Feb. 16, 2022

This is Scrum with Brian Melcher

Secret sauce is something that makes a company more efficient and adds value for the customer. Brian Melcher says, “This is Scrum.” He is the Founder, Owner, and Principal at Field Verified, the first building envelope consulting firm in Arizona to expan...


Secret sauce is something that makes a company more efficient and adds value for the customer. Brian Melcher says, “This is Scrum.” He is the Founder, Owner, and Principal at Field Verified, the first building envelope consulting firm in Arizona to expand to a full-scale testing facility. He began his career building custom homes and retail spaces in Southern California. His experience shifted to quality assurance inspection of residential and commercial buildings across the United States. He is an expert in water intrusion, construction defects, code compliance and building maintenance with skills that include forensic construction investigation, analyzing reported construction defects and resolving construction disputes. He led Field Verified in developing ISO-compliant testing procedures to become the first AAMA-Accredited field testing agency in the world and opened the first accredited mock-up and window testing laboratory in the Mountain West. The Field Verified team provides roofing and waterproofing experts to construction projects across the United States.

 

Connect with Brian Melcher via

LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/melcherbrian/ 

Website at https://fieldverified.com/

 

Connect with Felipe via

Social media at https://thefelipe.bio.link 

Subscribe on YouTube to never miss new videos here: https://rb.gy/q5vaht 

 

Episode Links: 

The Dr. CK Bray Show https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dr-ck-bray-show/

Support literacy worldwide: https://www.betterworldbooks.com/

Learn more about Felipe’s book, “Construction Scrum” at https://constructionscrum.com/

 

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Today’s episode is sponsored by Bosch RefinemySite. It’s a cloud-based construction platform. Bosch uses Lean principles to enable your entire team, from owners to trade contractors – to plan, communicate, document, and execute in real-time. It’s the digital tool that supports the Last Planner System® process and puts it all together in one simple, collaborative ecosystem. Bosch RefinemySite empowers your team, builds trust, creates a culture of responsibility, and enhances communication. Learn more and Try for free at https://www.bosch-refinemysite.us/tryforfree 

 

Today's episode is sponsored by the Lean Construction Institute (LCI). This non-profit organization operates as a catalyst to transform the industry through Lean project delivery using an operating system centered on a common language, fundamental principles, and basic practices. Learn more at https://www.leanconstruction.org 

 

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Transcript

Brian Melcher  0:00  
You said I'm the king of nuggets. I'm the king of nuggets for which I cannot remember. For reference.

Felipe Engineer  0:05  
So right. 

Brian Melcher  0:05  
[unintelligible]

Felipe Engineer  0:06  
Yeah, right before we started, Brian, you're telling me a nugget about thinking? Why don't you take take a stab at it dropped it. 

Brian Melcher  0:13  
The nugget was that, you know, the part of our brain that controls you know, like that gut instinct response, doesn't control language. And so when someone says, I can't, I just can't, you know, explain why, but I know it's wrong. It's because the part of your brain that knows it's wrong, it's not the part that controls the language to explain it. So I love brain stuff. I just don't know enough about it.

Felipe Engineer  0:36  
I love it. And you have a friend that actually is like expert in this type of neurology. You want to you want to start nam dropping? 

Brian Melcher  0:42  
Yeah, he's a neuroscience researcher. Dr. CK Bray of the Dr. CK Bray Show. 

Felipe Engineer  0:48  
Nice. 

Brian Melcher  0:49  
Also prolific pickleball player. Yeah, neuroscience researcher. It's funny when we talk he says, Yeah, I'm really looking for a new hire. I need someone with like, corporate experience MBA or doctorate or, and, you know, also like a neuroscientist, so if you know any of those people, let me know, let him know. Yeah.

Felipe Engineer  1:10  
Audience if you're out there, if you've got corporate experience, you've got your MBA and you're a neuroscientist. Dr. CK Bray.

Brian Melcher  1:17  
And what can I do with all of this? There's seems to be no doors opening for me.

Felipe Engineer  1:22  
And you're working on construction. 

Brian Melcher  1:23  
Right Bray has a spot for you. Yes. 

Felipe Engineer  1:25  
Wait, and you're working in construction. And you listen to this podcast? Dr. CK Bray that we'll put a link to the show, so you could get a hold of him so we could help, help the good doctor fill that need. 

Sponsors  1:38  
Welcome to The EBFC 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 Bosh RefineMySite 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 for 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 refund my site takes from 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 refine my site for free for 60 days. 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. 

Felipe Engineer  3:25  
Welcome to the show, Brian Melcher, Brian Melcher, my brother from another mother, you have a special place right here that you have even no idea. Our friendship is so tight. So close. Where have you been on my life? When we first met on LinkedIn first and then later we met in real life abroad? You're one of the first friends I've ever met abroad

Brian Melcher  3:49  
that lived near my European friend. US. Yeah,

Felipe Engineer  3:54  
that is that makes it even cooler.

Brian Melcher  3:56  
It is cool, because you know, we can talk about how we met and be condescending to others at the same time, fast friends and then brothers. Well, you're a great example of People First. 

Felipe Engineer  4:05  
From my perspective. I'm on a boat in and we google this we're in the Baltic Sea, right?Is that where we were? 

Brian Melcher  4:11  
We were in the Baltic Sea somewhere off the coast of Sweden. 

