Turbo Leadership Systems

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December 3, 2013 Issue 459 To our clients and friends

Successful Project Planning

Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

3 Steps to Success

Mark, pipefitter superintendent for a Northwest mechanical contracting company, told Session 6 of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):

“No matter what your project is in size or scope, how complex or simple, there are three steps to follow that ensure successful project planning. As superintendents, foremen, and crew leaders, we must be exceedingly good at successfully planning and completing projects safely, on schedule and under budget. This 3-step approach has been highly successful for me on many projects. You can apply these simple steps to any size project. These steps apply to planning your day and for projects that extend over several years. (In the larger projects, you will apply these same 3 steps as sub-sets within the larger project’s duration.)

“Step 1 - Identify the project’s exact start and stop dates – establish the project’s duration. This will allow you to properly plan the next two steps. If there is fuzziness about the start and stop time, now is the time to clear it up and remove any ambiguity. Knowing the start and stop time will help eliminate surprises and emergencies, and form the context for the next two steps of successful project planning.

“Step 2 - Identify the materials, tools and equipment you will need to complete the project. This requires that you have a clear picture in mind of the scope, complexity and details of the project. Having the proper materials, tools and equipment at the start or as needed, just-in-time on the project will allow you to be the most efficient and will keep you from having unnecessary delays. The details of this step can include issues of access, and availability of common resources like staging area, water and electricity. Interacting with others on the site in your area may include knowing their schedule and understanding the scope of their work.

“Step 3 - Identify what resources you will need to successfully complete the project within the subscribed timeline. This can include the craft skills, knowledge and experience of direct manpower, any specialty subcontractors, or staff required.

“In summary, you can follow these three

steps to successfully complete any project. First, identify the project’s duration – the project’s start and finish dates. Second, identify all materials, tools and equipment you will need to complete the project. Third, identify the human resources you will need to complete the project successfully on schedule.

“The lesson I have learned from using this simple 3-step approach to project management is that no matter how simple or complex the project, when I am consistent in using these three steps, I am prepared to take on any project. When I ask the right questions (the devil is in the details), I minimize surprises, costs and delays.

“The action I call you to take is to use these three simple steps as you approach all of your projects, whether large or small. The benefit you will gain is reduced stress, and you will find yourself being more consistent in the success of your projects. Your projects will be completed safely, on time and under budget.”

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