I read a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit recently about the benefits of project management in manufacturing industry. It was music to our ears and confirmed much of how we like to run our projects.
It involved 251 senior executives in the industrial manufacturing industry from around the world.
The findings include:1
- Industrial manufacturing projects are more likely to come in on time and on budget when project managers report directly to senior executives.
- Strong project management methodologies give teams more flexibility, increasing the likelihood of success.
- Organisations with a mature approach to project management (that is, established project management methodologies and trained professionals) recognise the importance of risk management.
- The right tools enable project teams to manage risks and reduce errors but do not take the place of good oversight.
I would like to pick up on the last point that whilst tools and methodologies are essential to underpin and support a project manager in decision making, they do not take the place of good leadership, integration and relationship building skills. These too are an essential part of running a successful project. A project manager needs to be able to integrate and communicate with all parties to the project, which will often include the client’s sponsor and technical teams, equipment suppliers, IT suppliers, builders, operations team, government bodies and the public amongst others. Whilst supporting his teams, a project manager must not get bogged down in detail and lose sight of the bigger picture.
If you are interested in the impact that project management can make and the benefits it can bring to industrial projects then I recommend that you read this report and think about how project management is organised and run in your company.
The Report: Industrial Manufacturing; Managing for Success1 Industrial manufacturing: Managing for success – The Economist Intelligence Unit, May 2010, Author: Sarah Fister Gale. Editor: Katherine Dorr Abreu.