If Steve Ward’s accent is not a dead giveaway then his no-nonsense attitude certainly does tell you that he is from Yorkshire (err, by gum). Growing up in Leeds in Northern England, which was at the time was the global center of the rag trade, Steve started a career in the textile industry, which led to the management of a series of factories in the 1980s and 90s in both England and Australia. The migration of industries to low-cost manufacturing in Asia in the early 2000s moved Steve into a new role as the hatchet man. His role was to make Western factories competitive through the application of technology and processes or shut them down. His haul of Christmas cards each year started a steady decline but he soldiered on and was responsible for finding niche markets that kept some factories open.
His move to industrial construction started in 2016 when he joined the Insight-AWP team as a productivity specialist on a project in Antwerp, Belgium. Steve brought with him his intolerance for process waste, which was a sobering influence on the team’s acceptance of ‘normal for construction attitude’. Applying this new level of scrutiny to construction processes showed the clients both, how big the gap had become between construction and manufacturing and also what was possible.
Steve’s Tool Time studies and cause and effect reports had a significant influence on the project management’s day to day activities and helped them to narrow their focus and address real issues that affected positive change.
Steve’s next Insight-AWP assignment has started out on the same track with his no-nonsense attitude and black and white version of productivity, shining a light on issues that were hindering the flow of scope execution.
Steve’s weekends are all about his grandchildren and his beloved Leeds United Soccer club, who are taking yet another run at promotion by leading the table so far this year.