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Job Journal

 
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:18 AM   #1
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Job Journal


Alright I'm gonna ask this and wait for the flaming and dig the answers out along the way, so be nice.

I have read job journals mentioned a few times, mainly when the topic includes or heads towards discussing leans. I have gleaned they are similar to an inventors journal and can be used as a former of proof should a job be challenged legally.

So, am I on the right track here? Also exactly what types of things would you put in them, problems and resolutions or just what happened that day/week/job?

I had never heard of them until this site and don't know if it is something I should be doing or not and if so what is the main purpose and what should be included.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:12 AM   #2
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Re: Job Journal


Great question. I document everything about the job per day. What materials were purchased. what was installed. Any conversation with customers and subs. Basically a written record of everything that happened on the job or phone. Times I arrived and left. How many people were there and what they did and when. I take pictures before, during and after each day on my camera phone then upload to computer. This not only covers your A55 if things go sour, but also is good info for estimating references or things like that.

Try not to get into a he said she said, but you said, I don't remember, situation.

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:15 AM   #3
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Re: Job Journal


JSM pretty much nailed it. When I use to do commercial projects, daily job reports were a norm. Haven't done it in years.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:43 AM   #4
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Re: Job Journal


Different contractors will have a different interpretation of a "job journal" but I'm one of the more hardcore so take my approach with a grain of salt.

I.E., an average basement reno alone will produce a 4" thick (full) binder of documents that I call MY "job journal". You don't want to see my record keeping on a large commercial/custom home project.

The bread and butter of the day-to-day journal however is made up of:

-Employee time sheets that leave enough room for a decent breakdown of what they did. I like to see 4 or 5 line items per day. Even if all they did was "framing from 8 am - 4:30", I want to see how many hours framing bulk-heads (and where), how many walls (and where), etc.. The way I explain it to them, I want to be able to look at your time sheet and be able to retrace production for the day, one year later. I give them the last 15 minutes of their day (while they are still literally and figuratively on the clock) to fill out time sheets properly. I get on their azz when they slack on it. The Site Super signs off on it.

-The Site Super (and each job has one) gets to fill out a "Site Super's report" on a daily basis. It outlines materials that were delivered, the weather, phone calls made, materials ordered, subs/employees that attended and their activities, any issues and a section at the bottom for notes (the most important and most used).

-The same Site Super is also responsible for taking pics on a daily basis. You really have to coach this one as 90% of the time the pics don't get sorted by a daily basis. They get mashed together over a week/two/three.

-The PM for the job gets to fill out a "Project Manager's report" on a daily basis as well for each job. That's usually me. This one deals with more "administrative" matters. I also produce a "Project manager's quarterly report" which is, as the name implies, produced quarterly depending on the scale of the project. I also have a daily time sheet, as does everybody else.

-Then there is emails, faxes, receipts, etc.



At the end of each job, I produce a "job binder". In there will be all of the documents (contract, SOW, schedule, drawings, time sheets, site reports, financials, "lessons learned", etc., etc., etc.). That is the ultimate and final "journal" for the job. The day to day are noted above.

I can literally pull out a job binder from a year ago and tell you, with pretty accurate precision, exactly what was done, by whom, etc. for any given day. You might think that's a lot of paper, but for me, that's paper that saves me possibly tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's true that should it ever get to there, my lawyer will spend a lot of time "on the clock" sifting through it all, but it's pretty organized and I would rather have it than not.

To each their own, but for me, I don't deal with personalities and my least favourite argument is the "he said she said". I try to think like a lawyer. If you're not as "hardcore" as me, daily time sheets with a "notes" section, regular pictures and keeping emails/faxes at minimum IMO.

It's a chore, but should it ever come to court, only two things count:

-Whose got the most paper work (documents)
-Whose got the most money

One out of two aint bad
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:56 AM   #5
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Re: Job Journal


I mostly use them on larger T&M jobs, so that all hours and materials are well documented, I leave it on the jobsite, and allow my customer to view it at any time, which keeps my guys honest.

The things you include need to be very specific. Whoever is writing in the log book needs to really understand how important a responsibility this task is.

Only include hard documentable facts, Never ever incude an opinon, a justification, or a theory. Your entries should be things like "remove 6"x6" post , and replace with 8"x8" post." it should never say things like " upgrade 6"x6" post to 8"x8" post to increase capacity", or "replace undersized post".....

An attorney will challenge entries into a log book to discredit your crew and their qualificiation. Entries like above will generate questions about whether or not you are a structural engineer to make the claim. or where is the proof that the replaced beam needed replacement and that the new one is adequate.

I know it sounds petty, but I was discredited by a lawyer based on an entry into a log book, where I offered an opinion on why a piece of equipment failed prematurely. He maintained that I was not an engineer, I had not performed a controlled test of the equipment, etc, etc. At the end of the proceedings, you would have thought I was not qualified to do any job.
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Last edited by Pearce Services; 09-06-2012 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:07 AM   #6
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Re: Job Journal


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearce Services View Post
I mostly use them on larger T&M jobs, so that all hours and materials are well documented, I leave it on the jobsite, and allow my customer to view it at any time, which keeps my guys honest.

The things you include need to be very specific. Whoever is writing in the log book needs to really understand how important a responsibility this task is.

Only include hard documentable facts, Never ever incude an opinon, a justification, or a theory. Your entries should be things like "remove 6"x6" post , and replace with 8"x8" post." it should never say things like " upgrade 6"x6" post to 8"x8" post to increase capacity", or "replace undersized post".....

An attorney will challenge entries into a log book to discredit your crew and their qualificiation. Entries like above will generate questions about whether or not you are a structural engineer to make the claim. or where is the proof that the replaced beam needed replacement and that the new one is adequate.

I know it sounds petty, but I was discredited by a lawyer based on an entry into a log book, where I offered an opinion on why a piece of equipment failed prematurely. He maintained that I was not an engineer, I had not performed a controlled test of the equipment, etc, etc. At the end of the proceedings, you would have thought I was not qualified to do any job.
That's good info. Sucks about how you had to learn it though.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:26 PM   #7
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Re: Job Journal


I log every job I do. Such as hours, profit, material etc. At the end of the year I go back and see wher e I made money or lost it. As for working on the job, I have a note book for any job longer then a day. I record time start,, leave, any conversations with the owner, details like how the HO is viewing the job, problems with Ho, pets, kids. Simple paragraphs every day, about 3-5 minuates a day. Nice to refer back to if HO say I didnt say that or move it there. Kinda like a unsigned Change order. But for my personal benefit.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:07 PM   #8
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Re: Job Journal


I haven't read all the responses but I've done a daily log for years.... Even for days where I do a couple service calls.

One important thing about logs..... If you want them to stand up in court, they MUST BE PERMANENTLY BOUND. Looseleaf and spiral-bound books will get tossed out at the git-go.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:08 PM   #9
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Re: Job Journal


Man this is some great info guys, thanks. I guess I will buying me some small, bound, journals. Works out pretty good as I just started a new job today.

@ 480 do you know why it has to be bound? Would seem to me if someone really wanted they could add or remove pages no matter how it's bound.

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