BlogThe Critical Success Factor in Getting Your Projects Done on Time

The Critical Success Factor in Getting Your Projects Done on Time

By Gary Stokes
May 22nd, 2017

Let’s say you’re in charge of getting a conveyor handling system installed for an important client at a Distribution Center in California on tight deadlines.  You have a great track record of never having missed a deadline for completing a project. You’re the overall Systems Integrator, and you have awarded the contract for the design, engineering, building, and installation of the control system to a Control Systems Integrator from Maryland.

In his book Great By Choice, Jim Collins coined the term “Productive Paranoia” to describe the thinking of great leaders that are always preparing for the worst while maintaining the optimism and willingness to take risks required for growth.

Given the nature of project work, I’m willing to bet that there’s usually a little paranoia present when you get your project started, and especially so as the deadlines approach.

So how would you handle this situation on your project?

It’s Friday afternoon, and two panels, a 2-door and a 4-door, are to be delivered by 3 pm. But 3 pm comes and goes and no panels.  Your Control Systems Integrator is hounding the shipping company who promise that the panels will be on-site by 5 pm.  Friday night passes.  Saturday night passes.  Sunday night passes.  The control systems integrator is all over the shipping company, but it’s no dice until Monday morning when the panels finally arrive. Relief!

That is, until you open the panels, where you learn that the 2-door panel has been demolished during shipping and needs to be built from scratch, and the 4-door panel has been damaged and needs significant repairs.  Your track record is in serious jeopardy.

But wait.  Your control systems integrator has a different idea.  It turns out they are as invested in your track record as you are. And they swing into action right away by ordering everything that they need to build the new 2-door panel and repair the 4-door panel. By Tuesday they have received everything except the enclosure for the 2-door, which if you know something about panels means that there isn’t a lot to do until it arrives.

After another few maddening days of trying to find the rogue enclosure, the control systems integrator learns that the enclosure had been incorrectly shipped to a location 100 miles from their site in Maryland. Your SI says “No worries.  We’ll come and get it ourselves”.  They send some drivers and a truck and by 3 pm Friday, exactly one week from when the completed panels were due on the project site in California, the enclosure arrives in Maryland.

Your control systems integrator gets people all over it, and they manage to complete the work in one tenth the time it would normally take, such that by Sunday they completed and fully tested the panel it’s gulp, ready for shipping.  The SI decides to hire a private trucking company with tandem drivers to get the panel safely to California as fast as possible.  Once the panel arrives, another of your SI’s team members, who is working on a startup about 30 miles from your California project site, pulls double duty, and completes the repairs and installation on the 4-door panel and the installation of the 2-door panel.

Your track record is intact.  Another successful project, another deadline met.

The success factor? Responding with commitment, urgency, skill, and dedication. If you were asked to complete a follow-up survey from your SI about this project, how would you grade them for responsiveness?

Every project has problems to be resolved, and it’s frequently not the technical stuff.  Often it’s just working with people that are as committed to your success as you are, and who know that the outcome isn’t determined by an event, but instead by the response to the event.

This is a true story and that’s Pendant.  We get 5 stars out of 5 for both responsiveness and meeting deadlines on almost 81% of our projects, with an average of over 4.8 out of 5.

How much of a difference would that make to you?  If it would, click here to contact us to get started on polishing up your own track record.