Time Is Money People!

If decreasing project duration was easy we would all be doing it!  Anyone can spend less time on a project, but the challenge is how to reduce project time while keeping quality consistent.  Spending less time on a project means you have more time for additional projects and more time for additional clients which should mean more money in your pocket.  I found Miranda Morley’s article, “How to Reduce Project Duration”, to be beneficial by providing five steps on how to reduce project duration effectively.

Step One: Morley discusses how to keep track of how time is used and eliminate time wasters. In beginning phases of the project or even before the project starts be conscious of the time taken for snacks, coffee breaks, socializing, etc. By keeping track of this time you can estimate how much time your next project will be increased by. You can also keep track of this wasted time in the first half of the project and focus on decreasing this wasted time in the second half. Realistically, this may be hard for groups that are crunch for time, but always something to be aware of.

Step Two: Make weekly or daily tasks. This may seem simple, but I feel like a lot of project groups forget to do this. Tasks and action items may be set in the beginning of the project, but staying on a weekly or even daily schedule ensures that the group stays on task. Having a daily list also helps the group feel accomplished when they can cross off action items. This can help everyone to stay motivated, especially over long projects.

Step Three: Morley talks about understanding how you work best. First, how do you work as an individual? Are there certain times in the day that you are more alert? Do you work better in certain locations? Once an individual figures out their own work style they are able to better fit into a productive group.

Step Four: Collaborate and delegate. This step is pretty obvious, but it’s beneficial to split up group tasks by strength. Not only is it important to the know the strengths of your group members going into a project, but it’s important to give them jobs that focus on those strengths. This helps to cut project time down drastically when you don’t have to worry about individuals spending days on their portion of the project all because they didn’t understand something. Also, discuss strengths and weaknesses in the office or in your project teams so that you know who to contact about helping you with your project.

Step Five: Cut out distractions like social networking, texting, unnecessary email, etc. This is HUGE! We’ve all been seated at a conference table with group members that can’t seem to take their eyes off their cell phone or people that are clearly looking at pictures on a social media site. This becomes a huge distraction and causes group members to be distracted. While these technologies are fun to use and may even help you communicate important business information, you don’t have to use them during time that has been allotted for working on a project.

This article was interesting to me because I feel that many people are so caught up in spreadsheets and data showing how to reduce time, but often we forget the little things that can really help to decrease the amount of time spent on a project. Remembering these simple steps can dramatically help to reduce project lead times while keeping quality consistent.

What other steps could be added to this list? What has worked for you in the past while working on an important project?


Source: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/reduce-project-duration-25320.html

Risk Management in Aviation

With two major air disasters in the past year and a half, risk management remains a top priority of airlines around the world.  Even with the Malaysia Airlines flight 370’s  mysterious disappearance and Malaysia Flight 17 being shot down over Ukraine, The New York Times recently published an article titled “Airline Industry at Its Safest Since the Dawn of the Jet Age.” The article reads that a single passenger could fly every day for 123,000 years before they encountered a fatal flight. As the chances of having a safe flight continue to increase, so does the complexity of risk management.

Over the years we have seen different types of risk become reality.  From engine failures, piece part failures, terrorism, and now cybercrimes, risk profiles of airlines and airports are rapidly changing. Risk managers are forced to broaden their coverage since many different issues can arise.  Issues range from potential liabilities relating to pollution to situations like a loss of GPS satellite communication.  Another area buyers are interested in has been protection against cyber-attacks.  This issue is not just in aviation, but can be found in most industries.

At the end of the day, airlines take every precaution possible to keep their passengers and crew safe while flying.  As in other industries, some risks cannot be avoided if they were to occur.  Airlines focus on mitigating the risk and the having a backup plan if something were to actually happen. Larsen and Grey give us two strategies for mitigating risk.  “First, reduce the likelihood that the event will occur and second reduce the impact that the adverse event would have on the project” (Larsen and Grey,2014).  This is a key point that anyone can take away and use in their daily job.  As we read in chapter 7, a contingency plan is an alternative plan that will be used if a possible foreseen risk event becomes a reality.  Every airline has and practices different contingency plans in case of emergency.  These plans don’t eliminate risk, but definitely reduce and help employees of the airline manage the different risks effectively.  Also, in chapter 7 we learn risk avoidance “that changes the project plan to eliminate the risk or condition” (Larsen and Grey, 2014).  Airlines avoid certain risks like scanning their passengers in security for guns or knives to avoid passengers shooting anyone on board during flight.  They even take into consideration what types of food they serve their passengers in flight to avoid certain allergic reactions.

Working in the aviation industry for an aircraft parts manufacturer there are many risks that we manage on a daily basis.  Mainly, we avoid the risk of selling a faulty part to an airline by ensuring that we run every single part through many testing phases throughout the building process.  With many different tests being run we can pinpoint the exact issue and make sure everything is running smoothly by the time the part leaves our plant.

What are some different risks your company faces and how do they manage these risks?

Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/535716/managing-risk-in-a-high-flying-industry-a-look-at-aviation/