Project management tips for system integration

Seven tips: Practical advice about project management can help your next system integration project. Project management for control system integration differs from project management in other areas.
By CFE Media September 4, 2015

Recognizing the signs of project failure can help those involved to make corrections before it’s too late or help them agree that it’s time to move on. Courtesy: Control Engineering webcast: Tips for automation system integration project managementControl system integration project management (PM), when done right from project inception, can mean the difference between a successful implementation that adds value, and one that doesn’t. Seven sometimes overlooked tips about project management for automation and control system integration follow.

1. Determine if project management be handled internally or is outside help needed. Note that project management for control system integration can differ widely from PM in other areas.

2. Decide when to bring in a system integrator to help with project management.

3. Use project methodologies to help mitigate risk.

4. Decide if a process redesign is needed as part of the project, or if applying automation to the current process will be enough.

5. Recognize that project management can influence technology selection.

6. Understand that there are times (more often than anyone usually admits) when a project is beyond help and needs to end.

7. Determine what measures will be used for success during project planning. Return on investment may not be the top measure of project success. 

Learn more in a PDH webcast

More details on each of these topics will be available in one-hour Sept. 10 webcast with a question-and-answer session at the end (archived thereafter); the webcast is RCEP accredited and a professional development hour is available. Learn more or sign up for the webcast here: Tips for automation system integration project management. Registration includes the ability to submit a question to the speakers. Those listening live can submit questions during the webcast. Featured speakers are:

– Don Roberts, an auditor for the Control System Integrator Association (CSIA) and a consultant and principal of Exotek LLC, a management-consulting firm focused on the engineering and systems integration industry.

– Dennis Brandl, founder and chief consultant at BR&L Consulting Inc., specializing in helping companies use Manufacturing IT to improve production, laboratory, and logistics processes.

Don Roberts is an auditor for the Control System Integrator Association (CSIA) and a consultant and principal of Exotek LLC, a management-consulting firm focused on the engineering and systems integration industry. Courtesy: ExotekDennis Brandl is a founder and chief consultant at BR&L Consulting Inc., specializing in helping companies use Manufacturing IT to improve production, laboratory, and logistics processes. Courtesy: BR&L Consulting Inc.

Also see Control Engineering research on system integration and other topics

– Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, mhoske@cfemedia.com

ONLINE extra

See other project management advice for system integration below.