As the chief project officer of a core drilling team, it is important to be aware of all project deliverables and phased deadlines. Project stakeholders, whether private or public, have a set of expectations in place that represent the parameters of the project, and it is important to continue to develop ongoing rapport with them.
Advice for Project Officers
All chief project officers must remain calm and maintain a sense of distance from the project, so as to maintain some degree of objectivity. Of course, few projects go exactly to plan, so here’s some sage advice on keep the project together and on time.
- Communication: It cannot be stressed enough that good rapport-building and communication skills are the key to maintaining morale both on and off a site. This is especially important during a large project, where there are a myriad of risks and things that can go wrong. By maintaining ongoing rapport with stakeholders, the lines of communication are kept clear.
- Software: It may be that you are using PRINCE2 project methodologies or another industry standard, but it is important that everyone working on the project all be on the same page. Updating phased milestones is the key to a collaborative effort and will keep all project stakeholders happier.
- Equipment: It is important during all operations to use the right tools and equipment. As most subcontracted firms do not stock all of their own equipment for cost and efficiency reasons, this means that it is vital to hire the right equipment for the job, from one of the UK’s leading geotechnical drilling services. Will you require a percussive drilling unit or a rotary unit? Does any core sampling need to be done in-situ to satisfy environmental agencies? Do you need to monitor groundwater levels?
- Solving problems: Inevitably, every project runs up against some obstacles. It may be that there were some unexpected results from the GPR scan. It could even be a case of equipment damage. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, as the chief project officer you will be expected to address it and organise a way to repair it, monitor it, or work around it in some way, so that the project can continue without further delay. Even though you may feel the pressure of the involved stakeholders, it is important to keep your cool and distance yourself from the problem as much as possible, in order to come up with a solution to the problem.
- Engagement: As much as it is useful for all project managers to be able to distance themselves when there is a problem to solve, it is also vital to be able to switch back into engagement mode so that you don’t appear too distant or aloof. Appearing too distant can come across as a sign of being disinterested and disengaged. If there is one vital skill that all project officers need to develop quickly, it is the ability to listen and engage with others with an even temper and good humour.
Getting Your Project Done on Time and on Budget
There are many pressures that must be faced as a project officer, but by remaining calm, keeping the lines of communication open, and engaging with problems as they arise, it is possible to run a successful project that finished on time and on budget.