Why the Manufacturing industry has high rate of project failures?
Amit Kapil, Group Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Caparo India
The Manufacturing industry is a process and operations driven industry and this industry has set many standards in process and operations which are examples and adopted by other industries also. However, when it comes to projects, on account of less focus project execution in manufacturing industry often face delays.
These delays are on account of simple reasons which any manufacturing organization can easily overcome and prevent project failure.
Following are top five reasons (no specific order) which manufacturing industry lacks for project success.
1. Poor project management
Manufacturing industry's biggest mistake is managing the project in similar way they manage operations. In place of this they must put Project Management (PM) methodology. Few key factors which can derail the project are:
- Poor plan leads to - unclear objective, insufficient detailing, inefficient resources allocation, ineffective
resource utilization and too many exception management
- Inability to navigate project
- Improper measurement criteria / tools – leads to handicapped project manager with zero or minimum
visibility of the project
A well-defined plan and execution in discipline is the key to success.
2. Depend on vendor for project management
Core business of any manufacturing industry is to make good quality parts for customers. Most of the time internal coordination, communication and integration remain an issue and significantly impact project.
It’s not required for business to be masters in project management, they must choose right business partner (vendor) to deliver quality project management services.
3. Low awareness about project management and it’s returns
Industries spend billions in industrial management tools (often confused with project management tools) hardly any efforts are taken to implement project management principles, tools and techniques to improve project deliveries. With no holistic approach to project management it leads to:
- Cost overruns
- Poor quality
Industries must stop tools and techniques that fit operations and must use project management tools for success of projects.
4. It is not for me
A systematic way of executing a project often faces resistance, such as:
- This will not work here
- We do not execute projects like this
- You do not know working style here
- We tried this earlier and failed
- Our hands are full to drive any new initiative / project
The above mentioned fears are due to:
- Fear of moving out of comfort zone as it discipline the people
- Take away freedom of doing anything anytime
- Brings in visibility and accountability
5. Absence of support for project management in leadership
This skill set is missing in leadership. People are sent on trainings but they have “no mentor” to guide / coach when they actually start practising the same in the industry as they “lack experience”. A leader here fills the gap with his / her experience to make sure project management becomes a success.
To conclude, following can help any manufacturing industry to overcome and reduce project failure rates:
- Adopt Project Management (PM) methodology
and make it must for all projects
- Impart professional training to all project team
members, not only to project managers
- Have PM coach / mentor / guide
- Extend leadership / board support