In the Clear: Transparency Helps Assure Successful Project Management

By Nataline Lomedico

Transparency is a critical factor that drives successful project management. There are many reasons why we feel it’s critical to insist on transparency and accountability on every project, especially when we consider our industry’s current labor and materials challenges.

Transparency is defined as “the quality of being done without secrets.” No surprises. In the realm of glazing and our unique processes, it means creating a project management system where every project team member can access all relevant information about a project quickly and easily.

We recently realized that our teams needed new strategies and shared systems to manage material delays and labor issues. If a project manager (PM) is promoted, transferred or terminated during a project’s lifecycle, we have implemented processes so their projects continue smoothly. These processes enable PMs–even from different office locations if needed–to take the baton and carry the project forward. The steps we’ve established to
maintain that continuity have helped us keep our relationships and build trust with internal and external business partners.

Step by Step

Over time, we have fine-tuned our process to include:
• Requiring each PM to have their project schedules updated, filed and maintained through the life of each project. Weekly and bi-weekly check-ins with project team leads (both internal and external) to update everyone about the project status, a timeline of required materials and the next steps.
• A procedure that includes standardized reporting and a centralized, paperless filing system for all project documents–on a shared drive–with checks and balances to ensure that procedures are being followed and necessary updates are made.
• Periodic status updates that include meetings with project team leads and summaries into email groups that cover all project communications.

These steps help us see red flags early on, prevent job fades, and implement recovery plans when we identify issues. We use weekly material and labor tracking to get our schedules and budgets back on track.

Attention to Detail

We consider it crucial to have a documented project plan and a dedicated PM with experience across multiple disciplines. Their job is to manage the process, hold the team accountable, and use our standardized procedures and processes to ensure transparency on timelines, accurate data, the status of deliverables, potential risks, and mitigation plans. We know that proactive project management drives collaboration, support and engagement among our employee-owners, which leads to successful project completion.
Part of our process includes clearly defining roles and responsibilities, which enhances collaboration. It also improves customer satisfaction.

Our transparency methods also mitigate scope creep. Maintaining regular communication updates with clients and team members provides all stakeholders the access and visibility needed to identify and address problems.

It’s rare for projects to be completed without disruptions that cause us to modify the original plan. While it’s the project manager’s role to identify those risks, they need the support of their entire team to implement the required plan adjustments.

Behind every one of our successful projects is a structure, a formulated checklist, copious amounts of coffee, and an organized project manager, if not several. Compelling project managers are the backbone of every project – making sure that we deliver projects on time and with excellence.

Nataline Lomedico is the president and CEO of Giroux Glass, headquartered in Los Angeles. The company has been in business since 1946.

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