A recurring challenge in today’s operational change projects is the need to supply and coordinate technical information between several different suppliers.
Something that can easily fall between the gaps is, who owns the details?
Anyone who has been involved in multi-supplier projects will have experienced situations where technical details are missed or not communicated, or where one supplier is ‘finished’ but then has to revise their solution so that it can be integrated with another supplier’s system.
The Project Manager’s Dilemma
Traditionally, and particularly for smaller projects, the project manager has been expected to learn the technical details in order to be able to communicate with suppliers. This is a considerable challenge and can distract the project manager from their other key responsibilities, such as resource allocation and meeting delivery deadlines and budget constraints.
As digitalization and globalization continue to rise, the underlying challenges within projects are becoming ever more technical. It is not uncommon for a project to include several technical suppliers, an outsourced infrastructure and an internal support organization. Getting all these technicians to work together efficiently is becoming harder and harder for project managers.
Wouldn’t it be great if all the technical ‘mumbo-jumbo’ could be placed in the hands of someone else, so the project manager could focus on delivering the project and making sure that operational change resulted in the added value promised.
Enter the Technical Coordinator
Projects that include a technical coordinator benefit from having a competent and efficient communication link between all suppliers and outsourced resources. The coordinator acts as the project manager’s right hand for the technical aspects of the project.
The coordinator needs to be able to communicate at a deep technical level with developers and specialists, but also at a higher level, translating how the technical details affect the project and other related operations.
The technical coordinator ensures that the project manager and steering committee are up to speed and fully informed of the technical progress without them having to learn all the details.
The greatest benefits the role brings, however, are in making sure no details get missed and the project progresses as efficiently as possible. Having a technical coordinator ensures that technical resources from different suppliers all speak the same language, so any potential problems can be foreseen at an earlier stage. This enables separately developed solutions to all work together – with any information that one system needs being present and extractable from the delivering system.
Tried & Tested
PlantVision consultants have fulfilled the role of technical coordinator in several successful customer projects, both where PlantVision has been a solution supplier and in projects where PlantVision has not supplied any systems.
Many of PlantVision’s technical coordinators have gained extensive experience working in regulated industries, including projects with high levels of quality management and control. This makes them excellent speaking partners towards Quality Assurance teams.
If you are planning a multi-supplier project, consider the benefits of having a technical coordinator on the project team. It could make all the difference in terms of maximizing efficiency and minimizing headaches!