Enterprise Minnesota Magazine - September 2012
HELPING MANUFACTURERS GROW PROFITABLY
Effective project management is integral to reaching business improvement goals.
By Greg Langfield
How many times has this happened to you? You see an opportunity for improvement in your business and assemble a project team to implement it. The project experiences good initial momentum, but then progress slows to a crawl, adding weeks or even months onto the timeline. The unfinished project falls lower and lower on the team’s priority list. Eventually, momentum stops altogether.
Working with hundreds of companies in the course of my career, I’ve seen this scenario play out for a variety of reasons. But the most common culprit is lack of effective project management. The project leader may be adept at managing tasks but not people, or vice versa. The project may lack a scheduled plan for carrying out its different elements, or an established method for communicating progress to leadership. The project team may not have a clear vision of how the project ties into the company’s larger mission and goals.
Project management plays a key role in every service that Enterprise Minnesota delivers, from the smallest Kaizen events to the largest lean transformations. With that in mind, our project management approach is different. Instead of consulting with clients and then leaving them to do the work, we consult and help them do the work, both throughout a project and after a project’s duration. We’re there to do the work when a project loses momentum or veers off course. We can serve as project co-leaders. We can help determine whether a project should be split into smaller, more manageable pieces. And as an outside party, we can provide candid, unbiased advice and insights. Like players on the field, the clients are doing the activity. We are the coaches working with them to achieve the intended outcome.
Once a project is complete, many companies have developed a list of sub-projects they would like to pursue. We can help them determine which of those sub-projects best fit their organizational goals, then decide which one to tackle first.
Enterprise Minnesota sees its approach as a defining element of our commitment to helping manufacturers grow profitably. We are dedicated to helping manufacturers find ways to continuously improve, and believe our varied menu of consulting services paired with our ongoing support from project to project fosters more strategic improvements, more growth and a more vibrant manufacturing sector in Minnesota.
Greg Langfield, an Enterprise Minnesota business growth advisor, works with medium size and small manufacturing companies throughout the state to identify and implement operational excellence strategies to grow business. Greg has worked within both small businesses and large corporations, drawing on 30 years of experience within engineering and manufacturing to bring an experienced approach to right-sized solutions.
Prior to joining Enterprise Minnesota, Greg served as engineering manager at Covidien, a medical device manufacturer. Within this role, he provided leadership for capital management, process improvements and facility management, utilizing lean and six sigma methodologies to support operational excellence. Previously, he served within packaging, automation, material handling and machine tool industries focusing on custom equipment solutions.
Greg holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from North Dakota State University.
For more information about Greg Langfield, go to http://www.enterpriseminnesota.org/about-us/enterprise-minnesota-team/greg-langfield.html
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