Process Improvement

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Implementation of PM concepts for small projects
Network:24



Hello friends,
I work in an automotive safety system manufacturing company. Our company has a division which is dedicated for doing CAD and CAE activities for our counterparts in other high cost countries. The projects that we get last from 1 hr to few days (except for few developmental projects). I would like to know if we can implement PM best practices (if not full PM process) in these kind of scenarios. If so, can you suggest me how to go about?
Thanks
Manikantan
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Network:799



Hi Manikantan,

Applying PM concepts to any project - regardless of size - provides a level of standardised quality to the PM process. It is always a good idea to do so.

The question in your scenario, however, is whether to implement this explicitly. If my deliverables are taking a few hours, then it may not help to add onto that timeframe with building a PM framework first.

On the other hand, there is the whole approach of implementing PM concepts *implicitly*. There are many ways to do so - for one, you could have a framework in place for all small projects where the requirements are an input and you have a standardised set of activities that anyone can use as a guide. You could have structures in place to calculate profitability of these engagements. Essentially, a templatised approach that can provide the benefits of the PM methodology without costing anything in time.

The above example is what we do for an offshore (for the customer) team for minor system/ product enhancements. We have a process map, a set of checklists, and boilerplate agreements. It helps keep the entire engagement on the level and in compliance with project audit norms.
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1 reply by Manikantan PC
Feb 09, 2018 11:32 AM
Manikantan PC
...
Hello Karan Shah,
Thanks for your valuable inputs. I would definitely want to try out the approach you have proposed. It almost suits the requirement as mentioned by you. I would like to get connected with you.
Thanks
Manikantan
Network:800



First, are you confusing tasks with projects? 1 Hour project remind me of making a cup of coffee as a project.

If these things are really classified as projects, you can apply the principles of project management on any project, even micro projects like the one you are describing.

We have developed a methodological approach that we can tailor for any type and class of projects; check out #CAMMP
...
1 reply by Manikantan PC
Feb 09, 2018 11:40 AM
Manikantan PC
...
Hello Mounir Ajam,
I would like to bring more clarity on the problem I had stated above. We get requests on completion of CAD/CAE activities from our companies located in HCC. We get the work for various projects handled by team in HCC (High Cost Countries). So we bill them against the project they are working on. Though many of the works as in case of CAD would be very short duration work (as I mentioned an hour or so to complete), some work would be for longer duration (weeks or months).
In this case, for these short duration works, do we need to take it as a task or project, as each work will be billed to different projects.
Thanks
Manikantan
Network:91



Hi Manikantan,

for sure you can applied PM methodology in your business, but you have to consider if it´s worth to build up a complete framework for projects of few hours.

As Kran Shah is mentioned, you can prepare a set of templates where you can capture most of information required to develop an strategy and grow up from that point.

Maybe, can you consider approach Portfolio management methodology? own resources share for differentes projects/customers, you can get a high visibility of projects, customers, planning and cost.

Cheers!

Roberto Gonzalez
...
1 reply by Manikantan PC
Feb 09, 2018 11:54 AM
Manikantan PC
...
Hello Roberto,
Thanks for your inputs. I would want to add few more details on the work we do. We have different team catering to different customers (say Japan team supports only our company in Japan and US team supports for our company in US). This is done as we have different standards for CAD activities for our various clients (client requirements). Therefore, we cannot have a pool of engineers who can support both west and east. But I suppose as you mentioned making of templates would probably be useful.
Thanks
Manikantan
Network:95



Irrespective of smaller or bigger projects PM methodology applies but definitely need to make sure that it is not an overhead. We need to evaluate as to how they can be applied depending on the size or time of project.
Network:600



Manikantan,

I feel customized PM framework would be more suitable which you need to identify as per your needs and define. Because your project are of shorter duration i guess they would be demanding agility. So review Agile Methodology for your requirement fitments.

Thanks
Network:24



Feb 08, 2018 11:19 PM
Replying to Karan Shah
...
Hi Manikantan,

Applying PM concepts to any project - regardless of size - provides a level of standardised quality to the PM process. It is always a good idea to do so.

The question in your scenario, however, is whether to implement this explicitly. If my deliverables are taking a few hours, then it may not help to add onto that timeframe with building a PM framework first.

On the other hand, there is the whole approach of implementing PM concepts *implicitly*. There are many ways to do so - for one, you could have a framework in place for all small projects where the requirements are an input and you have a standardised set of activities that anyone can use as a guide. You could have structures in place to calculate profitability of these engagements. Essentially, a templatised approach that can provide the benefits of the PM methodology without costing anything in time.

The above example is what we do for an offshore (for the customer) team for minor system/ product enhancements. We have a process map, a set of checklists, and boilerplate agreements. It helps keep the entire engagement on the level and in compliance with project audit norms.
Hello Karan Shah,
Thanks for your valuable inputs. I would definitely want to try out the approach you have proposed. It almost suits the requirement as mentioned by you. I would like to get connected with you.
Thanks
Manikantan
Network:24



Feb 09, 2018 12:36 AM
Replying to Mounir Ajam
...
First, are you confusing tasks with projects? 1 Hour project remind me of making a cup of coffee as a project.

If these things are really classified as projects, you can apply the principles of project management on any project, even micro projects like the one you are describing.

We have developed a methodological approach that we can tailor for any type and class of projects; check out #CAMMP
Hello Mounir Ajam,
I would like to bring more clarity on the problem I had stated above. We get requests on completion of CAD/CAE activities from our companies located in HCC. We get the work for various projects handled by team in HCC (High Cost Countries). So we bill them against the project they are working on. Though many of the works as in case of CAD would be very short duration work (as I mentioned an hour or so to complete), some work would be for longer duration (weeks or months).
In this case, for these short duration works, do we need to take it as a task or project, as each work will be billed to different projects.
Thanks
Manikantan
Network:24



Feb 09, 2018 3:12 AM
Replying to Roberto González
...
Hi Manikantan,

for sure you can applied PM methodology in your business, but you have to consider if it´s worth to build up a complete framework for projects of few hours.

As Kran Shah is mentioned, you can prepare a set of templates where you can capture most of information required to develop an strategy and grow up from that point.

Maybe, can you consider approach Portfolio management methodology? own resources share for differentes projects/customers, you can get a high visibility of projects, customers, planning and cost.

Cheers!

Roberto Gonzalez
Hello Roberto,
Thanks for your inputs. I would want to add few more details on the work we do. We have different team catering to different customers (say Japan team supports only our company in Japan and US team supports for our company in US). This is done as we have different standards for CAD activities for our various clients (client requirements). Therefore, we cannot have a pool of engineers who can support both west and east. But I suppose as you mentioned making of templates would probably be useful.
Thanks
Manikantan
Network:35



I would consider using an Agile methodology. It will allow you to attribute time to each "small project" as a task, and provide a framework for capacity and resource planning. Use of a backlog will also give you a very visual indication of the workflow.

You could work with a sprint duration that matches client billing cycles, and larger "projects" could be treated individually.

It also has the advantage of being relatively lightweight to implement and will not overburden the resources with new processes and working practices. And as with all PM practices you can modify and adapt to create something that works for you.

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