Project management in plant engineering – and then there was COVID…

For the successful implementation of project management in plant engineering, many small parts must work together without any problems. A good project management software helps to lubricate the metaphorical gears and to overcome small crises quickly and competently. A pandemic taking an unpredictable course that leads to massive impairment of almost all areas of life is therefore an unpleasant surprise for such an industry.

In fact, the effects of coronavirus on plant construction were massive in many places: Production was shut down for weeks and months or even stopped completely while global trade suffered from the unpredictability and reacted with long delays. The vulnerability of supply chains was felt right up to the peak of global production chains.

How can project management in plant engineering react to the crisis?

Project management in plant engineering is very familiar with solving problems – but few problems were as big and as unpredictable as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Especially in automotive plant engineering, where preparations for the era of the electric car are currently underway in many places, the strain of large investments is exacerbated by significantly lower revenues. Even after the restart following the shutdown, project managers in plant construction are therefore still under pressure to find quick solutions to problems that arise just as quickly. It is likely that many of them were at least partly caused by the coronavirus crisis, as the next examples show.

When employees are absent due to a suspicion or a confirmed case of infection or supply chains are repeatedly interrupted, thorough planning is required. Beyond the actual construction progress, the main focus has to be on implementing processes that can sustainably reduce the risk of infection. Examples of such measures are the reduction of internal and external contacts, distance requirements, shift operation, contactless changes and handovers, as well as compliance with general hygiene instructions.

The aim of these measures is, of course, to minimize the effects of coronavirus on plant engineering. At the same time, however, these new challenges for project management in an industry as sensitive as plant construction can easily cause disruptions. This double-edged sword is a possible starting point for assistance: A holistic approach that effectively distributes information among employees that can help to put things back on track.

Get project management back on track with software support

Project management software should primarily help to improve the organization on the construction site. Particular focus is placed on data input, timeliness and communication. A solution that allows information to be distributed online and without delay from the workplace to the overall system offers significant advantages and saves valuable time that would otherwise have been spent on waiting times or personal communication.

Seen from this perspective, the coronavirus crisis even offers an opportunity for project management in plant engineering. The opportunity to identify obsolete processes and replace them with faster and more precise procedures has rarely been greater than today. If it is seized, plant engineering projects and suppliers can emerge structurally stronger from the current situation.

How project management in plant engineering can be optimized with COMAN

The digitalization of project management procedures in plant engineering is the key to strengthening existing processes. Plant engineering projects at all levels, from small suppliers to large OEMs, benefit from this. Digital processing of data makes it possible to find more reliable solutions for complex cases – if all data is available immediately at one point of access, analysis is completed much faster.

A project management software such as COMAN with its holistic approach pursues exactly this goal: it should allow project managers and other high-level decision-makers to choose a bath on the back of better, more complete data. To this end, all the information from a project comes together in the Manager, from setting up a detailed role system for employees to scheduling:

Various applications and programs complement COMAN’s product landscape, ensuring that all information arrives at the right place at the right time. For example, project managers can gain access to the Dashboard application from anywhere – even while in home office. So if an employee enters something via their mobile, information on the progress is available to all authorized users immediately after uploading. Tasks can be assigned, edited and completed digitally – only the employee on the construction site needs to be present in person. This is a great advantage, especially considering that that they can provide image and video material if necessary.

COMAN is the modern solution for project management in plant engineering – even and especially during the coronavirus crisis.