Small Steps for Painters—A Giant Leap for Painting

by Mario Guertin, President, PDCA Craftsmanship Forum, September 2006

On September 15 and 16, 2006, the Craftsmanship Forum held its Fifth Annual Craftsmanship Conference in Chicago. The program was simple: finalize 8 new Craftsman Operating Procedure s (COPs) and devise a methodology for using COPs as a training tool within a paint company. Prior to the Conference, drafts had been developed by members of the Forum’s COP Committee and critiqued via our web-based protocol. This procedure was perfected by the COP Committee (chaired by Rich O’Neil of Masterwork Painting) this year and has enabled the Forum to produce one COP a month, soon to be increased to two a month. As new COP Committees are formed, we expect the pace of producing the COPs to quicken further.

What are COPs? COP is the acronym for Craftsman Operating Procedures. The intent of a COP is to layout the steps necessary to complete a task in a craftsman way. It lists the tools, materials and equipment needed, safety concerns, appearance standards, as well as production rate. Each COP can be tailored to each company’s own brand of craftsmanship and modified accordingly. COPs can then be used as a training vehicle within one’s own company, thereby resulting in the standardization of the procedures to execute any given task in the painting realm. At the Craftsmanship Forum, we believe that COPs are the missing link in professionalizing the painting field. This is how the small steps that painters take to do their work represent the opportunity for a giant leap for all of painting. Are you interested to involve yourself with the COP development process and be part of this historic opportunity to contribute to your industry as well as greatly benefit your company? If you are, please read on.

If you want to lean more about COPs and the scope of this project, I invite you to go to the Forum’s website and click on the ‘COP’ page. There, you will find an article on the power of having standard operating procedures in a company, a sample COP and a COP template. You will also find an article entitled ‘A Call to all Craftsmen’ which describes three different levels of possible involvement in the project: the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Another tangible benefit has been added: for every COP someone participates in by both critiquing a draft and contributing on the Conference call to review the edits and draft, someone will get one credit from Contractor College good towards Accreditation or Re-Accreditation for a real dollar savings.

Here is the Forum’s Plan of Action leading to PACE in Dallas:

  1. Complete work on 20 COPs to Prep and Paint a Room in the Residential Setting.
  2. Develop a Standard Operating Procedure for using COPs as a training tool inside of your own company.
  3. This series of 20 COPs will be offered for sale at PACE. They will be sold as a series or singly. For those who purchase the series, the Training SOP will be included for free.
  4. At PACE, one of the events sponsored by the Craftsmanship Forum will be the Craftsman Corner on Tuesday morning. At this event the Forum will unveil the COP series and demonstrate its use as a training vehicle by training none other than PDCA’s CEO, Dr. Ian Horen, on how to paint a door.

If you have a question or would like to discuss possible involvement in the project, please contact me on my cell at 847-612-5812.