Project planning is Project Management and I defy anyone who says it is not.
Project Planning is a career path that holds a seat awfully close to the top echelons of any company.
Project Planning should begin at the inception of any project and becomes the pre-engineering process where nothing is left to chance when it comes to the construction phase.
The Planning Engineer is the focal point when the questions are asked.
• Where are we? - Progress Update
• What has it cost to get here? - Overruns on Programme cost, time, and money.
• Where are we going? - Slippage in programme = Compensable vs. Non-Compensable Delays
• How can we correct any problems? = Create an action plan
Of course, enthusiasm and recognition within the company is the real key that helps to motivate and excite the Planning Engineer.
Whether the project is to construct world’s tallest building, or the construction of an elevated motorway, project planning and scheduling is quite simply the beating heart of every project.
“In essence the effectiveness of a planning engineer may be divided into three essential components:
• Technical skills – planning engineers need an understanding of fundamental techniques, processes, and software related skills (though the former area should be far more heavily weighted).
• The amount of site visits! - How familiar are they with the aspect of the project schedules they typically prepare.
After all, how is it possible to analyse risk, opportunity, and the project delivery strategy when you have no understanding of the work composition that underpins each of the project events?
• Personal characteristics - Though a more difficult area to address, it is their personal characteristics that will typically win the day. Effective planning engineers are usually intrusive, engaging, good communicators, perhaps pessimistic (or they should be to balance out the naturally optimistic project managers!) and of course good team players.”
The Keyboard Jockey
The keyboard jockey is somebody who talks big about the subject of planning and scheduling but cannot back their words up with real life accomplishments in the industry.
He or She may well know their way around the software, however, they do not come under the category of a Planning Engineer who approaches the project in an eclectic manner.
The keyboard jockey will not add value to his role as he lacks the upbringing of a planning engineer.
The planning engineer will have served and alternated his time during training in many departments, thus, acquiring an appreciation for tendering and estimating department site engineering, quantity surveying etc.