The material development program was a total success. From its inception, everything went smoothly. Blen staffed the project office with Richard Flag, a Ph.D. in engineering, to serve as project engineer. This was a risky move at first, because Richard had been a research scientist during his previous four years with the company. During the development project, however, Richard demonstrated that he could divorce himself from R&D and perform the necessary functions of a project engineer assigned to the project office. Blen was pleased with the way that Richard controlled project costs and directed activities.
Richard had developed excellent working relations with development lab personnel and managers. Richard permitted lab personnel to work at their own rate of speed provided that schedule dates were kept. Richard spent ten minutes each week with each of the department managers informing them of the status of the project. The department managers liked this approach because they received firsthand (nonfiltered) information concerning the total picture, not necessarily on their own activities, and because they did not have to spend "wasted hours" in team meetings.
When it became evident that a follow-up contract might be available, Blen spent a large percentage of his time traveling to the customer, working out the details for future business. Richard then served as both project manager and project engineer.
The customer's project office was quite pleased with Richard's work. Information, both good and bad, was transmitted as soon as it became available. Nothing was hidden or disguised. Richard became familiar with all of the customer's project office personnel through the monthly technical interchange meetings.
At completion of the material development project, Blen and John decided to search for project office personnel and make recommendations to upper-level management. Blen wanted to keep Richard on board as chief project engineer. He would be assigned six engineers and would have to control all engineering activities within time, cost, and performance. Although this would be a new experience for him, Blen felt that he could easily handle it.
Unfortunately, the grapevine was saying that Larry Gilbert was going to be assigned as chief project engineer for the Mask Project.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.