. Maybe given away as it's there. He's not, he's not old people. I'm just so young. Alright. And I got younger since I met. Exactly, I'm going, going that way. I got to, to even teach at Brian's one of his classes, he teaches at Dublin,
Jason Casey 11:33
Technological University Dublin, here Look, a university that's growing well, and does a lot for construction in Ireland as well, to be fair to them. They put a lot of effort into it and you know, producing a lot of good people. So and that's where we certainly I would see it at the minute a huge change in terms of where things have evolved over the last 1015 years in Ireland, specifically in terms of lien, you know, certainly when I was going through college there in the last couple of years. Just like it was like yesterday, like yesterday, and the last one or two years when I've been through the university system. There wasn't much to talk about that. But yeah, certainly that like I would have been true a University of Ulster back in and around the turn of the century. Which is actually true, unfortunately. But it sounds longer than it is it's only 20 years ago, the wouldn't have been that much talk about Lena would have been talks about quality and safety, and a lot of the things that would fall under operational excellence per se, but lean wouldn't really been a term that would have been used an awful lot back then. But certainly, you know, we would see it, especially through our graduate program and stuff, the guys coming in now, and they entered our graduate program are all about Lean, they're all about the whole ESG sustainability. You know, so they're actually, they're actually bringing a lot of information close, and, you know, bringing us on a lot as well in terms of their knowledge. So you know, the mentor and piece almost goes both ways, sometimes. So it's a, it's great. seeing some things out there recently, you know, around, you know, people would want to have a mentor that's under 39, to be able to bring them into what's going to happen next. So that's a different way of thinking as well. So another mentor, a mentor, that's under 30, in terms of technology, and on where we're where everything's evolving to. So if we can't get the where they were the needs and where the the thinking is from from that generation. It's a it's critical in terms of how we develop things going forward. So
Felipe Engineer 13:25
I think that's a that's a really unique approach, Jason, that you're, you've got people coming in at a high level, that are just already saying we're doing this, there is no resistance to bringing the better stuff to the industry. And then to acknowledge the generational changes, I think, I think Ireland like, like here in the United States also has about five generations of people working in construction simultaneously. And then to have, you know, these younger people looking for mentors that are also younger, you know, in the 30s and younger. That's a testament to the change that's already happening that we're that we're a part of. Yeah, absolutely. I want to ask you to to go a little bit deeper on to Why did you get involved with lean construction Ireland, which you guys just call LCI.
Jason Casey 14:15
If I go back even a bit further, and even in getting into construction, I suppose. You know, my family and extended family would all have sort of a some level of of construction background of a lot of uncles that were being, you know, steelmanufacturer carpentry plastering brick there, my father's a que es one of the things that he would have been very devoted tell was every Saturday we would have went to the builder's yard and a Saturday morning, there was always a project to do. And it was very, it was always, you know, the measure twice cut once and you know, making things as efficient as possible because it was always three jobs to get done in one day. And that's unfortunately, we're a you know, three times the work and one time that wants the time, I think at all actually stemmed back to my grandmother who was very much a case of Europa early in the morning before everybody else and He used to talk about if you haven't got a day's work done by 10am there's no point in starting you know, as we brought on and came into the industry at a young enough age, doing bits of geo work around different sites a on then came and joined a was did some residential work and some commercial work then joined guard, Mike EPA 2006. And it was just something that I think a The industry has been calling for a long time, you know, we've seen productivity issues right there on something that even from my early days, in art, Mike, we would have been following productivity through a system that we call limits, but it's effectively a productivity tool, where we would just be measuring the amount of work done in the time taken and trying to forecast out what that means for the end of the job and how we could change the change that the path a to the betterment, you know, as we go through the project, and that's something that has always been sort of stuck with me, you're always looking at the productivity and always measuring metrics, numbers, and that's always something that has really been forefront in the way that I've worked over the over the years. Lean construction Ireland is something that a, be an honest, it was, it was something that was being talked about around the organization for a bit of time, because it was a it was being talked about by clients, you know, what we need to do and what we need to start thinking about a little bit differently. And there was a couple of us went on a couple of the link construction airland A events, regional events as they were at that time in Dublin, and she just got a bit of a bit of a want for it and started doing a bit more research and seeing what was out there and started finding out a lot more about what lean actually meant and, and a operational excellence in the likes and finished up meeting another mutual friend of ours Darren Taylor,
Felipe Engineer 16:42
oh, yes, I know there and
Jason Casey 16:44