Felipe Engineer  4:14  
In the Baltic Sea somewhere off the coast of Sweden. I'm in the small boat piloted by the one the only Niklas Modig and in full Swedish regala. And we're pulling up and and I see in the distance a taxi, dropping off a person with a single bag. And I'm thinking single bag single bag. This guy knows how to travel. This is somebody that I need to know. And I need to shut up and listen and talk to. And I we docked the boat I have no knot tying skills yet. But I'm still young Brian I can learn and so I was free to receive you and welcome you to the boat. And I think we hugged right away. Did we not?

Brian Melcher  4:54  
Oh we hug. Yeah. You put two huggers even in a different country in public somebody in there didn't mention the swans though. The craziest things. There's just these majestic swans in the ocean. Did you even know swans? When I don't know where I thought swans went, like in lakes waiting for fairy tales. They're ugly. Stay there for a while. And then I guess they go to Sweden and just float around on the ocean. So that was pretty crazy to see, too.

Felipe Engineer  5:24  
That was eye opening. We're like, Niklas is telling us watch out for the swans. It's like, No, you're driving. Oh, this is a thing. Yeah, you watch for the swans. I'm over here spectating. Like what's gonna happen?

Brian Melcher  5:34  
No, no animals were harmed in the forming of our friendship. 

Felipe Engineer  5:39  
It was a sight to see every time you're totally right. Every time I get lost looking into the water and just seeing Swan swimming. They're always like they never saw one Swan by themselves. They're always in pairs, at least at least in pairs.

Brian Melcher  5:51  
swans swimming in Sweden. Yep.

Felipe Engineer  5:54  
Yes, say that really fast. Please introduce yourself to the good people of The EBFC Show.

Brian Melcher  5:59  
I'm Brian Melcher. I run field verified in Phoenix, Arizona. We are building envelope consultants. We're an accredited field testing agency. We have an accredited laboratory. And we have a building enclosure management training course that is now open to the world as well.

Felipe Engineer  6:19  
Congratulations Brian!

Brian Melcher  6:21  
Thank you. That is what we do, who we are is just a great collection of people I walked in to I'm ruining my own introduction, I walked in and got one of these acai bowls. It's like the only one someone should open one up near my house because the only one near my house is terribly run. And I stood there watching all this. I'm like, man, with some lean principles. I could bring in three people from my team, get 30 minutes of training, document the whole thing. And run this place the best it's ever been run, and have time to be personable and friendly and all the things that I felt like I was lacking as I tried to get peanut butter on top of my wife's acai bowl. That's the only thing she needed that day. Really, it was the only thing I felt like I could provide accurately. So became very important.

Felipe Engineer  7:12  
I've never tried peanut butter. And honestly, I think that's something that we need to do the next time I'm in town.

Brian Melcher  7:16  
So I run field verified, which is a collection of just incredible people, we I think would be good at anything we set our minds to, with what we've learned. But we are very good at building enclosure. And we love the training program, we we realized a while ago that what we enjoy most is teaching and seeing people be successful. And so it's not easy to put together training content period. There's no precedent for this and, and then to cater it to the construction industry. Because we're not training consultants, we are training people on how to manage a building enclosure and manage all the processes that lead into it to manage the construction, the people manage the people involved in the construction. So even focused on soft skills, but hands on you can see behind me here some of our artwork, it's like when the kindergarten kids get to put their artwork on the wall. Yeah, my kids at home. These are hands on ma mockups that those in attendance get to build and we used to store them. And you know, here's some lean for you. We used to store them in giant containers and then pull them out for each day. And then we realized they look pretty cool. If you hang them on the wall, then you don't have to store them. And you just go and grab yourself when it's time to build on it somewhere. It was great having you here. And you know, you described your new book, which I think you told me to mention three times shameless plug here it is right here in case you didn't shameless plug. I've already I've already like jacked it open and creased it real good. Nice. And can I just say what I love is. I'm barely into it. So that's having me back on. I'll tell you more. But I love the Table of Contents. Thank you, because I'm going to read it. But later, I'm going to want to be able to go to it and get an answer. And I don't want to read the whole thing again. So honestly, having a table of contents to help me get to the question the lesson the method that I need is just incredible.

Felipe Engineer  9:06  
I gotta I gotta ask a follow up question. Do you read a lot of books that don't have a table of contents? Because for me, it's like par for the course.

Brian Melcher  9:12  
You know, there's the dead giveaway audio books mostly. And so there is no table of contents.

Felipe Engineer  9:19  
Okay, well, we're gonna We'll fix that for you, Brian. I'll make that one. Yes, maybe that's

Brian Melcher  9:22  
the problem. Maybe I have a problem with audio books. And I mean, I know there is a table of contents you can get to but

Felipe Engineer  9:28  
yeah, I'll make sure to read the Table of Contents. That's all it took. Yeah,

Brian Melcher  9:31  
put a table of contents in the big five stars on Amazon. I love it. 

Felipe Engineer  9:37  
We know that Brian has read one page in my book. So that is incredible

Brian Melcher  9:41  
as well. I mean, I looked at it. Yeah, I know.

Felipe Engineer  9:43  
I appreciate that. I'm so humbled even that you just have a copy handy. Like I'm not the only one that's ready to throw it up on camera. At the drop of a hat. Yes.

