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Project and Planning Managers

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mirza gulam hussa...
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Hi All,
Please advice me whether a good Planning Manager can be a good Project Manager and also can a good Project Manager can be a good Planning Manager.

Also I want to know what tool is used by a Good Project Manager in accomplishing and completing the project on time.

Also, Please advice on Risk Management Policies implemented by a good Project Manager for the Project.

Thanks

Mirza G.H.M.

Replies

fhy frank
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Many activities definition is not clear and some activities nobody knows what’s that in details. 2) Lack necessary activities for some unit and discipline. 3) Lack necessary logic for many activities. 4) Unreasonable duration and wrong activities sequence. 5) No schedule basis assumption to support produced schedule. 6) No convinced predecessor activities or exist many suspend activities cause schedule incapable execution and implementation. (Especially all procurement delivery constrained activities). 7) No required resource load into schedule or match schedule manpower plan. 8) No responsibility (Execution contractor, monitor supervisor etc.) assigned to each activities cause schedule only have report purpose. 9) Mixing up construction activities and pre-commissioning & commissioning activities cause schedule not traceable. 10) Update schedule without effective information to support that due to not set up tracking detail with supervisor or core information person, etc. 11) Changed item not reflect into schedule or without necessary track and forecast. 12) Above existing items lead project no correct integrated project information to support management team makes correction decision. …Etc. 2. I prepare very detail schedule for some works and get Somebody ridiculous comments for Schedule: · This schedule is too detail, (Construction Contractor) cannot understand this schedule, Please prepare simple schedule and only need show a few milestone date. So, we need prepare the simple schedule to meet the requirement. · The same things or same schedule have been prepared several times. Who monitor or supervise schedule execution only can provide comments to improve schedule more reasonable and workable. Who executing schedule shall accept some reasonable comments and improve schedule to more or most executable level. But this project the schedule lost control cause as below reasons: o The schedule must get supervisor to agree the duration and even agree how to execute, maybe totally different with approved MS or many new requirement. So, Any activities how long will be is not based on construction company intend to execute it. 3. I checked client some information have been defined at the beginning stage. The information was fantastic/perfect. But when the project go into second step, the direction already totally changed and far away the information initially purpose, So the project like this and continually lose control and expend the trend. Nobody can really forecast the project where we are and where will be. 4. My some methodology for project control is: · To build control schedule will very easy to avoid above schedule problems. · Need some rules to be agreed against project execution plan and allow planner closely work with every department lead and supervisors. Need one planning strategy and build schedule to control everything to work element levels. o Engineering , procurement and construction schedule can be prepared schedule and easily know any progress gained from which items and where, it’s belong to which section and who is responsible person or duty. o Pre-commissioning and commissioning also very easy and quick to build schedule to control who will organize to do what inspection/test at which day. Allow to daily update/forecast, the actual gained will be 100% correct. But this project schedule will never get correct physical progress and even cannot correctly update schedule as cut off date. ***************************
Isura Gamage
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Project management is a unified group of methods that helps the project team to accomplish a successful project. These methods control all the specific activities in a construction project. All the responsibilities of activities are control under the process of project management and it’ll require high level of incorporation and iteration.

Read Construction Project Management Blog to get more knowledge.

Sreejith Nair
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:)

Cheers! Ravi
Raviraj Bhedase
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Agree to what sreejith said,

Salary to be more or less same for Project Manager and Planning Manager

:-)
Sreejith Nair
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Hi Hung,
If the organisation’s main business is project, then it will be having a planning dpt & proj. execution dpt.
Normally , there will me many project managers under a ’Head of Projects’ or ’GM-Projects’.
But in most of the cases , there will only be one ’Planning Manager’.There will be planning engrs , planners working under him , who coordinate with different proj. managers.
In that way Planning manager will have atleast same salary as that of a Project manager. But in most cases more.
But the problem is that , number of opportunities for the post of ’Planning Manager’ will be less.
Again , salary is hugely person-to-person dependent !

