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  • Writer's pictureMark Hordes

A Global Plant & Team Start-Up: Success Story!

Don’t Overlook Key Elements That Drive a Successful Global Plant and Team Start-Up


Mark W Hordes, MBA, MS

Mark Hordes Management Consultants, LLC

713 416 1781

The latest trend in global project is to effectively and efficiently manage a successful multi-cultural large scale global- mega capital plant startups.

However these endeavors often sustain significant misfires with staffing, unaligned teams, schedules, budgets and meeting team goals.

While deadline approach and pressure mounts for a startup, opportunities to have a highly integrated team centric organization with employees who understand their business, their individual and team roles and how to operate from day one is critical.

10 Requirements for Creating Successful Team and Talent Management Plant Project Teams

1. Reach agreement based on team alignment, goals and performance targets. Excellent operating teams composed of individuals make decisions for the greater good, and rarely make decisions for one’s self-interest.

2. Operating teams function at the highest level of effectiveness and efficiency when all team members are focused and aligned in the same direction. This doesn’t mean that there’s never any conflict. Handled properly, conflict can be productive.

3. Allow for discussion and, during proposals, ask whether anyone is not aligned. Although full agreement is unlikely in large, culturally diverse organizations, most are willing to align with solutions even if they’re not the perfect answer. Those who aren’t aligned explain why they don’t agree and make a counter proposal. This can create the right platform to deepen the discussion.

4. Keeps momentum going in preparation for startup while operating teams learn how to reach alignment and enhance their decision-making capabilities. Organizations benefit from training everyone on team building tools and techniques centered on team effectiveness and enhanced communications.

5. Focus on the top five goals and five performance measures to keep the teams focused on the critical few goals and metrics and to avoid overwhelming members with too many goals and targets.

6. Ensure that each member of the operating team believes that all other members seek what is best for the project outcome, not one’s personal success or next promotion.

7. Create a set of norms and operating principles that are reviewed frequently and hold team members accountable. These are not high level statements that aim to make everyone feel good. Instead, they’re realistic guiding principles, values and beliefs that everyone is willing to stand behind and demonstrate through behavior.

8. Respect team cultural diversity being sensitive to communications cues that can mean different things in different cultures.

9. Be clear about project team roles and responsibilities, when these roles change, adapt quickly to limit confusion as to who does what and with whom.

10. Develop an on-boarding process that can be deployed quickly as new members join the team.

At a fundamental level, team alignment means bringing people together who understand project management startups, change management and the adoption of industry best processes.

Other factors to consider

Any company considering a mega-plant startup and rapid ramp-up to high operations performance must manage many complicating factors, such as multiple assets or units, a challenging regional setting due to skill sets, resources or political climate, technology selection and other risks.

Integrate organizational effectiveness

Targeted organizational and operations process are integral to the overall success of the project

They must demonstrate continuity and integration, and not become a distraction.

In this regard:

Below list highlights critical organizational effectiveness topics, training and activities that need to align with all operational management efforts.

Organizational Effectiveness Initiatives for Project Startups Requirements:

-Organizational effectiveness activities project activities

-Communications Map and Plan

-Teams charters defined and compositions shared

-Leadership and program support

-Leadership and program support defined

-Team needs assessment

-Team needs assessment completed

-Targeted team development

-Team goals, targets and alignment training

-Onboarding and priority setting

-Onboarding and contractor training

-Third interface working sessions stage

-Site coordination and integration planning

-Knowledge management workshops

-Key learnings shared and used

-Performance management workshops

-Key project metrics reviewed and agreed upon

-Quality and Six Sigma training

-Opportunities identification and advancement

-Safety excellence

-Safety culture and leadership training

-Leadership development

-Leading and working from commitment training

-Assessment working sessions

-Organizational effectiveness survey data collection and reporting

-Change management workshops

-Gaining commitment and ownership workshops

-Decision-making workshops

-Alignment and decision-making process ownership

-Coaching and sustainability

-Ongoing support to project leaders and managers

Ensure mega-plant startups success

In a nutshell, organizational commitment, change management, team alignment, process integration, and operating practices, effective knowledge management and other fundamentals may go missing in the need to get things up and running quickly. And they’re all needed. Which one is missing?

The clock is ticking.

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