Detail consistency

Have you ever had to staff a detail or assignment for a short period yet you don’t have anyone available to work the job straight through.  You have one specialist that can work the first couple of days but for some reason, personal or other committment he/she can not finish the week off.  However, you have another specialist that can do the remainder of the days?

In as much as possible we always tray to stay consistent from start to finish on short term details.  Consistency helps in many ways.  Some of the obvious ones are:

  • The client gets accustomed to a familiar face
  • Irratic complexities of the client remembering who is work what days and relaying that info to their personnel
  • No need to re-introduce an unfamiliar specialist to all the players
  • No need to get the subsequent specialist(s) dialed in to the details
  • Principals are already leary of new people in their personal space

The fact of the matter is this; you can’t get around it in all cases and you have to face it.  But what do you do and how do you handle that?  You inform the client of your situation and ASK them if it’s ok.  It is not a good practice to assume that as long as you staff the detail it does not matter if your personnel changes from day to day.

On long term details it is common practice that specialists rotate in and out for days off as well as personnel issues that seem to always creep into a dynamic where testosterone eminates on a daily basis.  Even in this situation you want to relay to the client/principal that there will often be new faces rotating on the shift.  What’s key to the rotation is that you try your best that if the detail leader/AIC is the one that has to be replaced, that you replace them with someone that is already on the detail.  Replacing the specialist in the front right seat mid stream will shut your principal down.  Principal comfort with the specialist in the front right seat is established over time.  If he/she is replaced with someone the principal is used to seeing it makes it an easy transition for everyone.  Respecting the client and principal’s space is a common factor that is overlooked by many companies and specialists alike.

The main thing you should always remember when faced with this personnel change is first communicating it with the client and/or principal.  Don’t ever assume that just because all the days and shifts are covered you are doing a good job.

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