Project Description

In January 2018, a 59 million dollar energy conservation measure was awarded to the James J. Peters VA Hospital in Bronx, NY. Because the project required construction management and commissioning oversight, Valiant Group was the perfect choice for the job.

Key Objectives

Valiant Group was tasked with providing construction management and commissioning oversight services to ensure all construction associated with each Energy Cost savings Measure (ECM) were completed on time, on budget, and per specification.

The Challenges

  1. Find the right Onsite Construction Manager
  2. Keep the owner updated on construction timelines
  3. Coordinate construction activities in a fully operational hospital
  4. Establish and build a high-performance team with the construction contractors while acting as an agent for the government

How Valiant Group Overcame these Challenges:

The key to the success of any project is to build a high-performance team and put the right leader in place. That is exactly what Valiant Group did for the Bronx VAMC.

The experts at Valiant Group successfully devised and implemented a method of recruiting, vetting, and hiring in order to find the right people.

A simple tool was built from the Entrepreneurial Operating System to analyze candidates and manage performance. It was a comprehensive rubric that allowed hiring to take place in a clear and objective manner.1

Honor & IntegrityResults OrientedProfessional & CandidProblem Solver, Not identifierHungry, Growth orientedGet itWant ItCapacity to do it

The columns in blue represent Valiant Group’s values. And the green columns capture the criteria used to evaluate each employee’s performance. The plus (+) indicates the employee exhibits the core values most of the time. The plus/minus (+/-) sign indicates the employee sometimes shows the core values and sometimes he or she does not. The minus (-) sign denotes the employee doesn’t portray the core values most of the time.2

  • Get It: The employee understands the comprehensive infrastructure of the role, including culture, emotional intelligence, and their “fit” with how the company operates. In the above table, the first two employees were overwhelmed with the high Operation Tempo and the many tasks that were required on a daily basis. Also, they didn’t understand that it wasn’t about how much they knew from a technical perspective, the job was about making the end client successful and it required developing a rapport.
  • Want It: The employee truly loves and enjoys their job, duties, and how their efforts support the company. Usually, this is an indication that the job is aligned with the employee’s strengths. Employee 1 and 2 didn’t want to take on the leadership that was required, instead, they just wanted to act like a strict inspector with no interactions with the client.
  • Capacity to Do it: The final criteria delineates an individual’s leadership lid and growth ceiling. Someone may “Get It” and “Want It”; however, they may not have the capacity to do the job, which includes self-awareness, experience, personal drive, mindset, leadership maturity, and understanding the impact of their actions.3

Once the right people were in place, a communication plan was needed to keep the team operating at peak performance. For ongoing excellence, Valiant Group established this three-step method:

  • Discover

    • Discover customer needs & objectives
    • Establish Endstate
    • Communicate who we are
    • Educate on the process
    • Focus on the relationship
  • Develop Solutions

    • Keep the end in mind
    • Simple and small is better but harder
    • Stick to specialization
    • Provide options
  • Execute Project

    • Collaboration
    • Follow project plan
    • Defined Schedule
    • Defined Cost
    • Defined Quality Standards
    • High Frequency, low duration touch points with stakeholders

The employee communication plan was the key to success. Every feedback session was professional, yet candid and aimed to nurture the company’s core values. It’s common for leaders to fear conflict, but failure to take action can devastate a company’s morale and bottom line.

By applying the simple but effective evaluation hiring tool, Valiant Group was able to build an impressive team of professionals. An Onsite Construction Manager was chosen that had the leadership skills to exceed expectations for the client. And ongoing excellence was achieved by having candid but professional discussions with each employee about their behaviors and performance.

1 Traction, Gino Wickman, pg 102.
2 Ibid., pg 86.
3 Ibid., pg. 100