PLMP-300x199By Mike Beier, ContXt CEO – Not every project deserves equal priority. Some need much more attention and time than others, and prioritizing capital projects improves efficiency – and a company’s bottom line.

Management at a major Midwest utility recognized this advantage, which holds true among energy, healthcare, education, high-tech and other industries. My team at ContXt Corporation worked with the utility on its Project Lifecycle Management Process, using visual communications tools with key employees to explain how to address construction and other capital projects.

Now that projects are prioritized differently, those with lower risk can potentially be completed by using fewer resources. And that means the utility can begin earning money on capital expenditures sooner than it would have before.

Group Learning

Part of the utility’s goal with projects, of course, is to also get them done safely, within budget and by meeting quality standards. Those factors all play into a project’s success.

To help standardize the process for the utility’s employees, ContXt Corporation started by developing our mainstay Meeting-in-a-Box materials tailored for key project employees in planning, construction and elsewhere. They spent two hours in small groups getting an overview of the new process, including a comparison with what was previously done.

Visual maps, guides and cards were used during the group sessions, which also focused on discussing steps in the process, how it will position the utility for growth and each person’s role.

Prioritizing Projects

Every business needs to look at ways to improve efficiency, and scrutinizing how construction and other capital expenditures are prioritized is a good place to start. Getting projects finished safely, on time, on budget and to meet quality standards is a feat in itself. Prioritizing them so smaller projects can potentially be done with fewer resources certainly helps improve financial performance.

Has your business changed its project management process to prioritize risk? Have you been able to explain the change to employees? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.

Mike Beier is the founder and chief executive officer of ContXt Corporation, a management consulting firm based in suburban Toledo, Ohio. ContXt helps organizations achieve strategic objectives by translating big concepts – including strategic plans, culture shifts and process changes – with simple, effective communications tools. For more information about ContXt, please visit