By Stacy Capek, Director of Engineering

“There’s never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.”  How many times has this come to fruition while managing a project? Pressures of shortening the timeline and reducing cost seem to dictate project delivery time and time again. Although the upfront planning phase can seem like it takes too long, it will save time in the end every time as rework will not be necessary.

Equipment Requirements are an essential tool in planning.  If requirements are documented and shared at the beginning of a project, clear expectations are set.  Too often, because of time constraints, this step is overlooked until later and equipment is ordered.  This can be costly, both from a monetary perspective and schedule impact.  Equipment build is in progress, only to find design changes are necessary to meet the newly discovered requirements.  The changes must be made and cause a “do over” in many cases.

Building a realistic schedule with input from all team members is another critical step in successful project delivery. Including the team members who will actually do the work creates realistic outputs to communicate. Every project suffers some delays so also including a buffer in the schedule will ultimately help manage expectations.

As projects move forward, delays in the equipment build tend to shorten testing windows. Some choose to expedite factory acceptance testing just to get the equipment to the final resting place for production. This too can cause delays later in the project when more rigorous testing is executed and problems are uncovered. Worse yet, if the equipment is in production and an issue arises from lack of testing, product may be recalled.  It is faster and less expensive to fix issues on the factory floor, rather than after the equipment has shipped.

By following a robust delivery process, project timelines can actually be shortened in the long run. Shortcutting steps only makes for more work later in the project, hence the saying “There’s never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.”

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