Words by Megan Avard, Founder and CEO
Project management efficiency is an important part of delivering projects both small and large. When balls are dropped, businesses face repercussions such as reputational damage, profit loss and wasted time, energy and resources.
We are seeing more and more media coverage of projects being delayed, going over budget and halting altogether due to inefficiencies across the project’s management.
The challenges are partly due to the many key players and components across the lifecycle of a project. That is why creating efficiencies is about finding solutions that can be beneficial across the project and its needs from start to finish.
While all project managers aim to deliver their projects efficiently, there are small things that can quickly compound to blow a multitude of deliveries out of scope and budget.
Analysing your processes and putting in place more efficient methods and practices will not only help projects that are currently underway, but will future-proof your business and create a competitive advantage.
Here are some areas that can be focused on for improved efficiency and positive project outcomes.
1. Perfect your plan before you proceed
Many infrastructure and construction inefficiencies can be nipped in the bud before supplies are ordered, human resources are hired and land is broken. In fact, it is arguably what happens in the planning stage that is most essential to your project’s success.
Solid foundations need to be in place, which means you need to do your homework when it comes to people, processes, information, equipment, materials, funding and locations.
Based on the above and the current climate, you should also include a realistic buffer for when the unexpected occurs to avoid delays and cost increases.
While you’re no doubt eager to get the project under way, it will be well worth it in the long run to put in the extra time at this early stage to dot every i and cross every t.
2. Utilise technology
One of the benefits of living in our fast-paced and often chaotic modern world is the availability of technology solutions that can assist with project management.
However, not every digital solution has been made equal, and finding the right match for you and your business is important.
Good SaaS products should host a range of features under one solution that will let you gain back time in your day to focus on the project/s at hand.
When you are used to using lengthy email chains, complex spreadsheets and hard-copy documents, it can feel intimidating to move away from what you know, but it is essential for those who are serious about workflow productivity enhancements.
With SurePact, you can manage an entire suite of portfolios across people, processes, information, equipment, materials, funding, locations, documents and reporting using its suite of modules, which integrate with your existing systems.
Not only will your project run smoother, but you will also get valuable insights that will allow you to mitigate risks, put a stop to repeat mistakes and plan better for future endeavours.
While it may be the biggest commitment on this list, utilising technology is by far the fastest path to improving efficiency, and will provide the biggest payoff across every aspect of the job.
3. Enhance communication
Without strong communication, efficiency is automatically compromised within your business. Communication is one of the key pillars of efficiency, as it eliminates misunderstandings and avoidable errors, mitigates risks, increases productivity and collaboration and ensures that everyone is on the same page and understands the expected results.
This communication should be available in real-time to decrease time taken for variation approvals, problem solving and decision making, and reduce idle time on-site, which can quickly add up.
SurePact allows for communication to happen in one spot, within the platform, so that key stakeholders are constantly informed.
4. Maintain equipment
Working equipment is the backbone of any infrastructure or construction site. Without specialised equipment, many tasks simply can not be done.
Equipment that is working in sub-optimal conditions, or not working at all, is a surefire way to decrease project efficiency and cause lengthy delays.
Managing and maintaining this equipment needs to be a priority and should be part of an allocated, scheduled task so that it is not missed or overlooked. This will also reduce operational costs and keep equipment running longer and more effectively.
5. Centralise all data
Every portfolio and project inevitably produces large amounts of data, information and documents that need to be stored and shared for real-time collaborative work. Having this in one consolidated, accessible and centralised place allows all project workers to be across where they need to be and be held accountable for their decisions.
While many organisations still use multiple complex spreadsheets, email chains and other storage to maintain this, it limits the ability to make quick and informed decisions based on current information.
A single source of truth, in the form of a repository of all documentation, ensures that everyone is working off the same information.
SurePact provides a single platform that acts as this foundation for every portfolio and project, providing the relevant stakeholders and departments with accessibility in the most efficient way possible. This avoids the same question and information having to be delivered time and time again, which is counterproductive, and prevents details being lost in translation.
SurePact also allows for different permission levels, version controls and auditing capabilities, so users can only access what you want them to.
6. Form strong relationships
Across the project team, both internally and externally, strong and trusting relationships need to be formed to create a well-oiled and efficient team.
For example, those working out in the field are your eyes and ears when it comes to what is happening on-site during a project’s lifecycle. Having strong relationships with those experienced workers will allow you to know what is going on at any given time and can help you to spot and prevent holes in your planning, which you might not otherwise notice.
Another example is on the supply side. Forming strong relationships with the supply chain of goods and services needed for a project’s success is crucial in getting the project across the line efficiently and successfully. Suppliers can have a huge amount of control when it comes to securing your materials within budget and on time – they will know when shortages are likely to occur and can warn you well ahead of time to adjust your planning and schedule accordingly, so you need to invest time in those relationships.
These are just some of the ways that projects can be delivered more efficiently – and some of the ways SurePact can help. Contact us today to learn more about SurePact’s Portfolio Delivery solution.