Every Installation is an Opportunity to Grow

by Coach Rob Balfanz

Opening Day is Right Around the Corner! Are Your Players Ready and Equipped Properly?

Every Installation Project, Like Every Inning in Baseball is an Opportunity to Grow.

Growth Happens Before the Project, During the Project and After the Project is Completed!


Before the Installation Project Comes the Training!

You can orchestrate a seamless learning and transfer process by adopting a few measures even before your training program starts.

  1. Carry out a thorough training needs analysis. Where do you need the training, when and why?
  2. Identify the purpose (the what’s in-it-for-you information) of training.
  3. Align learning outcomes with business goals and on-job tasks.
  4. Plan to provide just-in-time learning using the most appropriate and efficient delivery methods.
  5. Know and understand your learners.

To see how the VSI can assist you, please click on: https://polymericexteriors.org/installation/installation-manual/


During the Training – In the Moment!

You must ensure that the training materials communicate meaning, efficiently and creates a memorable learning experience. Here’re some ideas:

  1. State the “what’s-in-it-for-me” information at the beginning. The astute learner wants to know, “What’s in it for me?”
  2. “Chunk” the content to prioritize and eliminate clutter.
  3. Draw upon the learner’s prior knowledge of installations to create associations. We learn best by associations. Try to help your learners draw upon their prior knowledge or experience to understand, discover similarities, and make sense of a new concept.
  4. Use instructional strategies that establish relevance. The transfer of learning is automatic and effortless if the learner is aware of the appropriateness of the material; to his/her workplace.
  5. Align content with real-life job roles and responsibilities. Learners feel more motivated to apply the learning when they can see for themselves, the relevance of the course to their job responsibilities.
  6. Keep an eye on the learning objectives while you design the course. Whether you are writing a scenario or planning an activity, continue reviewing the learning objectives. This ensures your content is relevant, and there is no information that does not directly relate to the overarching goals of the course. Your focus should also be on connecting the dots, so every game, every activity, every slide, and every image individually fulfills a learning objective. This should follow the game as it is played!
  7. Divide the training program into modules just as an installation project has stages. And, if you’d like, it’s ok to take a 7th inning stretch!
  8. Provide action plans to retain and improve motivation. Help learners prepare action plans to guide them when they are back to work.

To see how the VSI can assist you, please click on: https://polymericexteriors.org/installation/tips-and-tricks/


After the Training – The Installation Process Begins!

The learning process continues long after the training is over. This is typically a two-way street as both instructor and student can now continue to learn together.

  1. Supplement the training with “social learning.” We all learn best when we have examples to follow, friends to share our successes with, buddies to learn from, and mentors in our midst. Communicate regularly and engage them often.
  2. Provide ongoing resources, refresher courses, quick tips, pictures, relevant industry content, video links and other installation related tools.
  3. Arrange post-training follow-up feedback and best practice sharing. Take information from the field, form the job site. Reflection is one of the most efficient ways to cement the knowledge, identify gaps in training, and identify the barrier(s) to a strong transfer of learning. You can send follow-up emails to trainees after a period of time has passed to reinforce key learning points and solicit feedback not only on the training, but what they are seeing in the field
  4. Create an “installation culture” of process, continuous improvement, openness and change. Multiple research studies have emphasized the importance of repeated practice to cement one’s newly acquired skills.

To see how the VSI can assist you, please click on: https://polymericexteriors.org/vsi-resources/resource-library/


When you wrap up an installation project of any size, whether it was successful or not, there is always pertinent information to take away. Unfortunately, many times, all information learned during the process is forgotten as soon as the job is finished. To prevent missing out on valuable learning opportunities, Remodeler’s Advantage recommends reviewing your performance immediately following the project’s completion. These quick recaps are very effective for continuous improvement, both for installation and sales.


A few key takeaways from the article include: 

  • Solicit and review feedback of the job from key parties, such as homeowners and builders.
  • Mistakes are normal and expected. Learn from them and move on.
  • There’s always room for improvement. Pick one area to adjust and correct it for the next project.

To review the article yourself, click on - https://www.remodelersadvantage.com/learn-mistakes-productive-job-debriefs/

I will leave you all with one of my favorite quotes.


“There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family and baseball. The only problem – once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.” - Al Gallagher


I grew up around the skilled trades and working with my hands. If I could add a 4th thing in which I love, it would be construction renovations/installations.  It’s just in my blood.


Thank you for all you do, here’s to opening day.


Trust the Process!


To our success,

“Coach” Rob Balfanz

Topics: installation   training   certification   leadership   labor