May 12th, 2021
Project performance, at its core, should be a straightforward process: you create, implement, and manage projects that contribute to the performance of your organization and its strategy. Sounds simple, but it is often more difficult in real-life. Add the COVID-19 pandemic to the already complex nature of capital project management, and 2021 is looking like a challenging year for companies that aim to improve their project performance.
In this blog post, we will discuss enterprise-level approach to project performance in the context of C-level management. Read on to learn how an integrated Enterprise Project Performance (EPP) solution can help to alleviate the biggest pain points of project performance for executives, including lack of predictability, control and heightened project risk. You will also learn how EPP can help to address the challenges brought upon by the pandemic.
Project Management Pain Points to Address with Enterprise Project Performance
One of the biggest challenges brought upon by the pandemic is the continuous uncertainty. As societies open and close and open again, the construction industry faces unprecedented challenges. For Executives, this heightened uncertainty exacerbates key pain points that were already too common before the pandemic:
- Lack of predictability: it is increasingly difficult to gain trustworthy data of how projects are going, identify issues as early as possible, and measure the ability of project teams to deliver predictable outcomes.
- Lack of control: With increasing project complexity, it is more important than ever to know if things go wrong, what can be done to get the projects back on track.
- How to manage risk: With high uncertainty, it is imperative to know the risk profile on each project and how to select the best risk/reward option.
These pain points reveal real weaknesses in how the project lifecycle is managed. And if not addressed properly, they will introduce inefficiencies while increasing both costs and scope for projects, eventually resulting in bad performance and a negative impact on the bottom line.
How to Get Started with an Enterprise-Level Approach to Project Performance
As mentioned in the Deloitte Engineering & Construction Outlook 2021, the engineering and construction industry will need to continue to overcome the effects of the pandemic. In the US alone, the industry lost $60.9 billion in GDP and decreased total jobs to roughly 6.5 million last year. According to Deloitte, one of the keyways for the E&C industry to improve efficiency is to change the focus of technology investments from isolated projects to integrated, enterprise-level initiatives.
This enterprise-level approach is expected to deliver significant benefits – with a potential 10% to 30% reduction in engineering hours, up to 10% reduction in build costs, and up to 20% reduction in operating costs – improving overall margins for E&C firms throughout the entire project life cycle.
So, as an Executive, how should you get started with an enterprise-level approach to project performance? Often, there is a certain paradox when it comes to project performance – it seen both as something that is just given and “automatically taken care of” yet, at the same time, the lack of enterprise-level approach is seen creating difficulties across the organization. It is common that some level of investment and focus has been done, yet sometimes as humans we have a tendency of wanting to run before we can walk.
Before getting started with purchasing new systems a bit of a back-to-basics approach is needed. The first step towards implementing an enterprise-level performance solution is to assess the maturity of your organization and the three key components that affect any project: people, processes, and technology. When you know where your organization stands, you can create a roadmap for improvement.
At this point, it is also beneficial to map your goals – what is it that you are looking to achieve from implementing an enterprise approach? Often involving a consulting partner is a promising idea and it provides a third person view on what the current health and maturity of your systems and can help you gain valuable insights into the best possible way for you to get started. Regarding project performance, a partner can assist in identifying the gaps and weaknesses inside the project organization.
Benefits of Enterprise Project Performance for Executives
When an enterprise-level project performance (EPP) solution is in place, benefits will be experienced across the organization. From the executive viewpoint, there are few key improvements brought upon by an EPP approach:
- The ability to view project statuses more efficiently and make better informed and timely decisions
- Ability to choose the most relevant KPIs (key performance indicators) – no more creating reports for the sake of reporting
- No more reactivity and pure proactivity – having the latest project data available will ensure better efficiency and productivity, improving the bottom-line
With digitalization of project performance, people, processes, and technology can be aligned to harness the full potential of everyone involved.
An EPP approach is a mindset that expands from improving outcomes of individual projects to one that also heavily considers achievement of business objectives for ALL projects within your organization. Thus, an EPP software platform facilitates this approach by integrating processes that span the full lifecycle of projects, inclusive of portfolio, project and contract management and the sub-processes that enable them. EPP improves efficiency, predictability and control across all projects, programs, and portfolios in an organization for all stakeholders.
Introducing an EPP solution will help you and your organization to take back control over your projects – having cross-team and cross-company visibility into performance results in more profitable project execution. It allows project stakeholders across disciplines to work more efficiently and effectively together.
Are you curious to learn more? Fill in our free project maturity assessment to find out how to get started with preparing for enterprise project performance.
James Tauladan is an experienced sales director and digital transformation leader with 20+ of experience in the fields of engineering, construction and enterprise project performance.