The Resource Contention Conundrum: Productivity Hacks for Joint Use

Posted by Ashley Little on November 3, 2015

The Resource Contention Conundrum: Productivity Hacks for Joint UseIn the world of joint use management, there is always another task on your to-do list. If it is not requests to attach, it is requests to disconnect. If poles do not need maintenance, they need replacement.

As you may guess, each of these actions require the attention and effort of a staff member in the office and/or in the field. That grab for time and responsiveness amounts to resource contention – a finite supply of minutes and manpower runs up against an unpredictable glut of potential duties. How do successful organizations manage it all? The internet offers no end of productivity hacks for general business, but what if those suggestions applied directly to the joint use arena?

Today, they do. Here are a few productivity tips for joint use organizations:

Prioritize Prioritization

Business-as-usual projects can often be enough to fill your staff’s schedules, but as business productivity experts will tell you, scheduling is a much more efficient tactic than list-making to ensure everything gets done. It may seem counter-intuitive, but making time in your business’s schedule for the unforeseen can give staff the opportunity to meet unexpected demands and still keep up with the ordinary daily tasks. Good time blocking has the almost magical ability to "find" more time when it is sorely needed.

Leverage Technology

It should probably go without saying, but relying on paper copies for joint use contracts and correspondence between pole owners and attachers is not particularly efficient when more modern options are available. A second "not-so-best-practice" -- the ever-popular emailed PDF or spreadsheet. While the latter option represents a minimum of digital transition, neither offer the versatility, searchability and ease of use of a robust, online joint use management solution. Transferring all utility pole and attacher information to one of these modern marvels saves valuable time chasing down paperwork, figuring out specific contract details and remembering the particulars of each recent piece of correspondence.

Watch the Clock

Every pole transfer request comes attached to a joint use contract that lays out the number of days that constitute a "timely" transfer of equipment. Once the clock has run out, a pole owner reserves the right to transfer ownership of a decommissioned pole – and all liability for it – to the lagging attacher. This creates more work for the attaching company, as the pole is then theirs to repair or, more likely, remove. More work, more manpower, more headaches.


If issues such as pole transfer backlogs are your company’s biggest productivity concerns, simply getting help from a third-party joint use expert can be an immense help. An outside organization can provide thorough field visits to catalog the state of equipment, initiate engineering design for transfers, and even conduct post-construction assessments to ensure compliance all while in-house staff gets on with day-to-day business.

Be Proactive

Putting processes in place that keep backlogs from occurring is a smart strategy for keeping your business – and your attachment requests, transfer requests, and the like – out of the weeds once the initial pile up of work is cleared.

See how one company successfully used TPA services to battle backlogs and keep them from coming back in our exclusive case study download:

Backlogs Case Study