so you know, time so a run into him on and that's where the link construction Ireland a link in terms of me getting involved sort of came. So it was it was pretty darn sexy suggestion and things have developed over time and we have a really good setup in there and we're doing an awful lot on we're really focused on on our three big things at the moment is you know, the client engagement patient really bringing plants into the mix worth worthy because we feel that, that they can drive this a with a with a bigger impact than than a lot of the construction companies or the contractors you know, so it's a two pronged approach there the whole element are around contracts, trying to get contracts that are much more collaborative and much more a leaning towards being able to bring lean into into reality as opposed to you know, just as a sage or sometimes no actually making it all about that and and we are seeing on projects that we have done certainly in terms of integrated project delivery, you know, the benefits are huge when when you actually get into that and and really get into that early contractor engagement having everybody set the project goals together, you don't want everybody going after them with with a common goal and objective to have what what needs to be achieved. And we've seen huge benefits across all the different functions, safety quality commercially, you know, even the team ethos side of things has been huge on those types of projects. The last piece of construction and we'll be focused on at the moment will be the whole capability development side of things. So we have our LCA link past that you would have seen out there but we're in the process currently of moving that on into sort of the white Yellow Green Belt and black belt over the next. So you'll see some changes in that over the next number of months. So that's that's well progressed and and Darren has actually been a big part of that in the background as well. So that's what we're adding just look just trying to make a difference make life a bit easier for people on the ground. You know, we want people to be happy at work that's the main thing you know, you'd want to be one to working on it being a slog all the time so trying to make life a bit easier and better where we possibly can.
Felipe Engineer 18:39
Oh my God, love easier better Hello, Jason.
Jason Casey 18:44
Better Yeah, that wasn't that wasn't on purpose. It just happened to come that way easier better for construction
Felipe Engineer 18:51
was just perfect man. And for those that don't know can you tell people what a que es is a quantity surveyor.
Jason Casey 18:59
So yeah quantity surveyor will be sort of our cost control a a resource on any projects would be looking after the the money and the commercial side of the of any project sort of from all three front end to the back end. So your your person that will be doing your valuations and your variations and and managing the cost and the budgets and stuff through the project so so that's what we would deem a que es I'm not quite sure is it a Is it a cost manager possibly is called an EN us
Felipe Engineer 19:27
in the US depending on the organization they might be project controls,
Jason Casey 19:32
project controls, yeah, what they say we would we would typically have we would have project controls a on some of the larger projects we would cover covered the Q s road plus a planner role, but typically, we would have the May their their their separate a resources. What could a report effectively until a project control role on a larger project.
Felipe Engineer 19:54
Also want to highlight the link construction Ireland publishes an annual book of case studies. He tell people what kinds of things do they find in that book,
Jason Casey 20:02
this is a, we've had that now for the last two or three years, if you go on to the link construction Island website, all the books are there, over there, they're all there and soft copies that anybody can see. But it's it's literally a case of, or a book full of different contractors and clients a literally just telling stories, or cases of things that have been done over the previous year or longer in terms of a you know, a projects that have happened in terms of making things better, or just just a story about any particular site or project team, and lots of different things in there. In terms of making things better. So we've a had stuff around our own case, last year was a around our smart delivery model, which is really around a power and our people driving performance delighting our customers through the use of technology and, and embracing a whole digital transformation effectively of our business. A there would be all the things in there in terms of improving processes and procedures around procurement as an example, a there's some stuff in there on on contracts, a all the people would have things like your five s your success, a some stuff on last planner, lots all the different tools that are out there, and then some of the things are focused on people. So there's lots of different things that you know, depending on what, what you're interested in, or or if there's something in particular that a that you're looking at for your own business. And maybe you just want to go and see how somebody else has done and we've done that as well, you know, jump in and say, well, Lord Mike are doing this, and this is the way they've went about it, maybe that's something the tray or maybe there's another company that that you might want to look at something seminars, a lot, a lot of things are gonna go to the modular and the the offsite manufacturing type stuff in there as well. So it's fairly broad in terms of what what it offers. But a something in there for everybody, I think, an interesting read, even if it's just a just from just from a research side of things as well. So it's a it's good and something that we we believe that they are, are certainly It has been estimated that we're, I think we're the first a link construction, a organization to publish one of these books. No. So I know that has traveled far and wide. Hey, we've heard stories of it being around the us quite a bit as well in different places. So we're glad to hear that. And certainly, as often we love to share, sold but shared knowledge and shared learning at the end of the day. So I've got
Felipe Engineer 22:21
mine here. I've taken it all the way from Dublin to California. So anybody listening, if you've got some kind of challenge, it's probably already been resolved. And it's in the lean construction case study book, which will give you some inspiration to see how it can be done. It can be done. All improvements are possible. Everything can be done.