Cheers!
Sreejith
Hung Dung
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My question is that:
- Planning manager & Project manager who is paid more and get less risk?
- And the average gap between salary of Planning manager & project manager (in %)?

Sreejith Nair
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Hi!
The following are my views :
Both project manager & planning manager need :
1) Domain knowledge (Overall knowledge of the technology)
2) Knowledge of the way projects are executed, sequence ..etc
3)Knowledge on planning/scheduling and other PM methodologies
4) Cost / financial

How ever , project manager will be having knowledge about the following items in descending order (First one will have more importance)
1) Technical parameters of project
2) Time / schedule / resourses
3) Cost

Planning Manager will have the following expertise:

1)Time / schedule / resources
2) Cost
3) Technical parameters

If there is a Cost controller he will be having the following pref
1) Cost / Financial /Contract info
2) Time / Schedule

A planning manager can become project manager, if he has got previous project execution/management experience and preferably domain experience.

For eg. a Planning Manager who worked previously in software projects can not manage a Petroleum project !!

So it all depend on the individual skills.

Cheers

Sreejith Kesavan
Manager-Planning
MG WLL
Umerfarook Deshmukh
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I think this debate is very helpful to understnad first of all the roles of Project Manager and Planning Manager.

To be successful as a project Manager its not necessary that you should know each and every aspect of Planning but you should have someone with you who is expertise in planning.In turn Planning Manager has to ensure that he is taking care of all the aspects, needs and requirement of Project Manager.

Planning is the most essential part of project management as all costing, resource allocation and your budgeting depends on how you plan.

My understnading and belief that current industries do gives importance to this factor of planning and its sad to know from some of you that planning is ignored by some of the Project Managers as they gives importance to some other factors of project......Such Project Managers ends up on loosing side.

Mike Testro
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Hi Mahboob

Please don’t listen to Charleston - Go and have a quiet word with Andrew Dick instead.

Both he and I agree with you.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Charleston-Joseph...
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hi mahboob,

you must be a very sad person??

why???

you dont know how to bulldoz your way and make a difference, my conclusion based on your post. gain respect as planning engineer.

you try to work in Saudi Aramco and you will know how planning engineers got respect.

of course, your guys are planners sometimes planer no engineering degree, that is why

if this is the environment you are in, better quite and go to places where the true planning and scheduling practices are being done by true blood planning/scheduling engineers.

mahboob yasin
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Having spent the last 2 yrs as a Planning Manager for a major oilsands EPC house here in Calgary one has to conclude that the question should not be about what makes a good Planning or project manager but about how those that are good at what they do and how they are enpowered in their roles:

My findings can be summarized as follows(at least relative to the oilsands arena):

- no one listens to the planners
- companies are more interested in cost than plan
- no one abides by planning procedures
- there are those above you who have little or no knowledge about planning but drive the decisions that will directly impact your management decision making
- you have to manage a very very limited skills set resource made up of the degreed planners, the experienced planners, the non planners, and those who are there because buddy got them in


the shear high price of oil no doubt is driving all this. I say hail to the degreed guys and bring back some much needed sense & wisdom to this industry.

PS Its no better on the owner’s side mind!!
Omar Grant
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I agree - there are no rules! I personally believe that Project Managers for EPCM roles must have had experience in site roles and Project Controls/Planning Managers should have had experience in Cost Engineering and Contract Administration (accent on the word "experience"). In 45 years in the workforce I have worked with really top PM’s who (Shock, Horror) did not even have a Uni degree! In all these discussions I have not seen mention of that inestimable quality - leadership. In order to manage something - you don’t always have to know all about everthing. Sadly, I find it more common that my father’s wisdom is quite true; if you have an idiot and educate him(her) all you end up with is an educated idiot! Some of the best planners I have worked with over the years come from trade backgrounds and some of these have become great PCM’s/PM’s.
Tomislav Ciglenecki
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As working in recruitment i know for many examples of Planning Managers that are good Project Managers now and vice versa.
There is no rule.
Chris Oggham
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Hi Raviraj,

The link will take you to a pdf version of the 100 Rules for NASA Project Managers

Chris
Dennis Hanks
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Datta;

If there is any place where a process engineer should lead the project it is probably in FEED. However, my experience suggests that they do not. Rarely have I seen a process engineer lead anything, usually because they have no wish to do so.

