^ The Many Facets of Project ManagementImage Courtesy of Canbedone at
Management is the process of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling human efforts towards the achievement of company or organizational objectives.
There is no such thing as perfect. But, getting these five functions right is the key to executing a fabrication project successfully. Or any project for that matter.
Issues will always crop up unexpectedly and suddenly. The principal task before the decision maker is to plan and execute properly while adapting to shifting landscapes and allocating resources judiciously.
Easier said than done though.
Remember not to bite more than you can chew, today and tomorrow. Stretching your capabilities is great. But not at present when skilled machinists are an endangered species.
It all starts with a plan that sets realistic goals using metrics, establishes sensible schedules, allots optimal resources, and factors in the inevitable – delays.
Verification Planning i.e. planning that identifies the critical goals that have to be verified at the very beginning addresses the issues that may lower productivity and quality.
This might sound redundant, but ensure that you do not allot the same resource – human, machine, or spatial – simultaneously to more than one task. Simple oversights like these can be frustrating.
Enough of high-sounding, textbook talk. Let’s get down to the practical nitty-gritty:
- Involve all stakeholders in planning process and execution. This gives employees a sense of belonging and ownership that usually makes them contribute wholeheartedly
- Analyze the requirements of various customers
- Check the availability of resources – human, machine, financial, spatial, inventory and the like
- If you are running short of manpower, set up a recruitment drive as soon as possible
This is extremely important given the shortage of skilled machinists presently plaguing the US
Decide realistically on what you need to buy and what you can build
This applies to manpower as well. Know what you can accomplish and outsource what you cannot
- Accordingly, place orders with your suppliers
- Now, make a plan based on client requirements, scheduled dates of delivery, and resource availability
- Don’t set deadlines you cannot meet and don’t give assurances you cannot keep regardless of commercial pressures
- Include robust performance-measurement metrics
- Establish the interval of verification and compare the progress against the planned targets using metrics
- If behind schedule, make the necessary course corrections at the earliest. Remember, delays kill reputations
- Be ready to go out of the way and seek out-of-the-box solutions if the situation calls for it. In today’s world of fast changing scenarios, flexibility is paramount
Wise men say, the devil is in the detail. As Brian Kernighan, the creator of the C language aptly remarked in 1974 – everyone knows debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place.
Planning and execution are acutely detail-heavy tasks. No short cuts here. The long, winding road to success invariably goes through the haunted valley of devilish detail. Amen!
Kemplon Engineering has been making fabrication project plans and executing them seamlessly since 2005.
If you wish to be a part of a company that values its employees, apply at firstname.lastname@example.org