Brian Melcher  9:53  
No, I was I was excited because we did order 10 copies you know here for the office not we are waiting for the audio book. But but that way we can, you know, be cool by association and hand them out. We have a whole bookshelf of books that we, we've read as a team and then we hand out to people when they come in. So we'll add yours to the giveaway shelf. Nice. I didn't get fast enough.

Felipe Engineer  10:14  
I said that I snapped some pictures of your bookshelf. And there's subtitles. Yeah, it's

Brian Melcher  10:19  
actually just to my right here. But yeah, it's off camera. Now it's off. 

Felipe Engineer  10:22  
Just being suspensive. Till we put out social media. 

Brian Melcher  10:25  
Yeah, there is a post because we buy our books from Better World Books dot com. And you know, you've made it when your book has been discarded, donated and can be resold on Better World books. I can't wait, you're making a difference when your books been discarded, and it can be sold for $5. So, but great, great cause that they offer there. And then, you know, we get lots of books we can give away.

Felipe Engineer  10:45  
That's beautiful. It's always good to support an awesome cause. And Brian, you're definitely a giver. I think you left a couple things out of your introduction was still need to know like how long you've been in the construction industry? Like I'm, I'm curious to hear it again. And I also want to know why building enclosure? Like, was it just out of love? Like, did you just inherit, that did you just fall out of the sky fully ready to put on a rain suit and bring building enclosure to the world so that people can understand it. And people in the training that I got to participate in a it has humor all throughout, which is incredibly appreciated, especially when you're in design, construction, work, training, and humor don't always go hand in hand on purpose. But there it's woven in throughout the entire thing, even down to the handouts, which I'm not going to spoiler alert, I'm not going to say what kind of images are there, but it is totally appropriate. And I think everyone that works in construction needs to absolutely go through this and experience what good training is, and you're gonna come out of there with your hands dirty, maybe even get some water on you. If you do a good job. I mean, there's no water if you do a good job. Right, right, Brian, exactly. But if you mess it up,

Brian Melcher  12:00  
we've done our job. Well, we are working really hard to make it more accessible. So I just I am going to just start right from the beginning. So the first job was actually McDonald's, 14 and a half years old in San Diego and 375 an hour and, and I look back at that now and realize, I learned that they could teach any knucklehead how to make a hamburger the exact same way. I mean, visual signs, you know, stuff on the, on the cart where you made it. And, and then I learned very quickly that you're worth more than more that you know how to do. And I ended up at about 16 working for a painter in the neighborhood. And he did me a tremendous service. He taught me very quick, there's a brain book by a brain author who I can't, can't say, this is terrible. I'm not even gonna do it. Okay.

Felipe Engineer  12:49  
risers. Brian, this is what you do you butcher it, and you ask the people, I'm gonna butcher it to say and give us a comment. If you know what Brian's talking about, make a comment and give us the answer. So we can know.

Brian Melcher  13:00  
Yes, the comment is everyone knows what he's talking about. This guy's a world famous scientist, he invented the brain scammer, they scan your brain, and they check for blood flow. And he became famous because he could scan a psychopath and see that the empathy portion of the brain had no blood flow, it just wasn't active. And the thought was like, Oh, this will be great for criminal defense, right? It's not his fault. And, and really, he's an advocate of treatment, you know, treatment through naturopathic through exercise, and then chemicals necessary and, and tracking and seeing does the blood flow increase in that area. So it actually caused me to have a lot more empathy towards others, understanding that we are all working with, you know, the chemistry and the level of blood flow to different parts of our brain that that we have, and also encouraged me that you can start to develop those more as time goes on. But they, they, you know, they just scan people for whatever experiment, they felt like proving they scanned all these painters and the portion of their brain that controls impulse gets far less blood flow, probably from all the oil based paint fumes and all the other VOCs that they you know, the painter I worked for used to paint in the garage with the door closed. And you know, as I move his arms after a while, so they scan the painters and they no blood flow to that impulse control, and apologies to the painting industry. But I think there's been great advances in awareness of what toxic fumes can do to your brain. And hopefully, we're all in well ventilated areas now, but that was my first job. I told you all that to tell you this. That was my first job. And he told me, started me at $6 An hour and he said if you can learn to cut in left handed with a brush, I'll pay you seven. Well, you can learn to spray without leaving lines. I'll pay eight. And so I worked my way up there. And then I ended up working for a general contractor. He was just getting his start at like 2324 years old. So we worked on like slumlord projects, you know the toilet had fallen through the floor, go fix it, and so on. I got to do a lot of repair work, you know, Windows leaky roofs, and then he started building ground up new homes, just beautiful custom homes in San Diego. And we would form the concrete frame the walls, install the windows, Southern California, the framers did windows. So that's my building envelope start, you know, we would tear out windows that leaked. And he would just be, you know, talking and telling me about it, and he'd learned from his dad. And then we put new windows in. And he'd say it has to be done this way to work, it's got to overlap it needs to this we seal these up, we don't nail in the corners, because it breaks the flange and the seal of the window. And that was my exposure to enclosures, tore off asphalt roofs and put new roofs on and all before 20 years old, because I liked it so much, I would find a way to get early release in school, I even got the athletic director and the principal to sign these papers that would let me go to the community college for my last math and English class my senior year, but still play sports and go to prom. And then I would work Monday, Wednesday, Friday in construction, always planned on being an accountant. Because I was good at math. Right? That was the logic. So I'm still pretty good at math, but love building enclosure. I love doing something that I'm good at. We've we've just been talking here that if you can do meaningful work that you enjoy with people you love. That's it. And I believe there are you know, there's more than one meaningful work out there. For me, there's probably more than one thing that I enjoy. And I was lucky to put those together and building enclosure and in construction. I love to build and now I work with people I love and so life is good.

