Project and process management: software innovations in the face of the crisis

The increasingly common switch to project and process management based on software contributed significantly to the modernization of processes in many companies before the Corona crisis. Particularly in the mechanical and plant engineering sector, which is often extremely complex for large-scale projects, it was often possible to achieve significant time savings by standardizing and organizing processes in this way.

The global crisis caused by the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is now a major obstacle to further innovation in the industry. The focus shifted to short-term thinking to ensure survival first. The risk here is that even if the market and the industry recover, the timely moment to switch to software-based project and process management may have already been missed. This threatens to cause long-term damage.

Project management and process management: interaction & software solutions

Good and modern project management is also a great help for process management. Software solutions that clearly display and communicate project progress help to organize projects successfully and effectively. Innovation in project management therefore also directly influences the processes used during project implementation. Ultimately, all parties – client, contractor, and employees – benefit from an optimized data flow.

This interaction can be illustrated very well using the example of COMAN and its use in mechanical and plant engineering: The project management software clearly displays the entire project progress, including all associated data, on a platform thanks to the construction plan-based Smart Objects. The platform is continuously fed with new data by employees and via interfaces to other programs, which can be absorbed at the project management level and used for decision-making.

Project management carried out in this way also influences the processes of the many workers at the same time. They receive up-to-the-minute data for their responsibilities and can see where there are outstanding tasks in their area of responsibility and what is needed to complete them. COMAN helps streamline processes and ultimately contributes to faster execution itself.

Perspectives on Process Management and Innovation

A few years ago, former IBM manager Gunter Dueck, who is now a writer, called process management the "death of innovation." Indeed, process management often relies on solutions that have proven themselves in the past. As the above example shows, however, process management can also be modernized through appropriate technical and organizational advances. This often results in a monetary benefit for companies: better processes lead to better work and thus to both fewer delays and more satisfied customers.

So what needs to be done in the face of the crisis? Process management is an area where big leaps in effectiveness and quality can be achieved with relatively little financial outlay. If a company from the mechanical and plant engineering sector identifies deficits in these areas, optimization in the areas of project and process management, for example through software solutions, can provide relief. It seems clear that progress that is missed now due to overt short-term thinking will be felt later. For companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector, on the other hand, innovative solutions in this area can be worth hard cash – and that is particularly valuable in the current uncertain situation, which is hitting medium-sized companies very hard.

Conclusion: Back to the top with modern project and process management

Mechanical and plant engineering remains one of the most important industrial sectors in Germany. Above all, the automotive industry, which is also facing an uncertain future with the combination of the Corona pandemic and the advent of e-mobility, continues to be an important player on the global market with its value chains. Despite the short-term fear, the focus should therefore not be completely removed from the future, whether in automotive manufacturing or elsewhere. Contemporary project and process management that exploits the (software) opportunities of today is an important gift on the way out of the crisis.