For the past 17 years that I’ve been involved in providing Project Management, Project Control solutions, we’ve seen every kind of boom-bust financial crises and destructive change that you can imagine.
We see that the organizations that really thrive in industries that require a lot of capital project investment. They look at things from a broader perspective. That doesn’t mean that your focus doesn’t change depending on whether things are looking good.
For example, during big growth times your focus may be more on how do you manage demand. Obviously during leaner times, you want to figure out how to do things more cost effectively. During anytime you have to look at how you can be more productive.
It’s always important to invest in technology. Even if times are tough, your competitors are still figuring out how to get ahead.
Now, the scale of spending may have to reflect reality in terms of our economic condition. The good news about technology is that there are economies of scale. There are leverages that you can gain by spending in certain areas.
The investment decisions are best driven by people who can see opportunities in the particular industries.
Clearly, we have some major macro trends taking place right now such as an explosion in infrastructure spending globally. So, there are many organizations involved in figuring out how we can be more effective at construction, how we can get more throughput as we put together either very large public programs related to transportation for example, or building construction and residential construction.
In the oil and gas sector, we’re also looking at how we can take some of the trends to produce gas more cost-effectively, or oil more cost-effectively.
Really the problem in large projects and the more projects that you do, the more complex they become, is really bringing all that data and information together and being able to make intelligent decisions based on that information. Really the only way to do that is with technology.
All organizations use some form of technology in order to manage their projects, but the problems that they run into is that they are very disconnected in terms of how they gather different kinds of information.
Project controls is a discipline the way of taking a broader perspective and making sure that we’re best able to respond to changes and respond to the conditions around us. So that’s where businesses thrive, and some don’t, is in being able to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves by executing investments in capital projects.
Project controls is an exercise in organizing, right, and so we have the technology and we have the practices to recommend to people how they can organize their project information better.
So a lot of the time that’s usually spent on trying to determine status is usually being reinvented project to project or company to company.
We really encourage companies to look at Enterprise Project Controls that Enterprise Work Practice. It’s one thing to invest in trying to make one project perform really well, but that investment is lost the moment that project is over if you haven’t found a way to really standardize that and spread that across projects.
Enterprise Project Controls is essential because having standards is how you get better at doing projects. If I think of the world’s best organizations running projects, they focus on standards, they focus on work practices that are going to be the same project to project.
This reflects in their success rates into delivering projects on time and on budget. As you standardize information what you’re doing is you’re capturing history and you’re capturing lessons learned. Only by being able to do that can you actually improve the way that you do projects.
Enterprise Project Control software is going to help you get more cost effective and more efficient, so you can invest small at first and you can very quickly start to see some good improvements.
If you’re trying to avoid overruns or avoid additional spending having an Enterprise Project Control system in place to start giving you that feedback very quickly is very critical. Without that information you really are far more.