Jason Casey 22:42
Yeah, Henry Ford said, whether you think you can or you think you can't. You're right.
Felipe Engineer 22:45
That's right. That's one of my favorite Henry quotes right there. I like that. Well, I'm glad you brought that to the show. That's gonna that's gonna make it into the clip show. Of course. Thanks. I know it will. I have influenced on that. We love the quotes. We do love the quotes, anything that makes us think, but just off topic, Jason, I just don't understand this valuation. When you talk about cost. I've heard this many, many a conversation around a proper planning. We've talked about things being worth and not worth a quid. Roughly, what is the value of a quid? Quite here? What are the value? What is the What is it? What is the value of quid? Yeah. Well, like Could you say something's not even worth a quid or something. I think that's something to remember. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, it's totally possible
Jason Casey 23:40
eigenvalue can only be determined by the customer. And so it's a it's a case of what what they value something at the end of the day, and it's up to the rest of us to make that work for them and to try and get things as efficient as possible. So whether it's a quitter 100 quid or a million quid, you know, it's a, it's, it's, it's somewhat a, you know, if it's not, if it's not delivering what, what our customers need a, it's worth nothing.
Felipe Engineer 24:05
So if I if I walked into a convenience store, and I have a single quid, what can I buy with it?
Jason Casey 24:11
Well, currently, you wouldn't even buy a bar of chocolate with it. So you'd probably get a packet of crisps with it. You make it you probably wouldn't get a can of coke with adequate value were two quid 20 I'm trying to think of what would be worth the quid if you went into the 99 pence store, you would get lots of things that are worth a Vita quid.
Felipe Engineer 24:31
Okay, no, no, no, no, thank you. You just satisfied my personal curiosity. Appreciate that. Now, the all those quotes about it makes so much more sense.
Jason Casey 24:40
So I created Ecwid you could you could call it a crate or a year or $1. It's all the same thing effectively.
Felipe Engineer 24:45
I've never heard anyone tell me that simply what it is. So I like that.
Jason Casey 24:50
Yeah, it's it's a euro or $1. I think a quid could be determined as a euro a pound or $1 or any other currency either.
Felipe Engineer 24:56
So beautiful. What does continuous improvement mean to you, and why is important to you,
Jason Casey 25:04
to me, it's not a bit of big buying approach here in terms of continuous improvement, it's very much around, you know, setting up expectation setting goals and objectives and targets that are, that are feasible for your business feasible for the team that you have to bring them on, they can be a little small things that we talk about in here as a small lay in the big guy. So the big guy will come in terms of innovation, a, or improvement, you know, once in a while, if you do some big projects, that is big team oriented, and that's really arrange strategy around getting something to change or something new coming into the business, but there's so many things that happen every day of the week, a lot of things we don't even realize are happening Pontiacs, they step back and look at them, you know, where people are just looking at a problem saying that that's something we need to change, something very small, very simple, can change. And all of a sudden, you can't even project the impact of that could have for for forever, you know, if you change a process or change a way of doing things, you know, the from a productivity, you start to scale it up over the years, it's absolutely huge. A so continuous improvement to me, I suppose, is really, it's really been incremental improvements, whether it be in people, whether it be in process, whether it being procedure, a product, you know, cumulatively they'll improve the operational excellence of the business and, and really, I suppose, then you have to recognize and embrace all those things as well, you know, to bring them on another stage to ensure that, that, that that happens as a part, of course, without having to make it into any big thing. So, you know, we always talk about continuous improvement, but something that we've certainly learned over the years, if you start talking about continuous improvement, as some big thing, it's a bit like lean, you know, some big thing. It nearly spooks people a little bit, you know, every every company is different, every everybody's different. And, you know, we have the lean governance team that you would have met in the past here as well. And, you know, lots of things going on in the background there. But it's all about just the little pieces of the puzzle, all trying to make the jigsaw and then, you know, at the end the day, we're trying to make that jigsaw bigger jigsaw harder and harder as it as it goes. But just you know, the more we learn, and the more we bring to the party, the easier that becomes. So, you know, that's something you would put in the dictionary or not, in terms of what continuous improvement means. But that's certainly something that I would see it. So it's just by making things better, as easy as possible, and, and ensuring that everybody is able to do that, and honor the expectations, goals and objectives, right. And all those things are clear. And
Felipe Engineer 27:25
