#Successful #HVAC Project Management:  Practical Tips

Project Management is both an art and Science. A project is a temporary endeavor, which has inherent risk associated with a fixed timeline and a defined scope. Scope, Cost and Time are the most critical components of any Project Management. Quality Management, Communications Management, Procurement management and Stakeholder Management become equally critical in any large project involving Airconditioning and Refrigeration systems.

Air conditioning projects involve design, coordination with multiple agencies, working along with different agencies, consultants, architects, and many stakeholders. This complexity makes the HVAC project more interesting and challenging. Each project is entirely different from the previous project, throwing up different constraints and conflicting situations. It is a sheer  joy to be experienced.

A few practical tips are discussed here for executing an Air conditioning and refrigeration project successfully.

  • Define #Scope and #Out of Scope: Though every project manager is aware of the importance of defining the scope properly, seldom it is done in detail. Project initiating and discussing the scope is not done with seriousness. This will result in scope creep and subsequently cost overrun and time over run. What is in the scope of the contractor and what is in the scope of the organization is not clearly spelt out resulting in a stalemate. It is equally important to point out what is not in the scope of the contractor. For example, water, power for erection and testing, scaffolding, wall openings, making good of openings will be bottlenecks at some point.
  • Make it as a one single #team: A few customers treat the contractors as external agents and start blaming them regularly for every delay. In a project, there is only one team. Different contractors and agencies may be playing different roles in the project. They may be paid as per their contract. But all of them are working for one single cause, the success of the project. It is the responsibility of the Customer project manager to get everyone involved in the project and motivate them to complete the project on time.
  • Review the project at regular intervals: A few project managers tend to assign tasks and start following up from the next moment without giving enough time for them to work. This will not only put undue pressure on the resources but removes them from their sense of achievement. Avoid micromanagement. Establish an appropriate project reporting system that gives the health of the project at a glance.
  • Listen with Empathy: When some resource is struggling to perform, instead of blaming, intimidating, or using harsh language, the project manager should try to listen to understand. Listen with empathy. Do not listen to reply and find fault with the other person. Just because there is a contract, or a written agreement, the resource should not be left without support. It is pertinent to support all the project resources and create an environment where they perform better. Genuine reasons to be heard with an open mind. Rephrase what you listened to make sure you understood correctly. Then work with the other person to find a solution.
  • Cost Trap: A contractor was to complete the piping work by the end of the day. Unfortunately, there was a material shortage of just two lengths and a few nuts and bolts were required to complete the work. The site was in a remote location, and it would take another day to get those materials. The site manager from the client’s side came to know this and started to lose his patience and was threatening them with liquidity damages and other dire consequences. In the mean, a senior manager came to the site. He listened to the contractor and instructed the site manager to issue those materials from their inventory and debit them to the contractor. The contractor immediately agreed to this and completed the work to the delight of the customer. This is a true story. The site manager has fallen into a cost trap, or scope trap. The cost of that material is much less compared to the time delay due to lack of materials.

 Conclusion :

 Project Management is a science. Follow the principles, methodology, tools, and techniques as recommended by different projects management professional bodies.
Project Management is also an art of enabling everyone on the project to work for the cause and make it easier for all. It is more common sense. Are you an artist?

Taking the exclusive dealership of Voltas mid-range products, Pavani Engineers started off by providing ductable project execution.
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