Felipe Engineer  16:42  
And it shows it comes through like an all the stuff that you do and and I like it too, that you've got some family working in the office and the familiar relations are not strained. Yes. Which is

Brian Melcher  16:53  
spare me any heckling and we love that about him. When you talk about leadership teams needing to hold each other accountable. Put a sibling on the team, they will hold you accountable.

Felipe Engineer  17:03  
Absolutely. And I didn't even realize it right away until we went around the room and did introductions. And I said, oh, there's that guy. There's that.

Brian Melcher  17:12  
But at least he didn't think that he was my son. That's been getting old. But I think he's finally aging enough. There's only a five year difference. But yeah, yeah, Sean Sean's incredible and lucky to have him as part of this team. He's, he went up through a very different route, but the same route and construction. So he, he benefited that his last construction experience before here was working with a master carpenter. Now the type of people that would like put a piece of wood in a room before they built around it and then work on it because it wouldn't fit through the door later. Like he's truly the craftsmen in the family and grateful to have him so incredible.

Felipe Engineer  17:49  
It explains like all the cool custom stuff that's in and around the shop very visual too, which is I mean, you're you're living and breathe and just tons of Lean construction principles in your shop and how you teach and engage with the students in a class you know, randomly just dropped in welcomed with open arms by the rest of the class that had been going on right there was an inspector and there were superintendent people what the most exciting part for me Brian is because you know that I love Scrum, probably only close to like a Jeff Sutherland level of like, love for the yes for the system. But I got like butterflies in my stomach when we came in, and everyone like went to the front. And we had like a daily huddle, or is what I like to Yeah, the daily Scrum and we just everyone checked in. And it was so fascinating to see and be part of that daily scrum.

Brian Melcher  18:40  
That was the first ever one while you're there. So you chime in. Yeah. And it ended at 715, didn't it? It did. And we added 20 people to our daily huddle, and we ended it right on time. That was the first time we've actually done that we we always do our huddle at seven o'clock. everybody participates remote in person we strive for in person, but we when we would do our training that would start at seven o'clock we would dance around it, you know, the whoever wasn't participating in the training would go and have a huddle quietly in a room somewhere with half of the team. And it was just kind of an epiphany of oh, wait, let's show this to the world. And let's stop doing ourselves a disservice. I mean, we missed it on Friday was like well, we didn't have the huddle yesterday. So Thursday was a waste. What really wasn't that bad, but it was you know, we noticed when half the team was missing from the huddle. And so you were there for the first one where we just decided just have our normal huddle, the world will benefit from being a part of it. And these are construction leaders

Felipe Engineer  19:44  
we learned from a native Texan How to Pronounce what city correctly he walks a HACCI walks ahead he it's not even spelled the way you think it is

Brian Melcher  19:53  
in in defensive Joanna who's who works with us in Texas. They abbreviated all the time, the hospital wha x and so that gets your brain saying wax. And if you haven't been there yet you go Waxahachie, but never again, because we were corrected with love Loxahatchee

Felipe Engineer  20:11  
walks a HACCI Yeah, let us know in the comments if we're saying this right Loxahatchee folks, let us know. I know. Send it to us. We'd love we'd like to be corrected and in the nicest, kindest, gentlest way, right, Brian? Yes, we will. We will adapt and we will

Brian Melcher  20:25  
get get you through a little tweaking and everything sounds kind. Yeah. Well, I love it there.

Felipe Engineer  20:30  
Y'all just help us out. Y'all. We need your help. Out the phone, Steve Turner was phone a friend and be like, Hey, Steve, are we saying this? Well, I'm

Brian Melcher  20:38  
inspired that I just listened to Steve on your podcast, and he had me inspired. So what did he say? Four to five hour drive in Texas. We just call that go into lunch? That might have been your joke.

Felipe Engineer  20:49  
Yeah, that's, I will drive Brian five hours for a meal. And there'll be some audio books and some podcasts. And that happens on the way to that Neil. Or if my family's in the car. I'll tell them all about this latest documentary I just watched.

Brian Melcher  21:02  
Yes. Longer than the documentary. Yeah. I don't know how you felt about it. Yeah.

Felipe Engineer  21:09  
It takes me more to explain it to you then we could just watch it together, we get home

Brian Melcher  21:13  
and I was I had a rare moment at the house by I've got four children lovely wife and, and she was out moving one of them from one sporting event to the other and two of them had gone to bed and the other was also at a sporting event. And I was sitting there like I should relax a little bit. I've heard people do this. So I did I turned on. I think it was Hulu. And a documentary popped up. And I was like, I should try these out for Felipe. Yeah, that's as far as I got. I ended up with you know, Brooklyn nine, nine instead.

