Want to ensure the smoothest life cycle of your automation projects? Work with a system integrator who has a proven Project Management Program!
How do you know when you have found one that is worthy of partnering with? Consider the following criteria when choosing the integrator that’s right for you:
Project Management Systems
- An integrator with a strong repeatable system should easily be able to demonstrate and communicate their complete process in its simplest form. This process needs to include planned customer interaction points in order to facilitate input throughout the process. Planned interaction points prevent surprises and make sure all team members have input into the final product. As the customer, you should never have to wonder what is supposed to happen next, and you should never have to worry that your voice will not be heard during the life cycle of the project.
- Demonstrated timing plans that reflect the process should be simple to understand, and communicated frequently.
- Materials management is a critical piece to the success of any project. As our technology changes, the magnitude of materials required increases exponentially. At JR we often say, "We can't build if we don’t have it.” A Project Manager’s ability to track and accurately monitor incoming materials is critical to project success. The make of a good system is a Project manager’s ability to report status on a moment's notice.
- Execution of the open issues process is consistent. This process, executed well, minimizes the opportunity for things to be missed and keeps everyone on the team informed.
- Project Change Management is something that doesn’t get talked about enough. Most projects are market bid and awarded based on that market pricing. Changes after the project has started are another story. Often times, the cost of changes are a point of contention because the process is rarely discussed ahead of time. A good Project Management program should have a change process that is consistent, transparent, and explainable when it comes to impact of those changes on both cost and timing. Make sure to review this process as well as the costing structure associated with it ahead of requesting scope changes. A program with a good change management system will eliminate surprises after the project is in process.
- The best vendor-customer relationships are built on solid chemistry. Good chemistry ultimately equates to more successful projects for both partners.
- The best Project Management teams will strive to learn the intimacies of your personality and systems. A good Project Management program is designed to make it easier for you to work with their organization than anywhere else.
- A well-run Project Management team should make you feel like they are an extension of your own team. Each member needs to be concerned about the other’s success, as one can't be successful without the other. When managed correctly, it should feel like you are plugged into your project even when not present.
- Genuine transparent relationships keep each party from wondering about the intentions of the other, and at the end of the day, a better, more cost-effective product is produced.
- Nobody's systems are perfect, however, it is proven that even the most difficult projects can be successful when both customer and Project Manager have a solid relationship, are transparent with each other, and have genuine concern for each other's success.
The bottom line is this: there are many things to consider when selecting an integration partner. By using this list as a guideline, you can feel confident that you’re choosing the one that’s right for you. In doing so, your life will be easier and your projects more successful!
JR Automation partners with the world's leading manufacturers to design, build, and integrate custom automation solutions. Headquartered in Holland, Michigan (USA), we have more than 1,200,000 sq. ft. (111,000 sq. m.) of office and production space around the world and more than 2,000 dedicated team members. We've handled even the most technically challenging large-scale projects, and you'll find our solutions operating 24/7 on 5 continents.