WHY PLAN FOR THE PROJECT?

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A few years ago, a senior engineer in my organization said, “I don’t think any planning engineers are required in our company. In fact, I believe no planners are required in any company in the middle east.” He was only slightly hesitant to extend his hypothesis to the rest of the world and I was vastly in shock, to say the least. I wasn’t sure which was the bigger insult; implying that my team were worthless to the company or the insinuation that we were a sham and being paid for it.

It shook me up. But it also made me introspect and honestly evaluate whether I and my team were adding value to the company. I started closely monitoring our contributions to various project teams and other departments. It turned out we were actually providing valuable information to the project managers, the senior management, the procurement department and our accounts guys but there was room for improvement. More importantly, the shock motivated me to strive and make my department an integral part of the company. I pushed my team to make themselves indispensable by sincerely trying to make the project manager look good by improving project performance any way they could. The reward came when I went to a site to facilitate relocation of a site planner to the main office. The project manager somehow knew why I was there and as soon as I entered his office the first thing he said was not Hello but “Don’t even think about taking Engr. ——- from my site.”

In short, if you can honestly convince yourself of your value to an organization, the organization will automatically see the value in you.

Remember, ignoring the project planning process can be a formula for failure. A project plan provides a roadmap of key milestones and a timeline to reach them. They only require changes as unanticipated circumstances require responses that deviate from the original plan.

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