Felipe Engineer  21:43  
Oh, but still,

Brian Melcher  21:45  
that's the meditation. I can't be you know, I was trying to meditate and relax. I can't be fully engaged in a riveting documentary.

Felipe Engineer  21:52  
I know I know the feeling I've never been able to watch a documentary just be like chill chill and documentary for me just don't go hand in hand and people are like, what kind of

Brian Melcher  21:59  
without like, it's if you want life to slow down watch World War Two in color. Okay, they're like 40 minute episodes that last like three hours?

Felipe Engineer  22:10  
Is there a lot of recap?

Brian Melcher  22:12  
I don't know how they do it. I just know I'm two episodes in and I've watched it like eight different nights? Well. World War Two in color.

Felipe Engineer  22:23  
Yeah, I'm gonna probably not dig into that one. Because I don't want to get caught. That'd be stuck watching it for like six months, right? To go a little bit deeper on feel verified in your background in accounting, one of the things that I noticed is that you have this uncanny talent to know the cost of things and you calculate, you know, business decisions very quickly, in your mind, can you share how you you've made that into like a game, you've gamified that ability for your team? If you don't mind?

Brian Melcher  22:51  
Oh, it's beautiful. I thought you're gonna ask me how I, you know, got to that point, I was just like, how did I develop this? And I, I'd love to say I was born with it. This is, you know, God's gift to the world. But I think it was playing lemonade stand on an Apple to a computer from an early age. Wow, you know, making those decisions about what price I should sell my lemonade cup for, based on the demand and the temperature and the cost of products. But similarly, you know, that's something that people actually play and, and even now, it's an app store. And so naturally, we like to keep track and measure progress and see things, you know, raise in value, and our same level of effort produce more value. That's the, I mean, this is Scrum. This isn't magic. That's right. I want you to say that three times in this podcast that would make it

Felipe Engineer  23:41  
would you get to see I'll just say this is Scrum.

Brian Melcher  23:44  
Scrum, seeing an increase of value from the same level of effort. This is Scrum, the scrum, we didn't think we were gamifying. It I may not reuse that phrase. Because it sounds a little bit like we need to make it simple. But we need to make it simple. And, and everyone loves points. This is science insert random reference to nonspecific brain scientists right here. We love points. We love keeping score. And so we took an increment of money and call it $1,000. And we gave it point value of one point. And it's tricky because here we have services as consultants. We have lumpsum services and design, document review. For the building enclosure we do on the five oh 1.2 hose test. We do a roof moisture scan, it sounds like unplugging all of the things that we do, but you know everything we do, it's gonna help us understand the point, right? We've got full scale mock ups that are built in the yard testing that we do there. windows that are tested here for certification, electronic leak detection, they're all priced differently. Some are per square foot, some are by the hour, some are lump sum, of course, they're all different values. If everything was $1,000, that would be great. We count how many things we did and we kind of see Be able to project the week and the month. But instead we took an increment gave it one point. And then certain activities we just designated. As you know, that type of the test is three points. That type of a test is one point, a site visit is one point, and, and then we can plan out our week. And as divisions when those plans are made, they can actually project like, Oh, we're looking at 18 points as a division this week. That's great. Let's get out there. We don't know what great is because we've only just begun tracking these things. But we do know what we've done previously, everything you just described the scrum. This is Scrum. It's beautiful, because it makes it accessible. And so the other reason, the big reason we wanted to track it, it's not to say, look, you've got to get 20 Don't come back to find a way to get 20 points this week. It's because we already know that the people that we have here are giving their best effort, there's total willingness, there's total buy in, and you always get their best efforts. So let's measure what that is, and see if we can improve it with the same level of effort. And so when phone calls come in, and there's a media testing needed, we swarm that need, we make sure everybody's trained to do everything. So we can quickly address issues. And we might take 18 plan for the week and jump it to 24. And instead of just sitting in the next meeting going, Wow, we had some stuff come in last minute. That was pretty cool. Nice work, guys. We can say Wow, we had a 25% increase from what we thought our week would be. And we thought it was a full week. Nobody worked overtime. Nobody worked on Saturday, we were efficient as a team and we hit 24. And the consulting division has the same opportunity to so firefighter calls come in, you know, there's emergency calls that they need testing, or they need you on site for a first work because it's construction, schedules change, sometimes they accelerate, sometimes they delay. And so we have to adjust all the time to and this gives us the ability to measure by division, and then also by a company, as the company. by week, by month by day, however we choose, it's now accessible at every level, don't be tempted to bonus people on things like this. This is a measuring process for us to celebrate the wins together and have awareness of where we are,

Felipe Engineer  27:07  
there we go. So I want to showcase three things there that you talked about. Number one, obviously this is Scrum, the gold almost goes without saying, Well, we're going to just beat it, beat it in, you mentioned cross training. So cross training your people across on the consulting side into the different types of tests that you do, because people have to be qualified and trained to do those things. Not anybody can just, you know, slap on a badge and walk into a site and be able to do a water test appropriately. I mean, there are people out there that just get a weed blower and try to do these types of things. But that's not a commercial construction, kind of cut it for what we need to have something survive, you know, the test of time and pass go way past the 10 year laying defect window, that would be a nice performing watertight building. Or in some cases, some envelopes are designed to leak and breathe, but just performed per what it's designed to do. So that number one cross functional team is going to be big. That's that's one way that if you're listening to this, and you have a business or you're part of a team, take that nugget from Brian, I told you in the beginning that Brian was going to drop nuggets, there is a super high value nugget that is available to everybody listening to the show right now, if you can cross train your people, when someone goes on vacation, or they get sick, or as other people level up their skills, you can level up everybody's skills so that people can pitch in. So those last minute calls come in from especially general contractors, like there's a lot of variables and construction. And so conditions do change, you have to be able to adapt when you guys can respond to those emergencies. With anybody on your team, you only can do that because of the cross training. So cross training, right? Definitely foundational to a good scrum team. Or

