Project Execution & Fulfillment
There are many templates and methodologies that are in practice today to deliver Project Fulfillment. The success or failure of these approaches often boils down to the organizational values that support the delivery for each engagement. Our organizational values in Project Fulfillment and Client Engagement revolves around Respect, Creativity & Communication and Accountability.
TOP Engineers Plus possesses a thorough and personal understanding of the Utility Communications Engineering environment. Our familiarity and qualifications in the daily experience of each client positions us to provide a quality of service that differentiates us in the industry. Our collective deep knowledge of every aspect of the Utility environment equips us to understand each aspect of a Communication Engineering project in the deployment of technology, the process development of operations and organizational alignment of people. The ability to personally identify with the challenges facing the engineer, the technician, or the executive empowers TOP Engineers Plus to provide strategic and specific solutions for our clients. Therefore, we approach client engagement with humility, sensitivity and respect. We pride ourselves in our ability to be pliable in our approach, so as to fit within the standards and practices of the client.
We respect the expertise of the client’s internal resources.
- If they are seasoned, we collaborate with them for the best outcome possible.
- If they are new to the industry, we offer information that will make them successful going forward.
We respect the vision of the organization. The internal climate or appetite for change, growth, and support strategy is different with each client. It is imperative that we remain aware and in tune with what is possible and profitable within any organization.
CREATIVITY & COMMUNICATION:
TOP Engineers Plus has a history of creatively solving difficult problems. Our approach is to create tools and deliver information in a way that simplifies communication and clarifies progress to date. Often the extra effort that this entails is well worth getting all parties on the same page. This can take the form of:
Reports that track every aspect of the project.
- Requests for Information (RFI) – RFI that contributes to the needs of the project
- Action Items – Tracking tasks that need to be completed by certain parties
- Identifying and Tracking Risks/Issues – The practice of identifying and tracking risks and issues as early as possible is imperative the project team can collectively resolve risks/issues in a timely fashion before it turns critical.
- Deliverables that are Issued for Review
- Deliverables that are Issued for Construction
- Assignments to specific parties and expected due dates
- Budget – Thorough tracking of billing against the Contract and overall Budget
- Schedule – Identifying and tracking key elements that are either performed in parallel or sequential dependencies.
- Updates and briefings on a mutually agreed to frequency.
Graphical Representation, if appropriate, that integrates and coincides with deliverables and billing milestones.
Communication is critical as it conveys why decisions are made and transparently expresses the approach. That is very important as it allows review of strategy and decisions to make sure we are always in sync with the Project Team.
Resources may be required to scale or add additional expertise in the form of a key advisor or senior consultant. We have deep relationships in the industry we have developed reciprocity in calling upon one another if we do not have the necessary tools or resources for a particular project. We have found that TOP Engineers Plus’s ability to coordinate and integrate these resources is a very useful and efficient offering to our clients.
TOP Engineers Plus stands behind its commitments and fosters an environment in which all parties clearly understand their responsibilities. This reduces the risk of surprises and serves to keep relationships intact.
CLIENT ENGAGEMENT SEQUENCE:
When a client is first engaged, it is important to place context around what are the desired outcomes for the engagement. Is it simply the execution of a particular Project? Is there a need to create a Program Management strategy that can coordinate responsibilities, marshal resources, and deliver multiple projects successfully? Is there an overall Corporate Vision or Strategic Direction that can be used to Align Initiatives? The remainder of items for consideration have an aspect of depth to be decided. The depth to which any key project aspect below is addressed directly impacts the level of corporate engagement, project detail, project cost, the time commitment of resources, and the overall expectations for the project:
This first step is what sets the tone for the entire project. It identifies the participants, their contact information, roles and responsibilities, and reporting/communication expectations.
Identify Project Manager – The assignment of a formal Project Manager is key element to a clear and sustainable project structure.
Define Project Scope – Scope Definition is essential to determining whether a project is in fact successful or not.
Mitigate Scope Riske – Scope Risk for very large projects can be mitigated by smaller Pilot Projects that represent the nature of the larger Scope but without the risk of expending resources on processes that need to be adjusted to be sufficient for the larger Scope.
Identify Stakeholders – Stakeholder Identification will quickly establish the scope of the parties that need to be engaged. If the stakeholders extend beyond the Technical Group responsible for the Project Delivery then it may require cross functional team members participation and becomes much more complex to manage.
Change Management – Is there a requirement for Change Management related to new technology implementation?
Organizational Roles – Are any roles and responsibilities changing in the organization?
Life Cycle – Are there life cycle support requirements that need to be planned for ahead of implementation?
Decision Matrix – Is there a Decision Matrix that can overcome the occasional challenges that sometimes impede progress?
This step requires putting into practice all of the key elements discussed above. This includes a communication plan, clear goals and schedules, and continual checking in with the Team to determine what is working well and what may need improvement.
Establish a clear understanding of the tasks that need to be done both in parallel and/or sequentially so as to meet the schedule goals of the project.
Proactively evaluate that overhead processes do not become bigger than the project itself. If this happens, it may be necessary to perform a Process Re-engineering or Process Improvement prior to the start of the project. A broken process can absolutely delay, derail, and ruin a potentially good project. Developing ownership from decision makers that have influence across the organization may be a good way to hedge against this kind of risk.
Communicate the deliverables being posted and fulfilled as the project progresses to ensure all are informed, aware and engaged.
This is often a step that is overlooked because the organization is already reaping the benefits of the project fulfillment. However, it is very important to future projects to learn both the good aspects and items to improve on going forward. This can best be done through purposeful closure and review of the project experience.
Formal acceptance sign-off by client
- Review of performance related to the deliverables. Did the outcome meet expectations?
- Review of the performance of the Project Team.
- Are there Key Performance Indicators that were established at the beginning of the project that can be measured for future use related to schedule and budget?
Review of lessons learned:
- What worked well on the project?
- What can be improved on future projects?
In summary, each of the project elements above have varying levels or depth of application to the respective project. The proper use of these tools is important to the success of the project. There should not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach as that can be very frustrating to the client organization and the overall Project Team. Incorporating the Values and Client Engagement Sequence mentioned above will serve to create a flexible and effective Project Execution and Fulfillment.