My latest book, So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? was going to be my shortest book. I had planned for it to be a primer on the mindset and habits for growth in project management. But more words turned into more pages which spilled into more chapters.
Honestly, my first draft was a MESS. The concepts were even more eclectic than this revised version. Thankfully some good friends gave earnest feedback and constructive criticism which helped me to strip things down to this current form.
Having a good peer network is a great resource for your personal and professional development. I was glad to be able to incorporate insights on project management from everyday restorers throughout this book.
One such restorer is David Watts, who was involved in the intricate 2019 fire restoration for The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. When I asked him about some of the mindsets that have helped him to be successful in project management. He replied,
Mindsets for Success in Project Management
When I asked David about some of the habits that have helped him to be successful in his roles, he shared the importance of the PLAN (which is an element of SPEeD). The project manager must create a process for clear and consistent communication. The PLAN includes customer expectations, resource allocation, budget, problem-solving, and transparency. David says that once the project is assessed (SCAN) the following needs to be communicated early and often to keep EXECUTION on track.
Habits of Successful Project Managers
David Watt's shared the following:
Early Reviews for This New Project Management Book
“I like what I saw from the mediocre book. Jon puts into words things veterans of the industry should know and shortens the learning of those new to the industry. Most of us learn by on the job training with some guidance. His books provide guidance for those willing to take the next steps at raising their knowledge.” - David Watts (New York, NY)
In August, we published an announcement in Restoration & Remediation (R&R) Magazine that we were looking for new project managers to sent copies of our third book to:
Jon Isaacson is wrapping up the first draft of book number three in the Be Intentional series titled, So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? Isaacson is looking for feedback from new project managers; those who have been in the role for a year or less. If you are a new project manager, Isaacson is sending out 10 advance copies of the book. This will be once they are printed. The target publish date is the end of October 2021. Isaacson has created a sign-up portal.
We received a great response from many more than ten project managers, training managers, and property restoration owners who were excited about the content of our book. This created some internal excitement at The DYOJO as it affirmed a need for some assistance in this area. So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? is a book about the mindset and habits for growth in the roles and responsibilities of project management.
As we stated in our release through Cleaning and Restoration (C&R) Magazine, we wanted feedback from project managers:
If you are a training manager and need some help inspiring as well as challenging your team, I think you will find this book to be of value to your efforts.
Mindset and habits for success in project managerment
The DYOJO is following through on their promise and these applicants will be receiving a FREE copy of our third book. We hope they will enjoy the book, put the principles to work, and provide us with some good feedback (including Amazon reviews and social media posts - hint, hint). The awardees are:
Training and leadership development for project managers
As soon as my author copies are in, I will be sending the 10 copies of our latest book, So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? to our 10 winners.
I hope you will all find this book to be helpful to you in your personal and professional development. If you want to help us promote the book, you can do a few simple things:
1. Please post a picture of yourself with the book for social media - this will help us get the word out. We are about as low budget as it gets with regards to marketing, so your post will help us boost that effort.
2. If the book is worthy, please post a review on Amazon, this helps the book searchers to find and have confidence in purchasing the book for themselves.
3. If you really enjoy the book, please subscribe to The DYOJO Podcast. We post on Thursdays at 9am PST - you can WATCH via YouTube or LISTEN via Spotify or Apple.
4. Let us know if you and/or your organization would be interested in setting up a zoom call or in person training on the mindset and habits for growth in project management.
People in a position of leadership are judged by bringing money in and making money on that money. We will discuss some of the differences between revenue and profitability later. For now, I want to focus on those factors that lead to profitability, namely the mastery of people skills with project management and customer satisfaction.
Of the twelve items listed above, all of these require building a team to help you achieve these goals. There is so much focus on the numbers, when it's the people, particularly the people directly interacting with your clients, that facilitate profitability through doing things right, doing them efficiently, and putting a touch of excellence on what your company does.
Charles Cassani was the recipient of the distinguished Martin L. King Award for 2020. This award is presented to individuals who are recognized for their exceptional service and dedication to the restoration industry. Charles notes that more emphasis should be placed on the PM process. “I recognized back in the late 1990’s that my best project manager needed a coordinator/assistant to record and document his activities.”
Charles began adjusting the way his company approached the roles and responsibilities of a project manager. By distributing the load they saw better outcomes. “In our company,” continues Mr. Cassani, “We support PMs with project coordinators, billing support administrators who proof and coordinate billings with TPAs, TPCs, and Customer Relations Specialists.” With competent help project managers are better able to service the customer and achieve the company goals.
We expand on these pinciples in my new book, So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? Mindset and Habits for Growth. Mr. Cassani contributed these insights and shared this early review of the book, "I liked most of what I read." You can purchase the book in Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover through Amazon.
Overhead and Profit (O&P) in Xactimate Line Items?
Is it true, there is no O&P in the Xactimate repair line items?
Xactiamte trainer and estimating guru, Ben Justesen, joined The DYOJO Podcast to discuss this topic and more. On Xactimate Sessions File 005, Ben responded, "This is a good question. Whether you realize it or not, it's a little bit loaded. When I when I think of overhead and profit (O&P). as a markup, that markup is not included in the Xactimate line items."
