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.
Topics: Project Control
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.
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
Topics: Project Control
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.
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.
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.
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.