Brian Melcher  28:51  
it will increase your capacity without adding people and there's there's a scrum principle for you right there. What should be our first step we want? If we want a 25% increase in production, of testing and consulting? The answer is not to hire more testing technicians or consultants. It's to level them up so that we have more capacity with our current staff. That's right,

Felipe Engineer  29:11  
you focused on flow with your people. Where are gaps? Where are skills at? How can we make this process better? Even like what you mentioned in the beginning? Like do we put these mock ups in a bin and then have the waste of people having to pull them in and out of bins or just showcase them on the wall? You know, make it more visual make it easy, more easily accessible, less wasted motion of human beings because we only have so much time in the day, Brian? This is why I scrub everything.

Brian Melcher  29:36  
Well, you know, look how sexy the wall is behind us now, but don't look at that and think this is lean. Lean is that they were in a box before. And we looked at it and thought I bet we could do something better here. What do we think we could do better? And three people stood and they talked it out. And it was five minutes later that this idea came up. And then I walked away and left it to Sean and his brilliance. And then Shawn detailed exactly what needed to happen showed someone how to do it. And then we both walked away and came back. A couple days later didn't kick a couple days. But a couple days later it had fit into our flow. Some of the staff here it was Manny, Manny got all of these up on the wall and hung the way that we like them. So lean is the process of doing the best with what you have. And then asking yourself, How could this be better but, but accepting the pace of it also, right? We didn't just say forget all the work that we have to do our real jobs right. And let's get these things hung on the wall. So that is Scrum. We put in the backlog. We taught someone else how to do it and then we let that flow

Felipe Engineer  30:42  
autonomous. Or if you got Shawn was like a master carpenter in your in your squad. Obviously. What have him weigh in on you know, what's the I'm sure there was a French cleat involved in this hanging of some of the

Brian Melcher  30:53  
there is there is a French cleat in the sign just above it here. There's a fleet well in Riley who's our logistics Master, you know, as he's exposed to Scrum and he'll be doing your scrum master certification soon. Oh, quick plug for me. I passed my scrum master.

Felipe Engineer  31:09  
Congratulations. Just you're now leaving yourself plenty of time. Yeah. Brian, you are now a registered scrum master.

Brian Melcher  31:17  
Exactly. Now, it's really tempting. And sometimes I think when you talk about Lean, you can get burnt out on the energy of the people that are like, Oh, look, we did this. We did this and we cross train everyone. Because I think, you know, I feel a little guilty as you're talking about how beautifully we cross train everyone, because in the back of my mind is we have an incredible employee, you know, on Dalen Worthington. He interned here on four separate stints. And on all four, this genius, shut down additional training for him because he was just an intern. And we didn't know if he would be back. Okay, now he's here, the whole life ahead of them. He's part of the brilliance behind the training program. He's a organizational psychology major. Anytime I do bad bossing. Anytime I do behave poorly as a leader, he can't help but let out like a little like, like chuckle he's this audible conscience, where I'm like, Well, I did that wrong. So I'll hear that and try to rephrase what I did. But we just missed the boat. And we you know, he wasn't the only intern that came through. And when we figured out Oh, my gosh, Dalen series, a full time employee, now, we wasted so much human potential there. We should have taught him from the get go. Now, the second you come in whether whether you're a summer intern or not, we teach you as though you're going to be here forever. And so we invest in that training, and it pays itself back immediately. You know, there were there are reports that we produce from some of our tests that are like that young person couldn't do that tough computer work, like come on how what a terrible, terribly foolish statement that is from someone in their 40s to think a 20 year old isn't capable of managing Bluebeam. Right. And so now we take advantage of that we realize the human potential. And just doing that, I think we probably jumped our capacity 10 or 15%, just realizing that we should be training new hires faster. This is Scrum. This is scrum

Felipe Engineer  33:19  
using the same team and going and increasing your point value or your value delivery to your client, you focused on flow. And so you're thinking intuitively, you didn't say it out loud. But as you're talking, it just like triggered me think that you're thinking downstream like there are people waiting for our services that depend on us that have a need, you know, whether it be a testing service, or constructability review, or even the training so they can get the skills to manage the stuff properly. In real life. There are all these variables, focusing on that flow and from and making everything better from the clients perspective is something that's so often overlooked. And we hear this, you know, negativity, sometimes in the continuous improvement space where people talk about, you know, lien burnout, because people start to start, I mean, they get started improving everything. And some things are not valuable. So I like it that you always come back. And there's a conversation a dialogue with with people of various different experiences, and a thoughtfulness on who's going to benefit from what we're doing. And then that's a good that's a good way like ladies and gentlemen, that is one of the secrets to improving your flow. Is think from the clients perspective, not your perspective. Like when Brian I were first starting this look, if you look at Brian on camera, and you see he's got the only one here but in his ear. That was because there's there's the beautiful ear, there's the bud he needed to hear himself properly. And I said, Brian, I'm not going to sacrifice your sound for yourself, just so that I can selfishly say we're earbud buddies. That's not necessary. Like go ahead. Yes, remove that button. So you can hear yourself and get after it. Quality of life quality of life, man, it's so important.

