Work Package Delays - Is Engineering Lying?

Posted by Steven Gentles on Sep 19, 2017 10:14:25 AM

We’ve all been in those progress meetings where, for the fourth week running, engineering says they’ll be done next week. The PM and the customer rep exchange uneasy glances and others openly smirk and eyeball roll. These are the ones that think engineering can't be trusted because they are liars.

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Topics: Project Control

Engineering Work Package – 95% Complete (40% Remaining?)

Posted by Steven Gentles on Aug 10, 2017 11:23:40 AM

I’ve been spending some time getting up to speed on how heavy industrial projects work. Coming from the aerospace sector, it has been an interesting study with many obvious parallels and similar challenges.

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Topics: Problem Framing, Project Control

How to Improve Engineering Project Control

Posted by Steven Gentles on Jun 29, 2017 2:27:28 PM

You just finished up a 50,000 hour engineering project.

It took 9 months to create and deliver 308 documents and files to your customer:

  • 4 General Arrangement Drawings
  • 20 Installation Drawings
  • 20 Layout Drawings
  • 223 Piping ISO Drawings
  • 33 Engineering Analysis Reports
  • 8 Solid models

You also created a ton of Excel spreadsheets, Word docs, emails and more. But these artifacts were noise in 

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Topics: Project Control

Calculating Project Control Software ROI? Start With File Search

Posted by Steven Gentles on Apr 13, 2017 10:25:52 AM

Before you jump into some new project and document control software you need to do a software ROI analysis. The biggest impact on your analysis will be search efficiency improvements. If the numbers are compelling, getting the green light from your Finance team will be a no brainer.


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Topics: Productivity, Solution Framing, Project Control

Top 5 Engineering Project Control Problems to Avoid

Posted by Steven Gentles on Apr 3, 2017 2:12:01 PM

Everyone is familiar with the Apollo 13 mission and how NASA brought astronauts Lovell, Swigert and Haise safely home after an explosion on their CSM. Throughout the ordeal, Mission Control always knew exactly where the Apollo 13 crew were. They also knew where they were supposed to be and what lay ahead and constantly improvised and course corrected to land them safely in the South Pacific.

Engineering project control is no different – control is achieved when you have true project status insight always and you can steer it to a successful conclusion (see my blog How to Improve Engineering Project Control). From my experience, this can be challenging – here’s why.

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Topics: Productivity, Problem Framing, Project Control

Tough Times? Focus On Project Control

Posted by Steven Gentles on Mar 17, 2017 6:31:18 PM

The downturn in the energy sector is continuing to bite hard. I was at a Project Management Institute meeting two nights ago and spoke with a couple of Project Managers who are out of work after putting in many years with some local engineering, EPC and energy companies.

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Topics: Productivity, Project Control

Why Network Drives Kill Engineering Project Management

Posted by Steven Gentles on Mar 17, 2017 2:33:07 PM

In 1898, Edwin Seibel invented the vertical filing cabinet. Replete with multiple drawers and file folders, this approach to information management was seamlessly carried forward into the PC age (think of your network drives as filing cabinets and you get the picture). If you use shared network drives to manage and control your engineering project information, consider downgrading your computers back to slide rules.

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Topics: Productivity, Problem Framing, Project Control

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