I love your humility. Jason, you're so you're so humble. I want to brag for you. I got I remember all right here, Grant. I remember meeting your your lean government governance team. And this is a group of executives around our GMAC from different parts of the business that are that from what I could see wasn't told to me, this is just from what I can see in conversation, that they are wholly focused on improving how our GMAC operates for the benefit of the customer, of course, but also for your employees and your partners. So I thought that is I mean, that's something unique, a lot of companies talk about, you know what their business is, but very few Jason actually work on their business from within the business. So I just want to highlight that and brag on you, because that's something very unique. And I really liked that. And your group is open to bringing people in, like you brought me in to talk about some things that you were working on at the time. And that was very interesting and fascinating to hear the different perspectives. And you guys had even done employee engagement surveys to make sure that you were getting real data from your people on the front line for man, even project managers is their opinion matters a lot. And I remember all that. And I was just blown away. I was like, wow, this company is like, so cool. And so even though that the you know, for the reasons that your meeting is you're trying to overcome some difficult things. And like you said, set the organization loose, it's the little things, it's hard to tell what's going to cut things loose until you start experimenting. So you do have an organization of learning. And you do have an organization that experiments and encourages people on projects to also experiment. And I'll brag a step further. We even went to a project just outside of cork. And we met inside of a comics and it was the first time that I got to do a presentation inside of a comics which is just stands right here is one of my favorite. But you for those of you who don't know what a conics is, it's like a shipping container that you would see that transports goods so some of them have doors, and some even have windows and they can be like makeshift offices as well. Porter cabins we call them Porter cabins. I like that we did a little presentation on Scrum for a project team that had been using they had been using last planner system, right? Yeah, they had been using last planner system and they had come across some difficulty with getting past some of the constraints. And so we taught them Scrum. And Jason was there, he brought me in, did a little presentation, I think we spent all of maybe 40 minutes showing people what Scrum is. And then we did about 20 minutes of questions and answers. Imagine this Porter cabin, there's a table in the center of it, and all around the perimeter, every single chair is taken. And there's even a peanut gallery in the back where we have like, two rows of people filling in the little bit of space in the back, and it's completely full. All I can do is stand next to the projector screen at the front. Because there's so many people inside this container. This was a warm, it was warm, it was before COVID I think it had an air conditioner too, if I my memory is correct. So it was it was a condition Porter cabin. And the amazing thing is that after the team learn what this Scrum framework is, they were able to release through a lot of their constraints, and have a breakthrough in their schedule. Yeah, we
Jason Casey 31:04
we had come across some challenges, as you say, and getting some of the constraints cleared up, I think it was just maybe just a tweak or a change in thinking, you know, when the made have been at that point, they might have been even the leadership of the last plan or meeting them, you know, just that relationship, maybe between the contractors and on demand contractor, they certainly would have been a strong relationship, but they'd have been a little bit of friction in there as well. And when we brought that up, then the client was involved as well, because we were at that stage that job, we were starting to hand stuff over. And it was starting to get into commissioning and, and the whole validation and verification side of the project as well. So we started getting all those people around a scrum board worked in opposite threat. And it was amazing that some of the people that would have been, you know, potentially at that stage starting to push against the system a little bit, we're we're totally engaged, we're able to get the week's work done every week, on certainly the demand certain people that I've been looking at saying, you know, I'm not quite sure if you're actually getting what we're trying to do here, a certainly embrace the scrum side of things on on for that project, it worked extremely well. And I know for certain if you talk to, to Willie and Eden and Ronan and that, you know, the guys have been using that their sense of project on on pretty much all the projects they believe, and they on a very regular basis anyway, and certainly seeing the benefits and the success side of it. So thanks very much for that, because it certainly made a difference to the end of the project for us a future projects after that. So we much appreciate that. And we've even you know, after that you come up with and you had done some of the scrum a things up in our in our office with some of our management team as well. And, you know, we can see some of our, our finance guys for example, and our IT guys will be using Scrum boards there for their weekly things was not just about the construction site, it's it's it can be used for anything. So he could use it for, for doing the housework at home there. But if you wanted what, you know, it can be used for so many things. And it's actually very simple and more now we've moved into the virtual world with the you know, the likes of Microsoft planner, and loads of things like that, where, you know, we have gazer that that would use Microsoft planner quite a bit and it's effectively the same bit the same thing or a the other software, which is the Trello that that would have been used quite a bit there. You can use Trello quite a bit every day, or you did anyway. So you still do so that's good. So yeah, they say, there's lots of different versions and different options for that. But at the end of the day, it's really around, you know, setting up the plan and committing to it and you know, doing everything that you can to achieve it. And certainly when you get that into a group where people see the commitments there. And you know, there's one thing on a board, this is what has to be done today, you know, it's amazing that it's rare enough that that doesn't get to happen. Only really in the case where there's something that's unforeseen, that that that comes into the mix, so good to get a trend of those things as well.
