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Build It First

The late Stephen Covey taught us to begin with the end in mind.  This is a useful mindset for life and business.  Beginning with the end in mind for a capital project is critical for ensuring success of the project.  Just like a house is not built without the plans completed, a capital project should not be started without the final product clearly defined.  For a capital project this means:


  • Identifying the Key Aspects of the project
    • Budgets
    • Required Timing with Critical Milestones
    • Stakeholders
  • Visualize the end of the project
    • Write a clear description of a successful project
    • Who helped you succeed?
      • What were their roles?
    • What role will management play in the success of this project?
    • What has been accomplished as a result of the successful launch?
      • Your growth
      • The organizations financial success
      • Vendors success


Creating a compelling vision for the team and the suppliers is a key aspect.  You must lay out the plan and help your team members get clear on their roles and responsibilities necessary for all to succeed.


Implementing capital projects at a high level will differentiate you from others because it requires intention to achieve mastery.  It takes discipline, communication, and a willingness to hold people accountable to implement capital projects at a level of mastery.


The project managers that succeed are not smarter than the project managers that fail.  They don’t necessarily have more experience either.  The project managers that succeed have mastered planning and communication.  They also have some secret weapons in the form of tools and templates for documenting progress and managing issues.


Executing a capital project is a journey.  You begin in the known world of your current manufacturing environment but cross the threshold into the unknown as you seek to implement new processes and technologies into your businesses.  There will be ups and downs along the journey but detailed planning combined with the right mindset, management support, and resources will help keep you progressing your vision.  You will make mistakes as I did many times and have witnessed time and again, but that is the key to learning.  Act, screw up, learn, and implement changes, then do it all over again.  No matter where you find yourself in the middle of a project or in your life, the key is to identify the next best action and take it.  The only way to progress is through action.  Ideally consistent action but at the least take the next best action no matter what.


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