Whichever industry sector you work in, chances are you’re all too familiar with the term project management. It’s bandied about in meetings and marketing material, but what does it really mean?
A logistics automation project passes through a number of different phases, from devising ways to solve the customer’s unique challenges to implementation and acceptance of the systems.
Optimal design of the material handling and control systems is vital, along with their timely and accurate implementation. Project management essentially bridges these two phases, so it’s a hugely important element in the successful delivery of an intralogistics solution. Project management can be considered as the glue that connects the supplier and the customer, leading to successful project delivery and the development of long-term relationships with clients.
What exactly is project management?
Project management is the process by which everything that’s necessary for project success is done in the right order. It means minimizing the time and money spent on your project and ensuring that all tasks are completed according to standards and with the desired level of quality.
You can think of project management as like producing a meal. To please your dinner guests, you’ll need to find the right recipe and then plan exactly how, where and when you’ll buy the ingredients, combine them, cook them and serve your dish.
Plan for success
Just like cooking up your signature dish, robotic automation demands detailed planning. This reduces uncertainty and helps a project to hit its targets – to be on time, within budget and without compromise in terms of safety or quality.
Of course when it comes to the delivery of large projects, the process of planning, monitoring and managing is bit more complex and challenging. In this case, a larger team is required to ensure that everything’s covered. The bigger the project, the more people involved and the more important it is to make responsibilities crystal clear.
Planning is something that we like to consider ourselves exceptionally good at, here at Cimcorp. But you don’t have to take our word for it – here’s what Mika Suvanto, Factory Director at Fazer Bakeries, had to say: “We got an hour-by-hour installation schedule beforehand, and it was adhered to throughout the process. The project management was excellent and unprecedented.”
“We got an hour-by-hour installation schedule beforehand, and it was adhered to throughout the process. The project management was excellent and unprecedented.”Mika Suvanto, Fazer Bakeries
What does project management look like?
Typically, project management organization features an overall project manager and technical project managers for the mechanical equipment and the control system, whose workload is highest in the planning phase. In addition, on-site management – including a commissioning manager and a site manager – is required. The work of a project manager begins in the final sales phase and they are then on board until client acceptance and handover of the project to customer support.
Learning from mistakes
At Cimcorp, we’re committed to the four pillars of project management:
- Change management
Of course, trust and respect depend hugely on know-how and experience. Accountability is key to maintaining trust and respect, and is the foundation for long-lasting relationships with customers. Change management is really the final element for continued success in robotic and automated projects. It is the ability to learn from mistakes (because there are some in every project) and hone the project management process, ready for the next installation.