How To Manage Ability For Carrying Out Business Plans

Three Kinds of Projects

Let’s consider a business unit which is struggling to use staff time fully. Three types of continuing projects affect the business. First type delivers a product or service to the customer, second helps the business do the projects and third lifts the business. As an example, the first project automates a plant, second sets up a tool assuring quality, third delivers company-wide training in managing risks while booking new contracts. Projects finish late because there aren’t enough skilled engineers to finish tasks on time. Managers move staff across various projects without a method for ranking projects. People charge their training time to projects though they don’t add something of value. Managers assume remaining time to finish is accurate without looking closely at the status. These problems need a cure. What should the business unit manager do?


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The Investment

You need to spend correctly to achieve certain results. For example, the customer project has labor, hardware and contractor costs. Estimates are for skilled labor but often they don’t include learning costs. Besides, people charge time mechanically. Managers find it difficult to estimate real productive time when emails, voicemails and many meetings often interrupt engineers. So one project manager asks the engineering manager “How do I know your engineer has finished 50% of task A just because he has charged 50% of his time to it? ”. Unless the engineering manager knows the engineer’s skill level, it is impossible to estimate how much work is remaining. Project managers diligently have to note time charges to their projects each week and question the progress. Such rigor stops costly delays. Next, with known skill levels, how do you make sure the right people work on the right tasks across all projects? Such issues need proper methods to correct them.

What We Learn

For each project group, the business needs settled budgets and owners, at least once each year. The business needs a table showing who approves which project with a work flow. Business leaders need to rank projects at least 2 or more times each year, to fit the overall business plan. Revisit the need for new technology yearly so you are current with the market. The business needs a full register listing all projects. Internal projects need reviews similar to customer projects and business leaders need to stop projects, which don’t fit the business – in each quarter. Labor needs to show work done, work remaining and work bought from 3rd parties. Last, the business leader has to drive internal teams to develop custom tools to suit business methods.

How Businesses Reach Their Goals

The business unit manager has to spend the right budget for projects to carry out the overall business plan. He needs to develop methods for selecting right projects, rank them, create pool of skilled staff and manage the ability of the business.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Houston Results For Small Business”. Want even faster results? Are you ready to learn? Call 281.410.5375 and speak to your Profitability Coach Houston today!

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