Brian Melcher  34:57  
What are the secret sauce items here? shout out to Jason Schroder who consulted to us really early on and just like dumped knowledge on us, we have the we have our morning huddle, because after he gave me 10,000 pieces of advice, I said, What's the one thing we can do? And he'd already mentioned morning huddle, and I'd already dismissed it as impossible. And he said the most meaningful you thing you can do is have a daily huddle with your team. And so we started it one day we'll share the video is one year ago today, and it was rough to get through. But if we can focus on the value, you know, he had us writing our secret sauces. And if you Google it, and look it up, which I did before I started recording nice all of these videos. First video is what is the secret sauce. And I was like, oh, Webster's Dictionary says, and this is what it says that a secret sauce is something that makes you more efficient, a company more efficient, and, and adds value to the client, or the customer. And so you know, those are our favorite secret sauce items, here are the things that like look, you're going to your day is going to be better, and your clients going to be happier.

Felipe Engineer  36:05  
What more do you want? That's a win win.

Brian Melcher  36:07  
This is scrum that is Scrum. We've had a lot of things where we do them because their tradition, or we've seen other people do them and then we stop and we analyze well, what's the most valuable thing to the client? And for us, the highest value we bring to the client is trust, and honesty, like clarity of what is the issue? Probably not honesty, it's not a lot of people lying about your building enclosure issues. But clarity is a big struggle. So prompt clarity on what the issues are and how to correct those. And, you know, we get to go through our day, finding problems and helping to solve them. So feels pretty good.

Felipe Engineer  36:41  
It's addicting. It's a it's a fun way to go through and, and make a living. But I wanted to circle back on you, Brian, because you do have all this experience. And you're you're running a team that's not always together. Sometimes they travel and you go all over the country. How far away does the team go by currently?

Brian Melcher  36:58  
We try to go where anywhere southwest will go nonstop? That's a good rule of thumb. That's the western United States. Yeah. Let's get rid of that flight to New York. We're not going that way.

Felipe Engineer  37:08  
No, what about Hawaii? Got? We go to Hawaii, we should go to Hawaii. Southwest goes to Hawaii. It's the West.

Brian Melcher  37:14  
Yeah, they do now, but you have to stop in Oakland from Phoenix. So okay, that's apparently that's why we don't go there. That's my one rule. So no, we are we are across California, heavy in Utah, and Texas, will work with our clients in New Mexico. And, and really what's been great about focusing on our clients and their successes, is this is not a big market that we're a part of, there's not, you know, 500 companies, there's probably not even 100 companies. And so we do if we can, and we preach this here, if you can do a good job for the individuals that you're working for everyone on the project, everyone wins, then on the next job, they're not going to mess with it. And so we work really hard to make sure that everyone wins. So we'll we'll work for owners, architects and general contractors, and it really doesn't matter who we're working for on a given project. Because as long as the building doesn't leak, and everyone gets there on time and on budget without, you know the issues, we find slowing people down, right, and you can slow people down by not giving it in a prompt manner, or by finding issues that you don't have any idea how they can fix or take the time to help them fix. And if you can focus on Hey, everyone here wins when this building doesn't leak, and we all keep moving. And you provide that clarity, then what your value is, as a consultant and a testing agency becomes really clear. It's not a great, they failed cheating, let's get some more tests. It's okay, they failed. How can we help identify this issue and we go through the process, they find it and a terrible day turns into a salvageable day that they can react to and move forward. So the value wasn't, you know, write a 90 page report, the value was stay there, get answers, then provide a report right afterwards to document so we adjusted our priorities where the industry would tell us Oh, experts give reports. No, great experts solve problems. And that doesn't happen in a report. That's correct. So we've had a shift as a company to just always ask, well, what are we trying to do even Saturday testing, and sometimes we get asked to test on Saturday, because testing can slow down the pace of a project. So our ability to respond quickly can actually keep a project on on schedule, or even move it up. If they had slotted out, you know, two weeks for someone else to do the testing and we're able to do it immediately. You just got your time back. You can cover your waterproofing, start hanging your drywall, whatever it might be. We get a call. It's like hey, I need you here Saturday. Okay, well, let's talk to the client and see why they need us there Saturday. Well, because Monday at eight o'clock, they're going to be covering it up. Great. Well, it's a two hour test. If we're there Monday at five will that work? Yeah, that will work. So where you want to be client centric and just say yes, yes, yes, we'll be there Saturday and then you have to turn to your team and be like who who just got punked? Because I was being client centric, what we do and focusing on that value is we figure out, hey, the problem that can actually be solved a different way that isn't detrimental to the quality of life of our employees. So we look where that value is. And, hey, who wants to come in Monday at 5am? Instead of Saturday? Everybody, I'll be there. I'll be there Monday at 5am. Instead of that moment of like, we need two people for Saturday. So I love just that slowing down and identifying the value or that minimum viable product.

