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Fresh Eyes

Updated: Sep 21, 2022


In construction, sometimes, you get blinders on and don't dig deep enough to see and prevent possible problems. It is important not to do this because projects begin to fail when unforeseen problems, roadblocks, and constraints surprise us. So, we must be able to dig deeper, prevent sooner, and win before we begin work!


Doing constructibility and risk reviews is not new in construction, but how often does it really happen? The best teams take time to get some Fresh Eyes and perspectives in their planning. Every time we do a Fresh Eyes meeting before construction it sets up the project team for success. Let me say this! "We win the project in Preconstruction!" Most of the project success is decided before we ever step foot onsite!


The “Fresh Eyes Meeting” is key to the successful implementation of a great plan. When paired with a Takt plan, this meeting enables deeper conversations before planning is complete. The “fresh eyes” meeting is held before submitting a final GMP and signing a prime agreement. The goal of the meeting is to gather over one hundred years of similar building experience in the room with the project team to function as “fresh eyes.” The team conducts a meeting that takes participants through the following agenda points:

  1. Project Overview

  2. Team Approach

  3. Logistics Approach

  4. Schedule (Takt Plan)

  5. Project Risk Assessment

  6. Solutions Brainstorming

  7. Risk and Opportunity Assignments

  8. Milestone Setting

The first four agenda items are in purple and are the presentation portion of the fresh eyes. The team showcases these items at a minimum to show what major systems and tools the team is using on how to deliver the project. The last agenda items, in Green, is where the fresh eyes take place. Let me take some time to give a short example of why we have landed on this agenda and what it can do for you when you hold fresh eyes:


Project Overview

This is where the team can do a run-through on the type of project, location, size, scope, owner, design, and basic data points about the project, showcasing any phasing maps and doing a quick run-through on Takt zone maps as a start.

Another really important section for the project overview is understanding the customer and what value means to them on this project. We recommend doing a “conditions of satisfaction” to make sure everyone on the team and in the fresh eyes meeting can see and understand this before proceeding any further.



Team Approach

The roles and responsibilities from the functional teams show how the project team will win and interact, as well as how the project will ultimately succeed. This graphic shows a process that has been used to show these functional teams on larger scale projects.


Logistics Approach

Beginners study tactics, armchair generals study strategy, but expertly seasoned war generals focus on logistics. General Patton focused on his logistics and supply chains and ultimately was the reason why he was so effective against the Nazis in WW2. Much like his approach, the best tool a builder can have in construction is a logistics plan. Here is a visual that shows how detailed these can get:



I have been testing a software that is top-notch and easy to use, so I suggest checking them out:


Schedule (Takt Plan)

By now, you know my stance on Takt Planning. When you are able to see a level 3-4 schedule all on one page and review it and understand it with a group in a short amount of time, the results are amazing. Check out this video of O'shea Builders being an amazing construction group doing a fresh eyes for their project.




Project Risk Assessment

This is the time to ask the attendees with the "fresh eyes" to put on their skepticism glasses and identify things that could or might go wrong with this project and plan. Recently, Jason did a podcast about the 10th person rule, so if you want ideas on how to make this process, better listen here:


Solutions Brainstorming

Once we have identified the risks, we can attempt in the meeting to find ways to mitigate these. This ensures that the meeting is positive and not just focused on what the team could have done better but gives feedback to make sure that we are winning.



Risk & Opportunity Assignments

Creating a risk and opportunity matrix or register that identifies what the fresh eyes and team can see is the key to winning; we can compile the list and focus on removing or mitigating these risks to avoid future issues. Here is a podcast about the risk and opportunity register:


Milestone Setting

This is the perfect time to set our goals for the project and make sure we know the intervals at which we should be producing value on the project.


Basically, for set periods of time in the meeting, the team has the opportunity to present the project plan. Then as a group, we all shoot holes in it, brainstorm possible solutions, make assignments, and set targets for performance. With this knowledge from the “fresh eyes” team members, the team can mitigate risks and begin work with a complete project plan. Once the team has reached a GMP, submitted to the owner, signed a contract, and received an NTP, it is time to execute. These mitigation items can then be reviewed each week in the team meeting.


The whole fresh eyes idea revolves around The Takt Production System, which, in this 2hr free webinar, we will showcase this system and give insights into how this fresh eyes meeting will help finalize any great pre-construction efforts.





If you want to learn more we have:

  1. Takt Training " Takt Fundamentals"

  2. A great podcast called "The Elevate Construction Podcast with Jason Schroeder"

  3. The leanTakt YouTube Channel dedicated to showcasing how to do takt and sharing.

  4. The leanTakt Website with tons more resources and content www.leanTakt.com

  5. The Takt Book "Takt Planning and Integrated Control" by Jason and Spencer

  6. Builder, Foreman, and Field Engineer Bootcamps " Upcoming Events"

  7. Further light and knowledge from our Expert counterparts in Germany Takt.ing


If you need help with anything you can always reach out to Jason Schroeder.


On we go!







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