In manufacturing, time is money. Every delay, machinery breakdown, and defective product adds up and, ultimately, hurts the bottom line.
But following structured project management methods can help companies reduce delays, stay on budget, and deliver quality products.
To better understand how manufacturers practice project management, we surveyed more than 100 executives, engineers, and project managers, resulting in the 2017 State of Project Management in Manufacturing report. It details project stats and methodologies, the lowdown on major challenges, and a look at manufacturers’ plans for cutting costs and building revenue in the coming year.
Here are some of the most interesting highlights from the report:
1. More than half of manufacturers use a combination of project management methodologies.
Waterfall, agile, scrum, critical path—there’s a wide range of project management methodologies, and they’re rarely one size fits all. In fact, 57% of respondents use a combination of methodologies to keep their projects on track. Manufacturing is an industry that’s built on the principle of continuous improvement, and a hybrid approach allows for increased flexibility.
2. Those who use a combination of methodologies are also the happiest.
Of the respondents who said they were highly satisfied with existing PM practices, three-fourths use a combination of methodologies.
3. “Work smarter, not harder” could be manufacturers’ motto in 2017.
Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that revenue growth and cost reduction are equally important this year.
4. This focus on building revenue while cutting costs is leading many manufacturers to invest in new technologies and solutions.
As we move into Industry 4.0, manufacturers need to invest and experiment with new solutions or risk falling behind their competitors. Supply chain management (56%), Lean manufacturing (52%), and cloud computing or SaaS offerings (47%) are the top three technologies manufacturers are looking into this year.
5. Deadlines, costs, and communication are the top project management challenges that manufacturers face this year.
Like many project teams, manufacturers’ cited managing project costs (50%) and hitting deadlines (46%) as their top challenges. Sharing information across teams came in at number three (44%).