By Superior Controls VP of Engineering, Robert Patrick
What if the greatest engineers in the world couldn’t manage a project? Would they get anything done? Suppose they could manage a small project but were suddenly assigned to manage and implement a $10M automation project? What would happen?
At Superior Controls, we care deeply about project management expertise. We continue to invest resources and develop our in-house employee project management (PM) training program, which allows us to be successful as a company.
We are currently implementing 32 fixed-price automation projects totaling over $12M, and six of these projects are major facility expansions which include design, development, implementation, and management of multiple subcontracts. These larger facility expansion projects require the PM to interface with multiple organizations including the end customer, engineering, and construction management. This can be a challenging environment for a PM, especially when there are competing interests. Experience and training, along with support from senior management are key for a project manager to succeed.
Our project manager training and disciplined process are a big reason for our success over the last 25 years. Superior Controls has developed a new project manager instructor-led course focused on our process and unique challenges as a systems integrator. The course was developed with the collaboration of our east and west coast offices.
During a series of working sessions, a number of scenarios were developed with recommended approaches to each. The scenarios fell into categories such as scope, customer, schedule, and team. This in-house course incorporates these scenarios while covering our project execution methodology. Training sessions are kept small to encourage participation and discussion. The feedback from the classes has been excellent. It’s a great way to review the entire process with the engineers. No two projects are exactly the same and many times there is more than one right answer to an issue. Trainees come away with information they can use right away based on real-world examples.
Two training sessions were held in 2018, and one in 2019, and a total of 11 engineers have completed the program since it was introduced in 2015. Many of these individuals have moved into roles where they are now managing projects.
At Superior Controls, we care about project management. We believe the greatest engineers in the world, with proper training, can manage complex automation projects and deliver on schedule.
To learn why Superior Controls is a great place to work, click here, and to learn more about our comprehensive employee training program, click here. To find out information on our current job openings, check out our Careers page.