The Difference Between Markup & Profit for Insurance Claims Estimating
What is markup? You have your line items coming together to form the cost of your scope. You add a markup, which in the insurance industry is often considered this arbitrary 10% overhead plus 10% profit (aka 10 and 10). This add-on to the end of your Xactimate estimate is your markup.
Markup doesn't actually give you a guaranteed profit margin, which is what you actually take away from the project once you've paid for the work and the cost of goods sold. In simplified terms:
"However," remarks Mr. Justesen, "That markup is only a portion of the margin that you would need. So there is some margin in the line items themselves. But it's on a certain component. That's the labor component. There's are no margin on materials, there is no margin considered on equipment. So the margin that you have to consider is on the labor."
in addition to running a multi-site restoration company out of Moses Lake, Washington, Ben also has created the Enlightened Restoration Solutions (ERS) course to help insurance claims estimators elevate their skill sets. He is the leading proponent for encouraging restorers to make their own pricelist within Xactimate and teaches them how to effectively do so.
He reminds contractors that if all they rely upon is the 20% markup added to their estimate, they will struggle to cover their true overhead costs or meet their actual profit margin goals. If a restorer sticks to a strict 20% markup, they need to understand they are only netting a 16.67% margin.
20% Markup is only 16,67% Margin for Restoration Estimates
I will try to do this justice. This is something Ben justesen demonstrated when I attended his ERS course. If you watch the video you will notice that I am using the legal pad from the Law Offices of Edward H Cross, aka The Restoration Lawyer. Another resource like to shout out is The Book on Restoration Collections by Ed Cross. This book is available through their website and is designed to take the mystery out of collections for insurance claims.
Restoration professionals hear all the time that 20% overhead and profit (O&P) is more than enough. But, you and I know that this is actually only 16.67% margin. I will demonstrate how:
Why is this? That is because if we had an invoice from a subcontractor for $1,000.00 and the gracious insurance company allowed us to mark that invoice up by 20%, we would then be charging $1,200.00. From our $1,200.00 we pay our sub $1,000.00 and we are left with $200.00. Our $200.00 is only 16.67% of the $1,200.00 that we charged. So, not only did we NOT get at least 20% (which is far lower than ANY insurance company makes as an overhead and profit margin), we also likely had to wait on the money so the insurance and the client allowed us to finance the payment interest free while they waited to pay the $1,200.00 so that we could recoup what is left of our $200.00.
Most restoration companies, most contractors, and most insurance companies have a higher profit margin goal than 20%. This markup can really drag those margins down on your individual projects and your overall goals for the year. If you're only getting a 20% markup on the front end, it can really skew your margin on the back end.
I was excited to find that my new book is #3 in an elite Amazon book sales category.
Amazon book sales can make or break an aspiring author, and we all know that I need the revenue and the fame.
So, I dug a bit deeper to find out which two books had eclipsed me in this marque bracket.
It turns out, I beat myself.
Dang myself for always one-upping myself when myself is having a milestone of a day.
That's right, my book, So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? is #3 and #2 for sales in an exclusive realm of book sales.
I am sure you are as curious as I was to discover who was the head cheese for a club with few invites...
I am three-for-three in winning and two-for-three in beating myself at my own game.
My book on the mindset and habits for growth in project management is #1, #2, and #3 in the random category of New Releases in Engineering Project Management.
I sincerely hope any engineers that purchased my book read the description.
The moral of the story is...I am W-I-N-N-I-N-G. Get this book while you can, it is flying off the presses and leading random categories as a BESTSELLER.
South Sound Connection (SSC) telling local stories from the South Puget Sound, Pacific Northwest, and beyond. We are back for season three.
On this episode, we share how the Puyallup Sumner Chamber of Commerce is working with community members to raise THOUSANDS of NEW socks for local charities. DeAnna Largent (Chamber) and Jon Isaacson (ARES Restoration) explain what The DYOJO Podcast SOCKTember 2021 challenge is all about and how people can support the effort to WIN this event.
Last year four teams from Washington raise over 5,500 NEW socks with Sisters for Socks winning the competition and hoisting the trophy. The 2nd Annual SOCKTember now includes teams from the United States and Canada including:
SOCKTember is a great event for:
THIS year we are planning an IN-PERSON event for our 2021 FINALE.
You can DONATE to The Best DANG Sock-Raising Team in Pierce County (or look for the links to LOCAL teams near you further down this page):
Special thanks to Hannah Nelson (Chamber) for filming our interview and Pat "Effin" Brown of Cosmonaut Coffee for the custom intro/outro music.
South Sound Connection (SSC) brought to you by
ARES Restoration - general contractor based in Graham, WA specializing in insurance claim repairs. Their motto is, "Giving You Back Your Home."
The DYOJO Podcast - helping the skilled trades to shorten their DANG learning curve for personal and professional development.
Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is a 19 year veteran of the property restoration industry and a business coach through his organization The DYOJO.