Felipe Engineer 33:52
That is good and, and your organization just like ran through so many parts of the business. And I remember we went back in your office and like you said, we had finance people, we had HR people, it people and it just resonated with so many people. And it was just picked up and adopted and we've talked a couple times on and off since those visits and and people still have it going. So I love it. I love it. Yeah, like you said you could do it apart.
Jason Casey 34:19
Yeah, it's an important point because you know, sometimes people think of construction and you know, we always think of the site and the big project and all the rest but it takes a lot of there's a lot of ways to make the make the truck around looking around and there's so many other functions that that all enable that to happen. So you know, while while our project teams are super You know, when they put in all the hard yards and all the hours and really committed You know, there's an awful lot of people back in the office as well you know from from tender and through estimate and through as you say he HR finance or CFD quality all all the functions that that have to enable all of that and all the you know, I suppose it comes back to the point about you know, if you if you want to project and you want to do it so you're sort of a purpose driven organization. You Everybody wants to do it, but you have to be enabled to do it. And you have to have the capabilities. And it takes for back end staff to look after all of that as well to, you know, make the difference between sort of being purpose driven and purpose enabled. So, in my mind is not enough to wanted be able to do something, you have to be able to do it as well. And, you know, we have a very strong team here, that that's always looking at improving our people, you want to bring an AI capability development on, you know, that's, that's where we see the benefits down the lane, because when we have projects that with a lot of new people, and you know, people that haven't been through that process, we can certainly see more challenges than, than people that have been embedded into what we're really about pain behind all of that. So I absolutely it, it enables it enables all of that. But important point, you know, sometimes we think construction is just about the field. And it's much, much more than that.
Felipe Engineer 35:50
Right. And I could say like having as an outsider, Jason, looking into how your organization works, the culture you have on the field, in the field on your project sides, matches the culture you have in the office, but it just testament to the good work that you're doing there and, and your leadership there at our back. So I told you, I was going to brag on you see if I can can't make you blush wins, I'm almost there.
Jason Casey 36:16
I'm always smiling, whether I'm happy or sad. Most of the time anyway. So make make the difference.
