Industry 4.0 & IoT

4 steps to project success

Alexander Lang09/06/2019

Does this sound familiar? You’ve just finished updating and printing a huge project plan, and before you can even blink, it’s already out of date. It would never have happened if you’d used the project planning tool that comes with our industry solutions for discrete & project-based manufacture. This software helps you implement your planning efficiently and precisely.

The right plan for your project

Project planning includes detailed scheduling and cost budgeting. Since structures can vary greatly between individual projects, all planning starts with selecting the right project structure plan. Using templates provides you with a framework and saves you from having to re-invent the wheel with every project. So every pan is unique in the details – and this is especially true for the production of assemblies or machinery and plant components. BOMs can be especially challenging, because the more complex they get, the more work it takes to organize the project.

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Keeping an eye on costs

It’s very important to accurately estimate and budget the costs for the machinery, plants or assemblies you're building. Otherwise, there’s no way to know if the project is heading for a cost overrun. Since the project planning software is integrated right in the ERP system, accrued costs from project time confirmations and purchasing transactions become available in the integrated costing feature just as soon as they’re posted. So you can make target/actual comparisons, etc. You’ll find these figures available at every project level, from the general overview to the lowest planning level.

Scheduling – a blessing and a curse

When it comes to project scheduling, the rule is “as approximate as possible and as precise as necessary.” In the face of constant change, overly detailed planning quickly leads to heavy administrative burdens. This is especially true if the ERP system utilizes integrated resource and capacity planning.

So plan work packages, not individual jobs. Also, keep in mind that project planning does not involve task management. For this, we recommend special solutions like Microsoft Planner or Microsoft Teams. All the same, planning the work packages does help your co-workers to keep an overview of their weekly schedule and give team leaders valuable insight into current capacity utilization.

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More transparency for everyone involved

Modern project planning for discrete manufacture is deeply integrated into the ERP system. It also serves as a link to adjacent departments like Financial Accounting, Logistics, Production, Purchasing and Sales. As a result, these departments get direct access to individual project planning operations and initiate processes based on them.

How do you plan your projects? Is it smooth sailing at every stage, or could your set-up use some improvement? Why not talk to one of our seasoned industry management consultants? Make an appointment with Michael Hering today to discuss your specific situation.

Want to learn more about project planning? Check out our white paper on project planning for more details.

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Alexander Lang
Industry Manager Project | COSMO CONSULT