Process design packages (PDPs), FEEDs, proof of concept, are usually more client intrusive than detailed design and require more finesse as reqards cost, schedule and procurement, than does design. It is here that the budget is set (contentious), the schedule accepted (frustrating), and the sub-contract/procurement strategy developed (arguementative), along with the site layout and equipment selection (relatively benign until budget overrun).

Again, I see no reason why a seasoned PCM could not perform as well, or better, as a PM than a similarly seasoned project engineer, regardless of discipline.
DATTATREYA PADHARTHI
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Dear Dennis,

Thats True, but I have also mentioned type of Contract. If Its a FEED, I donot think someone having just Project Controls experience is suitable.

I have 12 + years of exp in Downstream, Upstream including drilling side of projects with an year as Project Engineer.

Look into Top Engg/EPC consultants.

Cheers
Datta
Mehdi Rashidi Ala...
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May be.
This is not important for me, because i think all of persone already stay here.
Dennis Hanks
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Mehdi;

So do I, but I think we are pretty much alone in this.
Mehdi Rashidi Ala...
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I think Project Planning is template for Project Managers.
Dennis Hanks
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Datta;

Just as a project engineer can become familiar enough with ’project controls/contracting stuff’ to manage a project, a project controls manager can become technically proficient to manage the same project - in fact, neither can perform the others function. However, the PM’s prime responsibility is to motivate and direct the project team and molify and inform the customer, not make technical decisions (project engineer). In fact, sometimes they are cautioned not to become involved in engineering, but to keep their distance.

In my experience, few, if any process engineers, become project engineers, let alone project managers. Most EPC PMs seem to come from mechanical or electrical (I&E), and now surprisingly, from construction superintendants (RCMs).

Customer relations have to be learned on the job and depend most heavily on the personality of the practitioner. A good PCM will be as good a candidate as a good PE for the PM position, maybe better. Either will require OJT to become effective. As owners become less technically oriented (downsizing) and more marketeers and operators head the owners team, I expect that the issues of time and money will weigh more heavily.

Will this bias against PCMs be broken anytime soon, who knows.
Mehdi Rashidi Ala...
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Dear Hanks,
Your point is very good.
I think a project control after working in several projects able to handle PM.
DATTATREYA PADHARTHI
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In one of the top companies, only Process engineers can become project engineers who then go on to become project managers.
This does ensure that the project manager is technically complete, but does not necessarily so in terms of Contracting, Planning & Costing.

A Process engineer-->Project Engineer can become familiar with Project Controls/Contracting stuff.

In any case Project Managers need to be technically conversant, which a Project Control professional may not have.
It also depends on the type of Contract; "FEED", Study", EPC, Cost Reimursible, PMC etc.
Check for Bechtel, Fluor, Technip, Foster Wheeler, SNC, etc.

Cheers
Datta
Raviraj Bhedase
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Hi Chris,

Do u have the link of Jerry Madded, 100 rules for project managers. If so, plz fwd it. I hav tat few months before but lost along with favourites.

Plz fwd it.

Cheers,

Rav
Dennis Hanks
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Mehdi;

Where should Project Managers come from - engineering or project controls (are there other sources)? My own personal bias suggests that the best training is in project controls - meaning cost, planning, and contract management. That said, not all PCMs will make good PMs.

I am not exactly sure what makes a good PM, but the rule cited by Chris makes a lot of sense. I find that discipline engineers have too narrow a focus to embrace the entire scope of the project and yet, in the process industry, PMs generally only come from the engineering ranks.

In any event, I believe that no project manager can call himself such until he has executed at least three projects, with at least one of them successful.

