Project Management in Engineering: What It Is, 3 Types & Tips
All of you might be well aware of the term “project management”, however, there is an engineering project management. So why are there two terms for that? Is there any difference between regular project management and engineering project management? Let’s discuss that first.
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Project management works on the management of tasks and projects. They will design the project, work on it and make sure that things are working according to the plan. Thus, they will make sure that the work is done according to the designed plan.
On the other hand, engineering management focuses on managing people. They will create a team and will assign tasks to them. Thus, they will make sure that the people are enough to complete the tasks and that they are doing their work.
Then comes engineering project management. These projects require heavy resources and have several teams working on their assigned tasks. Sometimes, the teams are working around the globe. Thus, they are far away from each other but they also need to be in contact with each other. So how do they do that?
To do so, they need a special platform like engineering project management software, which you can find here. This software provides you with real-time collaboration. So all the engineers will be able to collaborate with each other without any barriers. Better communication means better and more effective results. In addition to this, everyone on the team remains up-to-date.
Engineering Project Management
Engineering project management works solely on engineering projects. Apart from the differences, the methodologies, processes, and standards in all project management are similar. Therefore, if you have been working in your project management team and you have an engineering background, you will have more options to choose from.
This managing line is centered where;
- The tasks are routine
- The processes are repeating
- The work does not seem to have an end and is ongoing
- All the tasks are a part of regular business operations
Thus, this project management focuses on the projects that engineers will take over. So if there is a project regarding the design of a new office building, they will take over.
Although this team is responsible for all the tasks that are related to the engineers there is an exception. They sometimes also work on some non-engineering tasks. For example,
- Material purchase (because they have more information regarding those)
- Approving the documentation of their plans
- Managing the budget and costs of different areas
3 types of engineering project management methodologies
The three important engineering project management methodologies are;
1 – The scrum methodology
The first methodology that we are going to talk about is the Scrum methodology. This is an empirical process that aids with a timely and effective response. Thus, it increases efficiency and we get effective results because it is focusing on the communication between team members.
Although it might seem like a simple thing, effective communication is the key to successful finishing. Irrespective of the plan and resources, if there is a communication gap between the team members, not only will the project be delayed but the results won’t be much efficient.
The Scrum methodology is effective for projects that do not have a well-defined scope. In addition to this, it is also commonly used in different industries including software development and information technology.
2 – The waterfall
This methodology is traditional where you have a defined scope. Thus, you will set the scope of your project, make a schedule to work on, and ensure the supply of resources. After getting all the documented work done, you will execute the plan. There will be different teams set for doing their respective tasks. The project manager will be responsible for guiding the team and getting the work done by them.
Thus, this methodology will ensure the completion of work on time and in an organized way.
Furthermore, it offers other benefits that include;
- Single timeline
- All the team roles are rigidly defined
- All the requests and expectations are adjusted infrequently
- The relationship between the customer and the contractor will initiate from the start and will end with the final product.
3 – Lean and Six sigma methods
The third methodology for effective project management in engineering is lean and six sigma. This methodology works on quality control and also eliminates waste.
Lean focuses on the reduction or minimization of waste during all the processes of a business. So while engineers are making their plans and discussing the resources and technologies, they should also focus on reducing waste. They need to reduce waste as little as possible. Apart from minimizing the resulting waste, the teams should also improve the quality.
The six Sigma approach focuses primarily on eliminating all possible defects and also wastes. So if there is any defect, this methodology will work on its elimination. Furthermore, it will work on the development of a better understanding between the customers and contractors. This will reduce the overall cost of the project because there will be less waste. Thus, you won’t need to worry about managing the waste later on.
Here are the benefits that good engineering project management will offer.
- It offers the ability to deal with all the irrational situations
- With improved and well-formed management, there will be fewer mistakes. Fewer mistakes mean better quality and better results.
- Understanding the project and better management, there will be an ideal situation. Thus, your team will have repeatable success.
- Project management in engineering also develops communication and leadership skills.
- With the help of better management, there will be a bigger body of knowledge. Because all the teams will be working together. Better software will improve communication and the end results will be perfect.