Engineering the Digital Civilization

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Sunday, 30 August 2020

Weeky Reporting Ritual

Image Credit: Pxfuel

I have worked on numerous projects in the past 2 years as an engineer. The most common thing in the execution of every project is having a proper system to manage the project. Project management is not just a task that requires you to do some Gantt Charting in MSP or libre but it is way more than just that. 

Being experienced in the engineering service sector I have come to the conclusion that it is not just those planning and updating stuff but the communication and review that make a project successful. It is extremely important that you have a weekly schedule set up to review the project and have a weekly report circulated amongst all the stakeholders so that everyone is aware of the progress and obstacles in the project. 

It often happens that you constantly mail a stakeholder seeking some inputs/clearances but somehow that person misses to Provide a clear response. Over a certain time, these points get collated into a big mess which adds friction to the project and if you are not able to tackle that on an early stage then it becomes adds a lot of delay to the project. I have had an experience wherein the inputs/clearances are delayed but the client expects the outputs/results to be on schedule. Having no accountability on the involved parties can add a lot of stress and frustration to the people who are actually executing the project. 

Suppose you get a project to design a structure and the design is expected to be completed within the next week. Now, if you have very poor communication with the architect or the other consultants you might end up consuming more time than it was actually expected. It sometimes becomes even difficult as you have to do rework on the drawings due to incorrect assumptions. Who is willing to bear the price of delay or the extra hours consumed? It is natural that everyone will seek to have to make a profit in the project and billing extra hours to your client might damage your relations with the client.

I would highly recommend having a weekly reporting ritual like maintaining a report that is updated weekly, discussed with all the stakeholders and updated according to the responses and inputs from the team. This creates a visual representation of the status of the project and also makes it possible for everyone to have a clear idea of what is happening in the project. It clearly makes it visible to see the obstacles and difficulties the team is going through to get the project completed. Not to forget the most important part, it adds a feature of accountability for all the stakeholders.

Thanks for reading

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