* Hold a good kickoff meeting using an outside facilitator and develop customer satisfaction metrics.
* Ensure a complete Customer Requirements Definition and determine what customer input/approvals will occur after this Requirements Definition.
* Treat customer satisfaction as a constraint in addition to the usual triple constraints of scope, cost, and schedule (Figure 1). (Quality should be treated as an absolute to be achieved, not something to be balanced against cost and schedule. Grade can, however, be varied, but that is part of scope.)
* Work and control only to a feasible, though possibly very aggressive, budget and schedule. Reject the concept of "just try to do it" to impossible budgets or schedules. (Projects attempting impossible cost and schedule targets often cost more and take longer. This is because these projects cannot be properly managed and activities are done out of proper sequence which causes a lot of rework.)
8. Integration Across Department Lines
There may be many customers and stakeholders in different areas with different objectives and expectations, and it may be difficult to get all departments to fully review and accept the same plan. You should:
* Hold a kickoff meeting including all stakeholders and using an outside facilitator.
* Ensure everyone buys into the Requirements Definition.
* Develop a complete Network Schematic early in the project.
9. Large Potential for Interacting Changes
Changes are likely, and changes in one area generally affect other areas. This leads to disruption of the work due to changes after the design freeze at the end of front-end engineering; changes because the customer wants details done differently, not just for additional features; mistakes due to not implementing changes across all impacted areas; and rework causing lots of extra effort. You should:
* Do front-end engineering, including detailed documentation of how the system will work, screen designs, specifications, and many other things; and obtain customer approval.
* Be sure the customer representative youre working with has adequate experience, is given sufficient responsibility and authority to gather information from all the customers departments, and can arrive at decisions that will be honored by the customer.
* Complete the front-end engineering before any detail engineering is done.
* Do a thorough, formal review of the front-end engineering phase using an outside facilitator to be sure it is complete.
* Aggressively avoid changes after the design freeze unless the design creates an unsafe condition or just won't operate. Other potential changes should be delayed and installed after the project is complete if they are important enough. (The intent is not to stifle innovation by discouraging changes, but to get those changes made during the front-end engineering part of the project.)
* Carefully estimate the cost of any changes that have to be made after the design freeze. (The cost and schedule impact of changes is almost always much more than anticipated.)
10. Lack of Lead Engineers' Interest in People
Lead engineers are often uninterested in management, leadership, teamwork, and communications. They may not consider process control engineers part of the team in multidiscipline projects, or there may be no one leading the planning and execution of the process control project (or the process control part of a multidiscipline project). Too often, process control engineers just want to be left alone to do their own thing. You should:
* Make knowledge of project management concepts and willingness to do those tasks on projects a requirement for being a lead engineer--even on projects with just one engineer.
* Hold formal, structured reviews at key points in the project to check that the project is being controlled, the methodologies are being followed, and the deliverables in the preceding phases have been accomplished. These meetings must use a facilitator outside the project to be fully effective. A good review also has significant educational value.
* Assign the customers lead person and the project manager clearly defined responsibilities to give adequate oversight/supervision to the project.
Process control projects and the process control part of multidiscipline projects face a number of challenges: they are often difficult technically, hard to manage, and face unrealistic performance expectations. Customers often give detailed input into how things are done, but they may not appreciate the effort required or understand the importance of following a work process, particularly with respect to the design freeze.
Lead process control engineers are often not managing the project. They need to become educated on modern project management techniques and the extensions needed for process control. They must act like project managers, at least for the project management tasks that need to be done on projects.
Performing organizations should adopt a standard project methodology or develop one specifically for their organization. They should train lead process control engineers on the methodology and on project management tasks. They must ensure that each lead process control engineer accepts that he/she must do project management tasks, not just provide technical leadership to the project. Performing organizations should assign a project sponsor for each project, and give him or her well-defined responsibilities. They should hold reviews at key points in the project using an outside facilitator, and always maintain customer focus. And focus on the customer.