Project Management Philosophy
• A Project Begins & Ends with a Sound Proposal – (“Engineered and Estimated”)
A sound proposal must be engineered and estimated. Guessing must never be used in place of these two principles.
A sound proposal will not only guarantee financial success of the project but, more importantly, a quality driven project, and, in the end, a Customer who had his/her expectations exceeded.
A sound proposal requires a genuine commitment from all involved parties. It must provide a clear map of communication from the project team to the Customer, driving our ability to meet and exceed their expectations.
• Customer Focused Organization – (“Responsibility, Authority, Accountability”)
In a customer focused organization, the question to be asked is “Who is the customer?” There are internal and external customers to be identified and accommodated. Through its project management team, BMWC is aligned to be customer focused.
The external customer could be purchasing, engineering, or a customer designated representative. It is essential that one of these external customer groups be assigned to make customer decisions.
The internal customer is the vice president and his project management team. The project manager has responsibility, authority and is accountable for the success of the project. The internal support functions of purchasing, engineering, manufacturing, safety, installation, accounting and human resources comprise the composite team that acts to support the needs of the vice president and his project management team.
There must be no bureaucracy within the organization that inhibits the flow of communication, material, and labor required by the vice president and his project team. The project manager must be supported internally in order for him to serve his external customer.
Where the vice president and his project management team is held accountable to their customers, so, too, will the internal support groups be held accountable to the vice-president and his project management team.
• Customer Involvement – (“Commitment to Everyone’s Success”)
The customer has a major obligation to facilitate the project management process. This is a “Team Approach” where everyone must win. The customer’s involvement and communication must be constant from the beginning through the end of the project (whether it is the internal or external Customer).
The customer must be a single source decision-maker. This customer representative must have the authority to make timely decisions concerning the project details. The customer’s representative must keep other contractors and their internal people in line with committed schedules. If one group fails, everyone fails, for the ultimate Customer is the Project!
• Focus on Complex Areas – (“Check and Re-check”)
The BMWC project manager must always ask the question, “What are the most critical areas in the project?” The answer is usually nonstandard special equipment or automation. These special items are the ones that will generally shut the plant down.
The project manager must focus on these critical items and pre-test them prior to being shipped to the customer site, where possible. The testing procedures must reflect customer requirements. Documented evidence of their inspection and test is mandated. In other words, be sure the nonstandard special equipment or automation is tested exactly the way it is intended to operate under production conditions. In any case, they should be installed as early as possible, to allow field-testing time as well. An adequate number of qualified stand-by crews should also be assigned to these areas during the launch period.
• M.B.W.A. “Management By Walking Around” – (“Know the Crew – Handle the Details”)
Attention to detail is the winning approach to any project. BMWC project managers must take a hands-on “attention to detail” / “micro-management” view to any project, whether fast tracked, large or small. They must be transparent to all affected parties, including the design team and individual field crew leaders. Identify potential problems and fix the little problems as they occur, instead of a subsequent “corrective action”.
The project manager ensures the required number of qualified resources for the project: field checks, engineering, manufacturing, field manpower, etc. Engineering is the most critical element for the success of a project and engineering mistakes account for the major portion of the “cost of non-conformance”. Better engineering is a pre-cursor to better fabrication and, consequently, better installation. The project manager personally communicates with his engineering team the need for “robust engineering”.
The BMWC project manager is the customer’s single-point contact and BMWC’s decision-maker and needs to be on the project site during installation, de-bug and the initial equipment run off and prove-out phase. The project manager has the authority; responsibility and accountability for all project decisions and must always be accessible to the customer.
• Mitigating Cost of Non-Conformance – (“Impact of Non-Conformance”)
The project management team must have an established mind-set and understanding of the “cost of non-conformance”. They must understand the cost in dollars to the customer for delayed launch dates and/or production downtime. The impact to the customer for lost production reflects poorly on the overall capability and reputation of BMWC. Ultimately, we are judged on this basis.
This same awareness of the “cost of non-conformance” must then be communicated to suppliers, sub-contractors, internal staff, and field installation crews. It may also have to be communicated to the customer to reinforce the importance of his/her timely commitments and involvement. This must be a dynamic process because everyone’s decisions or lack of decisions can impact the project launch success.
• Modular Design and Build – (“Largest Modules Possible”)
Modular design and build options are intended to eliminate field welds and assembly, as much as practical. Besides reducing the field hours required to complete the project, there is an enhanced quality effect. The more equipment modules the project manager can have pre-assembled and tested prior to delivery to the job site, the more he can control the quality of the equipment. The goal is to build and install equipment in large modules or sections. These modules should be pre-wired and pre-piped where possible and when practical.
This element, however, is a function of the particular customer’s job site as it relates to equipment clearance issues. Modular sections for pre-wired or rust-prone components, i.e., significant conveyor components, require a covered on-site storage facility for staging, additional assembly, and system integration.
The pre-testing and production simulated testing, when possible, of all critical equipment, provides greater assurance for a successful launch in the field.
• Project Schedules – (“Be Ahead of Schedule”)
The BMWC project manager must always plan to be ahead of his schedule. If you are just on schedule, you are already behind, especially on short downtime/outage projects. In short downtime/outage projects even a lost hour can be critical to the launch. Project success may depend on your ability to correct a series of small, unforeseen problems.
It is mandatory to plan and push for all possible “early opportunity” work before the downtime/outage. This is critical and must be always stressed to the customer. It will require the customer’s consent and cooperation.
Project schedules must always allow for the sub-contractors to work in parallel with BMWC forces. Complex and specialized conveyor equipment should be installed early, in order to allow the sub-contractors adequate time to complete their portions of the work. The project schedule must also allow sufficient time for a thorough equipment inspection and the initial equipment run off and prove-out phase of the systems.
Scheduling meetings, for project review with staff, sub-contractors, and the customer, should be planned according to the project downtime/outage period. Every day meetings may be required on certain projects. The project manager is the facilitator of these meetings.
• Qualified Experienced Sub-Contractors – (“Long-term Relationships”)
Suppliers are obviously a key element in any project and should be chosen from the company’s approved sub-contractor list. These suppliers must have proven themselves to BMWC and qualified over the long-term. They must be committed to continual improvement in all phases of their operation.
The supplier approved list is comprised of contractors experienced in each customer market that BMWC serves. Whenever possible, they should already have a long-term relationship with BMWC and the customer in order to achieve optimum project results.
The suppliers must be loyal to the project, where failure to perform is a non-issue. Their commitment and support must be maintained through the start-up and launch period, as well as the actual downtime schedule. Agreed upon schedules must be maintained at all cost.
• Safety Focus – (“Continuous Education and Reinforcement”)
The number one priority is a safe work site that is totally free of occupational injury/illness. Unsafe working conditions and job practices are inefficient, costly to the workers, their families, the company, and are totally unacceptable. Safety awareness starts at the top of the project management team and is enforced through the direction of the site superintendent. BMWC will not tolerate unsafe working conditions or unsafe work behaviors and promotes a “safety first” mind-set.
This mandate is enforced and supported by the president. The assigned work is to be pre-planned with an emphasis on identifying safety risks and eliminating/mitigating hazards. A clean, organized site, including the field office, is a safe and productive site.
With the assistance of the safety director, the BMWC project manager must ensure that all site employees meet or exceed customer safety requirements, participate in site safety orientation and abide by the BMWC safety program manual, which includes, weekly toolbox talks and a daily review of all work hazards and the safety controls in place to mitigate those hazards.
Upon completion of installation, the project manager participates in a final safety check must be made to ensure there are no remaining hazards, (i.e., tools, c-clamps, debris, sharp edges, etc.)