Felipe Engineer 36:25
Gotcha. Yeah, you're I have a lot of respect for you, Jason. I said that in the beginning. And I absolutely mean it. I mean, what you're doing is super critical. You guys even had some sad news that it ARD Mac, for people listening to the show, if you listen to season one, I had on franking talking about suicide and things that we can do against that than an art make. This is touched home with you we have in the world worldwide, about every 60 to 80 seconds, somebody decides to stop playing in this game of life and leave us I mean construction in the United States, it's become the number one industry where suicide is more likely to take people's lives than being hurt, mortally wounded in construction. Can you talk about what you guys have done to bring some awareness to that, that our neck
Jason Casey 37:26
mental health, as you say, is it's a it's a huge, it's a huge issue right there. A, it's something that we that we care an awful lot about, we talk about our people there, and you know, the things that we would be, they'd be doing to bring our people's capabilities and all that and all that on, but you know, when you take it back a step, you know, people have to go home in the evening, you want people to be happy and not be not be in a position where they feel that there's no way out. A so it's something that, you know, we would have a lot of Mental Health First Aiders, we've been through a lot of training over the last year or two. So we pretty much all the areas of our business has got has got Mental Health First Aiders we have a we do a lot of work on the with the charities or our partners would be a will be Manchester main donor UK side of things on PETA hosts, which would be to be to organizations that would be focused in on, on on suicide and mental health things as well. So it is something that's that's fairly close plus a, you know, we we've we've had ex colleagues and things that have have suffered as a result of that. And in the past, and we never know who is or who isn't really, but we were certainly very open organization, we try to be close to our teams and say we could totally tell everybody on the job. So that that everybody has somewhere to go and somebody to talk to lift the finger and eat, we're you know, we have a number of a support systems in the background that are confidential as well, you know, so that anybody that that, that that works for us, or anybody that's even a subcontractor for us, or, or a or someone that's even a family member. So, you know, these things are things that we share, right, that people can just lift the phone and ring somebody, you know, and get, and get a bit of help, where needed. So it's something that's a, that, that there maybe has been a stigma or, you know, around for a long, long time, we're, you know, we're only a very small piece of that trend to try and lift that a little bit internally here and around the people that we can touch but it's something that gets a lot of focus in construction in general, to be fair, and you know, we're not on our own. Thankfully, you know, there's a lot of companies doing similar work. And it's something that that's very close to people's minds. No so as I say, you know, we're very conscious of trying to give people somewhere to go when they need to go and someone something professional, somebody professional to talk to, or just just a new year because you know as a while that's the communication side of things. I know you always talk about the, the, the I've heard you talking about this, the two that you would have used most in your life, which was the one that's called talking
Felipe Engineer 40:00
My favorite technology,
Jason Casey 40:01
if you haven't been to technology is talking Yeah, so a you know, that's, that's something that I would say it's just something that we've, we've spent a good bit of time and effort on and for, for good reason, something we care about a lot. So like, it's plenty of options there. For anybody that's, that's feeling a bit down or feeling that there's that it's a, that it's getting a bit much, you know, there's loads of different options out there. So, yeah, we'll bring them if you're in that mode.
Felipe Engineer 40:31
And Jason will bring forward if you send me links to those to charity groups that you guys are partner with, I'll put them in the show notes. So people can check that out, absolutely find some support, as well, as we'll put in some some helpline numbers that are free and available to people listening in around the world. And thank you for that. I also wanted to spend some time and talking about how important it is to communicate like you're like you're talking about, can you expand more
Jason Casey 40:58
communication is probably the single biggest thing that links into lien links into construction links into the business side of things, links into the whole organization, on the industry. So good communication can lead to so much success per communication can, can have the opposite effect, you know, I'll give you an example of that we have one part one part of the business there that a that, that I be focused on over the last number of months there, you know, at the turn of the year, you know, quite quite, quite spread out over Europe, I suppose. And you know, they don't always get to talk to each other that much, and things like that. So, you know, there was a perception of that there were third cousins, as they talked about, you know, so it was everything was all very much in St. Louis was that, you know, you have a cousin over there, but you don't get to see them or talk to them very much. A, but what we did there was we set up a monthly communications meeting for everybody that was in that in that division, and the change that is made, actually, you can see it month on one, we actually we actually do the plus delta and we score it every month. So you know, and we don't i don't score, they scored, you know, everybody participated in the call, and you know, people are getting involved in the call. So we have a job in Denmark, where our project manager will give a bit of an update on, on what's happening on the job, we'll have somebody in Belgium, we'll have somebody in Ireland, you know, and they're all talking to each other. So I'll get to hear what's happening in the challenges. And when we share the lessons learned and some of the safety things that are happening out there. And any initiatives we're running a even even, it's actually helped us recruit staff as well, because we're talking with these are the rules we need to fill Does anybody know anybody let's have a we have a refer a friend scheme there that, that you know, people get some initiative or incentive sorry, to