In a context of market transformation and volatility, labour shortages, and inflation, the strategic direction of your manufacturing company can change rapidly. This affects your priorities and the choice of your projects.
Whether it’s to improve existing operations, develop business strategy or comply with regulatory requirements, the objectives of your investment projects will vary depending on your needs.
Whether it’s a plant layout, the implementation of information technologies, smart factories, handling, logistics, automation, occupational health and safety or product development projects, investment projects can be of various types.
Are you thinking of undertaking a project of this type and have already identified the various opportunities available to you? All that’s left is to get started! To help you, we present 10 key success factors to complete this investment project.
1- Align the Project with the Company's Priorities.
First, make sure your investment project is aligned with your strategic priorities. These priorities will guide the type of project you focus on: compliance, operational or strategic. Ensuring the project’s relevance is equivalent to ensuring that it will be supported by the organization until its conclusion.
2- Define the Scope and Expectations of the Project.
3- Identify Stakeholders and the Strategy to Manage them.
It is a good idea to do your homework early on and compile a registry of all the players who have an interest in the project, and then gauge their level of interest and power towards it. This will allow you to establish approach strategies. Is it best to collaborate with the party in question or would a communication strategy be more appropriate? Stakeholder identification is a fundamental part of risk management.
4- Workforce Resource Planning.
Once you have identified your stakeholders, plan adequately for internal or external resources to execute the project. This is too often neglected, and unfortunately, a lack of resources often leads to delays or partially accomplished objectives.
Assess and anticipate your workforce needs. It is important to determine the types and quantities of talent needed for the project, considering the entire production process, maintenance, logistics and support services. If human resources are scarce, it may be necessary to find alternatives such as optimizing work processes, training unskilled workers, outsourcing certain tasks, or automating.
Merkur can assist you in this key step. Contact our experts.
5- Develop a Robust Schedule and Take into Account Possible Contingencies.
Undertaking an investment project means inevitably encountering unforeseen events. In order to deal with them, we advise you to carefully plan the different stages of the project:
- Establish detailed execution plans to anticipate potential obstacles and to leave room for those steps where uncertainties cannot be eliminated.
- Establish a realistic implementation schedule, taking into account the timeline, deadlines, as well as the people responsible for each step.
- Plan for human resource management. It is important to include human resource management steps at the beginning of the project, such as recruitment, training, and professional development. This will allow you to anticipate availability and needs.
6- Evaluate the Costs as Accurately as Possible in Terms of Materials and Labour.
7- Develop an Effective Communication Plan.
Throughout the course of your project, ensure that information is shared across the board by building an appropriate communication plan. This is a good opportunity to consult the stakeholder register established earlier.
- Create an easy-to-use communication platform to share key information. All employees or frontline stakeholders must have access to the information.
- Adapt your messages according to the profile and needs of your interlocutors.
- Set up follow-up meetings. Be sure to decide on the frequency and content of these meetings in advance.
- Provide visibility for the project within your organization to maintain support. Out of sight, out of mind…
8- Set up a Steering Committee.
In order to ensure a sound governance of the project, we advise you to set up a steering committee. This will allow the project manager to have a global vision of everyone’s responsibilities. This steering committee can be created to ensure the supervision and coordination of the project at a high level, like a board of directors. It can be composed of members of the organization, external consultants, financial experts, etc. During this stage, don’t forget to involve stakeholders such as the team directly involved in the project as well as the end-users in the decision-making process. Finally, make sure you have the support of senior management.
9-Conduct Real-Time Monitoring and Control.
Once the project is launched, it is essential to ensure that you have real-time information on the project’s progress and expenses. Thanks to this, you will be able to detect anomalies as quickly as possible and adjust promptly.
This follow-up will allow you to evaluate the results of the project in relation to the performance indicators established at the beginning and to build a history. This history will be a useful reference to conclude if the project has reached its objectives and that the investments have been profitable.
10- Train your Staff in Project Management Concepts.
In conclusion, carrying out investment projects is complex, but by following these 10 best practices, you will maximize your chances of success. Your success lies in:
- Alignment with organizational priorities and identification of objectives.
- Complete identification of stakeholders.
- Planning your resource needs, timeline, and budget.
- The effectiveness of your communication plan and your steering committee.
- Real-time monitoring and control.
- Training your staff in key skills such as project management.
Keep in mind that a major cause of failure in an investment project is when the initial objectives are not clear. Keep your objectives clear and up-to-date and keep them in mind by monitoring them throughout the project.
Merkur can assist you in all stages of your investment project: from the needs analysis to the definition of objectives, to the realization of the project. We help you implement good practices and make your projects a success. Contact our experts.