Felipe Engineer  40:35  
Yeah, this is Scrum. This is feel verified, Brian, across your entire organization, you included especially you've built a learning organization, where people are just fanatical, picking up new things, and I can't even walk through your shop and not just see all this evidence of the learning that's happening with everybody. And as you're describing this approach, I mean, it's just embodied into everything you're doing with the win win. Now, I think it's it's important to say that to have that mindset, luckily for you, and all of us listening, we work in a very challenging environment, construction is not easy. Design is not easy. It's complicated. At best, it's almost always complex. And so I think it's really important to have that proper challenge. And a good challenge will help people you know, get addicted to problem solving in a positive way that doesn't burn people out, that enables people to grow professionally, and you've had a lot of people grow in your organization. And sometimes people move on. And I just want to I don't want to let the listeners not get the wisdom that's that's locked up in their phone asked me this question, Brian, what piece of advice or guidance would you give to somebody who's feeling frustrated? Or jammed up as in an improperly cocked window weep, just like you like I worked on that enclosure?

Brian Melcher  41:49  
Well done.

Felipe Engineer  41:50  
Thank you. Yeah,

Brian Melcher  41:51  
I heard a story once that half of terrible reference, again, half of the world's 90%, I don't know you pick a number. But this, the moral of the story was, how many millionaires now had filed bankruptcy at one point in their lives. And and I look at, you know, these were words of encouragement as I failed in entrepreneurship. And then, you know, launched on to the next thing from a from a fellow entrepreneur. And I think that that applies to lean. You know, for every lean champion that is out there, there is an ugly bankruptcy. And it might take seven years to get off the record. But we want to inspire the world. So we don't talk about those moments, we've all felt frustrated with things we've tried to implement with things we've tried to understand and teach to other people, you know, our biggest failing at field verified was my inability to teach effectively. And we had to overcome that. And we're still working to overcome it. I've Thankfully I've got, you know, Dalen, just behind me to remind me what it's like that was not an effective way to teach. Your true nature just came out is what he's really saying. Because my true nature is to be impatient. And I'd rather do it myself, because I like to build and get things done. And so that urge to complete something myself turns into just get out of the way. And about a year ago, I realized that the rest of my life is teaching. And the better I can get it that the better everyone around me will be. And I can start to take joy in what they build as I build them. And that's really, we've had to do that as enclosure consultants too. And, and we all do this on a building. We don't build the whole building. But we can look at that building and feel pride in what's been done by the entire team that worked on it.

Felipe Engineer  43:42  
Absolutely. That's well said, I like how you got a little vulnerable there and expose some truth. That's a real growth. I think that's the only way that it can happen. Brian,

Brian Melcher  43:52  
I was hoping I was the only one could hear my voice shaking there. But it really it really takes a moment of understanding and accepting that you are going to fail. And I think the world when you figure this out, when you figure out lean and what it can do and all these little things like icebreakers and meetings that help people connect as individuals. You figure it out, and you believe it. And then it seems like the whole world is trying to stop you. Because the world is not lean. And the world is not people centric and the world is not about teaching. And so yes, the habits of the world are trying to stop you and you just can't get caught up in that you live it and believe it and you will find those people that believe it with you and and grow together. One of the one other nugget I'd like to just volunteer without being probed is if you are feeling discouraged with lean and just with self improvement with continuous improvement in your own life. Then go handpick your tribe. Go handpick the people. That We'll lift you up. And my advice is that you find people and I think I've done this, we've named all these people who are my friends. And each one of them I feel, you know, unqualified and unworthy to list his friends. But that's how you know, I've done a great job picking my tribe, because you want a tribe that you're going to try to live up to. And that's going to turn to you and tell you, you're amazing, you have nothing you need to improve on. Because you need that constant support and encouragement. And you need those role models, and you need people to celebrate with so if you're getting worn out with Lean, find other people who are champions of it. You're going to sit down, you're going to share the failures, as much as the successes, but you have to have failures, that's continuous improvement. Well, would there be to improve on if we didn't have any failure, it would be like, instant perfection.

Felipe Engineer  45:54  
It's like Jason, Jason always says like, if that was what happened was like, we'd all be bored to tears in a day. And we'd want to start we'd start making problems just so that we have something to do.

Brian Melcher  46:05  
Now we're going to be up there and having together going, you know, what would make this better, and then, and then we would break it out.

Felipe Engineer  46:11  
Or then cute, I'd have known that I'd post notes appear in my hand, and we'd start doing with Scrum it. Brian, that was an amazing nugget. I want to give you the last word. So you get the last word, my friend. But I want to thank you so very much for coming on to the show and dropping some wisdom with the audience and encouraging people to exercise their ability to leave comments and give us answers to the questions that we couldn't answer or the references that we missed. So thank you, everyone, for helping us in advance. We appreciate you.

Brian Melcher  46:41  
Yes. And shout out to Waxahachie. I'm humbled to be here. Proud of your new book, can't wait for the world to see it. And thanks for having me. That's the last word.

Felipe Engineer  46:53  
Very special thanks to my guest. I'm Felipe Engineer Manriquez. The EBFC Show is created by Felipe and produced by passion to build easier and better. Thanks for listening. Stay safe everybody. Let's go build!