lay to actually, you know, help us get more resources where we need them. So there's, there's loads of stuff goes on there. And of really good people, it was the, the, the other side of it is that we have focused on what we call constructive conversations. So at the start of the year, we split that up into quarters. So at the start of the year, we will set you know, as part of our strategy, which will set our company goals and objectives, you know, at the back end of the previous year. So that that's that's going into the new year with with a updated or amended goals and objectives, a liquid into the vision. So we take that down through the management and down through every member of staff and all the goals and objectives all linked back to the big picture. So everybody can see they're part of something. And then we have quarterly check ins, which happens every three months. A, you know, where we, where we review those how people are trending against their own personal goals and objectives, which all feed into the bigger picture. A but also, you know, you're just getting that chance to actually take 20 minutes, half an hour away from everything else, you know, finding out how people are doing, are they happy? You know, are they getting the support they need? Is there any additional training they need? You know, and then from a growth perspective for the company and for the for them themselves? It's you know, we're asking, Where do people see themselves in three years payment five years time, so that we can start to start to build a build towards that, and it gets great traction and, you know, people brings people on, and that builds confidence in them and builds confidence in the company as well. And, you know, we we would have had, we have a lot of employees that are I think we've got I'm not quite sure what the percentages are. But significant number of employees that are here 1015 2025 years we've got, we've got a we've got some employees here over 40 years, right from the start, you know, I'm still here. So, you know, that's probably a testament to sort of the culture that's here, the communication element of that is absolutely massive, a, you know, I'm just keeping people informed, because when people feel that they're, it's built not trust all the way up through the organization, organization as well, that everybody knows what's happening. And everybody knows what it's all about, and the reasons that we're doing things. So, A, and the communication is, you know, always a two way thing. It's not a retainer is more so about listening than than talking. So just just hearing where we're at where everybody's at and what problems they have and when we start to get into that day mode where people feel they can trust people, people talking Little issues get resolved very easily, instead of becoming big issues, you know, get resolved at source. And on the pier, there's lots of things out there every day that's getting resolved every day without, without, you know, also a senior management level, even no one about it, which is exactly, you know, where it should be. And, you know, people sort that out with their peers on working together, because they're all, they're all threatened at the same goal objective anyway. So, as opposed to working in silos, where it's, he said, she said, trying to do things individually, we're all working together to, to be the best we can be. They, under our bet on this, we have a responsibility to do that for ourselves personally, and for the organization as well.
Felipe Engineer 45:43
I love that communication story you just shared and what you're doing is so innovative. Jason, I've never heard a company do that. Who, who gets invited to the monthly calls it open to everyone or only the third cousins?
Jason Casey 45:57
No. So we would have, you'd have different parts of the business. So we have our organization split up into business units, sort of per sector, so data centers, bay pharma, clean rooms, commercial, so everybody does it slightly differently, some people do it in what we call a town hall, you know, and that would happen every every few months, you know, we're, we're, everybody's invited. Absolutely. And, you know, you do a bit of a spread of what's happening, the current one, that that's a data center, one that happens monthly, everybody's invited, it's open book, and everybody's, everybody's open to participate as well. So if somebody has something that they want to talk about, or they want to share, you know, that's open as well. So it's literally, you know, it's it's not a big text, and thing, it's 45 minutes till dinner, once a month on on teams, which is the platform that we tend to use quite a bit. And, and it's just opened up and people can see what's happening, what jobs are being tendered, what's coming down the lane, so that there's no fear of running out of work, or any of that sort of stuff, you know, people people can see, you see what's happening around the business and, and it's triggered lots of really interesting conversations, you know, on personal levels, and on, on, on organization levels that have helped us So, and they, and, you know, they all can see that everybody's important. And, you know, we're all colleagues at the end of the day, so we're all just trying to,
Felipe Engineer 47:14
to do a better job, and go home and evening happy and, and see if that's a powerful innovation connect with people like that, and creating this collision point to get people to talk and see what they're co creating with. I just absolutely love that. Love that so much days, and I'm stealing that dude, by the way, I'm
Jason Casey 47:34
gonna invite you to one you can you can, you can add a piece in,
Felipe Engineer 47:37
I can jump, I can jump on a microphone, like the best of them. Jason, as you know, you're gonna get five minutes on this one. That's that's four minutes too much.
Jason Casey 47:47
Everybody stayed to five minutes. But we want to get everybody involved. It's not a it's not a, it's certainly not a preaching a story. It's everybody getting involved. And you know, all the different functions and stuff, take some months, we have all the parts of the business coming in as well. So, you know, for example, we may have somebody for cleaning coming in and saying, you know, what's happening in the world of cleaners for five or 10 minutes, you know, so that we can, so everybody knows what's sort of going on around the place as well. And everybody feels part of what we're all trying to achieve at the end of the day. So yes, no, it's great. It's really good. And Andy is working well for us. So open and honest and clear communication and having everybody on board. it's it's it's really powerful.
