During a bad
is no time
—Richard Laermer, author,
New York, New York, USA
“Everyone needs to know where the
project is and where it needs to be,” says
Along with keeping teams on track,
sharing project information and metrics
with key stakeholders and customers
can build loyalty and buy-in even if the
project isn’t a total success, says Jay
Bolus, vice president of technical operations for McDonough Braungart
Design Chemistry, a consulting and
green business certification firm in
Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.
“You have to have transparency on
a project to prove what you’ve accomplished,” he says.
Mr. Bolus points to MechoShade
Systems Inc., which makes solar shading systems. For years, the Long Island
City, New York, USA-based company
used a mix of chemicals and PVC in
its product lines, which made the end-product toxic and difficult to recycle.
To improve the environmental sustainability of the line, MechoShade
launched a redesign project in 2007.
The company was able to replace most
of the offending material in the shades
with a more environmentally friendly
one, but it still had to include a toxic
flame retardant to meet safety standards, Mr. Bolus says.
“Rather than hide the fact that they
used this material, the project team
created a set of metrics for every material used in the shades and categorized
them according to their green, yellow
or red material status. Then they made
those metrics publicly available,” he
says. “Their goal was to be open and
honest about what they [had] accomplished so far, and to be honest about
what they still wanted to accomplish,
and that resonated with their customer base.”
Making project data publicly available streamlines the project management process and proves you have
nothing to hide, Mr. Laermer says. But
he warns that it also requires greater
accountability and a higher level of
“If you are putting information out
there, you need to stand behind it and
be sure it’s accurate,” he says.
“Responsibility is a big part of transparency.”
There should also be opportunities
for stakeholders, customers and team
members to respond to project data by
making suggestions and participating in
the decision-making process to better
“The best people to find improvements are not the project managers, it’s
the people doing the job who see what
needs to be done every day,” says Mr.
Gazel. “If you give them the chance,
they will add value to the project.”
TAKEAWAY: Sharing project information breeds loyalty, streamlines
project progress and improves the end-result.
TREND > POWER ALLIANCE When money is tight, it o sense for companies and mu to seek out alliances that c the financial load and redu3S nly makes nicipalities an lighten ce risks if
projects go awry.
Sometimes they’re public-private
partnerships. The Virginia I-495
infrastructure project, for example, is a
joint effort between the U.S. state’s
Department of Transportation, two U.S.
construction giants and an Australian
developer. In other cases, it’s two private
companies looking to leverage the expertise
of global teams with local businesses.
U.S.-based Methodist International
Medical Center joined forces with Emaar
Healthcare Group in the United Arab
Emirates, for instance, for projects to
build healthcare centers in the Middle
East, North Africa and Turkey.
No matter how the players line up,
partnerships are a popular way to spread
risk and cut costs.
“There used to be more of an
emphasis on outsourcing of manufacturing, but in a competitive market-