Update: Just finished reading the 100 Rules cited by Chris. Recommend to all, especially if you are, or may, manage several people, not just projects.
Chris Oggham
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Hi Mehdi,

I don’t think that you are quite right in your assertion that a good Planning Manager can not be a good Project Manager. To expect a good Planning Manager to become a good Project Manager immediately is unrealistic, but there is no reason why they can’t become good very quickly. Management techniques are the same, only the areas in which they are used differ.

Jerry Madden, who worked for NASA and was an accomplished manager compile a list of 100 rules for Project Managers, one of these says:

Management principles still are the same. It is just that the tools have changed. You still find the right people to do the work and get out of the way so they can do it.

Regards

Chris Oggham
Mehdi Rashidi Ala...
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Dear Mirza,
I think a good Planning Manager can not be a good Project Manager because Knowledge & Experience in PM very high and different based on any projects.
Clive Randall
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what is pissimistic is it a fed up clairvoyant But I digress Communications is the key whether the planner is the second most important person on the job depends how he communicates However the PM must motivate, shout, argue, plan and use all the resources available to him to make the project happen. Look at it like a football team You have a number of individuals all highly skilled The manager has to motivate them to win If he dosent they will be like England and the manager will be called Steve However if planners make themselves the second most important person on the team they will be the Wayne Rooney of the industry (except they wont have faces only their mother could love) the sort of player that can win a match That is where planners should be By the way football in the above scenario is played with a round ball I add this for our American and Australian Colleagues.
Bijaya Bajracharya
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I often describe the project plan as crystal ball of the project and the planner is the one who can read and intepret what he sees in the crystal ball. Being optimistic or pissimistic could be situation related matters- the most important thing is being accurate - with the available information. Based on past perfomance and trends planner’s work outcomes are barometertic measurement of project’s health. The project manager then can take appropriate course of action to make sure that proejct gets completed within time and budget.
Richard Spedding
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Mirza,

"I want to know what tool is used by a Good Project Manager in accomplishing and completing the project on time."

As others have said elsewhere in this forum, the prime tool everyone needs is communication. Do not be fooled into thinking that the computer programme is the solution - it merely provides a faster solution to a complex problem.
Often you will find that the solution itself is obvious, it just needs to be communicated properly.

I also agree with Andrew, that planners should be pessimistic when the project is on site, but also creative in offering solutions, and in providing the right bullets to fire at the right people at the right time to enable the PM to drive the project to its completion on time.

IMHO the planner is the 2nd most important person in the project team.
Andrew Pearce
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In my humble opinion Good Managers need good planning skills in order to manage.

In our sometimes overcomplicated industry a good manager needs the back up of a good planner/s/dept.

In general terms Project Managers have to Optimistic in order to achieve Project Goals (The Programme).

Good Planners on the other hand have to be
Optimisitic at Tender stage, Yes the job can be done, but you need this resource.

Slightly pessimistic at construction stage, You ARE behind programme but can recover IF you do this.

The Good Mangager then acts on this advice.
The Good Manager uses the tools provided by his planner.

The Good Manager aims and fires the gun.
The Good planner provides the right bullets!

You may note that I have put a Politicians hat on and avoided answering the question.
Charleston-Joseph...
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Mirza,

Please advice me whether a good Planning Manager can be a good Project Manager - Yes, can be good

can a good Project Manager can be a good Planning Manager - yes, can be good

what tool is used by a Good Project Manager in accomplishing and completing the project on time. - probably Primavera P3v3.1 or MS Project 2002, or simply excel.

Please advice on Risk Management Policies implemented by a good Project Manager for the Project. - generally the essential of Risk Management including excel table.

Cheers,

Charlie

Anoon Iimos
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1st paragraph: I guess yes, either way they’re all good, you never mentioned bad!

2nd para.: I don’t know (it’s a choice) or you can refer to Stephen D.’s post (sorry i don’t know the link)

3rd para.: this is a complex matter, please be specific with the question