Felipe Engineer 48:22
Now, on that same note of that powerful connection with people, Jason, I want to do you well, and give you the last word on sharing something that you absolutely love about your career, or a project you
Jason Casey 48:36
were part of, which is my favorite project, I will say it's nearly the next one, because it's always something that you're looking forward to, I tend to look forward rather than look back a lot of the time. You know, I'm always looking at the next project. And you know, it's a while I love looking at, you know, recognizing we've done some really good work there, in the last number of years, the loads of projects that I don't really have a favorite to be honest in terms of a project because there's been loads of really good project out of loads of really good experiences within each of those projects. So it would be unfair to say that this one was better than the other. And, to be honest, some of the more challenging projects have actually probably been one of the, the projects that I've enjoyed more because you get more out of them on you know, changing the course of something is is something that that that we all probably get a boost out of a in terms of my career or things that I've enjoyed in the career and my career spent a long time working up through the different you know, I started in here sort of a site monitor level and working up through all the different different rules to where I am today, but I certainly get more of a boss I'd have seen other people achieve that, you know, get recognition for achievement. So we've got to say we've built lots of really strong personnel in the business and seeing them achieve and and do things that are really good and strong. is a I get more of a bull's eye to that actually than than most other things to be honest. So you know if I see a project manager getting an award for you know, one of our project manager or project manager the year there last year, and The awards narrative, they can get more of a Bowser to that than winning something myself. And yeah, but certainly seeing people change and develop, you know, we've had a lot of people. One thing that is interesting there within the organization, we've, we've had a lot of people come in at a particular role and actually develop and end up in a completely different role. So, you know, we would have architecture technologists developing into project monitors, operations type people, we would have, you know, planners coming in and going into that project management role as well. And people that we've had a couple people coming in here with, you know, q s degrees and find themselves just loving it in the field. Sorry, the queue as the quantity surveyor, I can't. So going back to that, you know, find themselves in the field and be in some of our best supervisors in the field, because they understand, you know, what it all means and budgets and, and all that stuff, what they really focused on the people. So, yeah, interesting, just to see people development, and that's probably the one part of my career that that that I enjoy the most is CNC and people develop and come on up. Yeah. And proven themselves,
Felipe Engineer 51:02
you did not disappoint me. J. So that was a beautiful recap, that's a something that we have in common. I get a lot of joy to and enabling people to, to grow and develop and even just like having nothing to do with it, and just seeing it's beautiful to see that.
Jason Casey 51:20
Yeah, it's a it's something special. And when you see in someone, somebody's actually achieving something I'm really enjoying that they've achieved that you know, when you can just you can just sit back and watch it to say no, that's, that's magic. Nice. Somebody's going away for their day. They're going home in the evening. They're really happy that they've got what they want that I did today, they're going home. And you know, they're both but that's that special night. Really something that's that's unique to quite sure what the word in Alright, that is, but it's it's something that's a that certainly makes my my career a better one, that stuff like that, that I would get a buzzard, probably more so than a lot of the other things,
Felipe Engineer 51:59
Jason, it's afternoon for you all on its way to evening in Ireland. And I have to ask you, if your grandmother was here today, did you get a good day's work done before 10am.
Jason Casey 52:14
We got a good day's work done today. started last night to get it done. But anyway, we got it done. Yeah, no, she'd be happy enough. Now she's up above at the minute looking down at us away. Yeah, I'm sure she was happy enough.
Felipe Engineer 52:25
That's beautiful. So Jason, I want to thank you so much again, for spending time with me, and inspiring another entire generation of builders, and people involved in construction. Thank you so much love the work you're doing. I appreciate you. I have mad respect for you, my brother from another mother. first cousin, Jason Casey.
Jason Casey 52:49
Yeah, that goes both ways. So thank you very much. And you know, you're always very welcome. But Ireland and they hopefully will get to meet again in person. Soon. I certainly get a lot out of this show. It's as I said to you before, it's it's a show that, but I can listen to and I may go back and listen to the same episode about three months later, and actually get a completely different thing out of it. So he said with with the quotes with with shows like this with books and things like it was all stuff that makes us think a little bit differently. So take a step back and look at it and hopefully we can improve ourselves and improve everybody around us. And at the end of day that'll improve our project. So thank you very much. And well done and congratulations on the success of the show so far.
Felipe Engineer 53:32
Very special thanks to my guest. I'm Felipe Engineer Manriquez. The EBFC show is created by Felipe and produced by a passion to build easier and better. Thanks for listening. Stay safe, everybody. Let's go build!