Kirk Alter Teaching the PHCC Essentials class.

Stop It! - Lessons From the PHCC Essentials of Project Management Clas

March 23, 2022
There were 22 attendees for the four-day Essentials of Project Management boot camp conducted March 16 – 19.

FALLS CHURCH, VA – “Stop it!” was a common phrase heard during the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) Educational Foundation’s popular Essentials of Project Management boot camp last week. There were 22 attendees for the four-day class conducted March 16 – 19. The program was broadcast live online from A. O. Smith University, with instruction from Purdue University Professor Emeritus Kirk Alter.

“Don’t ever say in my company that ‘the general contractor made us’ do something. Stop it! Nobody makes you do anything on your jobs,” said Alter in the class section on contracts. “It’s all about what your company agrees to in the contract. As the project manager, you must read and understand every word of your contract and it is on you and your company to strike out or amend the harmful clauses before that contract is signed.” 

In the class section on jobsite planning, Alter explained “Some of you allow delivery trucks to show up any time of the day. Stop it, that’s incredibly wasteful!” The attendees then learned exactly how much unloading an unscheduled delivery truck can cost in terms of manhours and dollars versus a delivery occurring at times that match the daily mobilization/demobilization cycle on a jobsite.

Alter encouraged the attendees to learn lessons from the mistakes others have made through reading a variety of business and management books. “You tell me that you don’t have time to read books. Stop it! If you read just 13 pages each night, you will be able to finish an average of 12 books in a year,” said Alter. The class received a long list of recommended books to continue their learning after the class.

A. O. Smith University supported the project management class through use of their studio and professional staff. A. O. Smith and Kohler Company also generously sponsored class. “We are so proud to support the PHCC Educational Foundation and the education they are bringing to contractors,” said Victor Albright, Digital Content Manager at A. O. Smith. “The management lessons taught in this program can be applied anywhere—we are often taking notes in the video control booth for our own use.”

The Foundation will be conducting a two-day Foremen Workshop in June at Viega’s training center in Nashua, N.H. with Kirk Alter providing instruction. Visit for more information and to register.

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