Optimation Blog

The Top Risks to Your Project

Posted by Steve Beyer on Feb 8, 2017 1:55:19 PM

I recently sat with a couple of our top project managers here at Optimation. The subject was project management: risk assessment and mitigation. Risk is a big deal here. Very often our clients hire us to help manage their project risk. This can come in the form of scope, schedule, or budget dimensions, each of which poses its own unique challenges to a client's ability to achieve their goals when undertaking capital projects.

Read More

Topics: Project Management

Eeyore and the Unintended Consequence

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jan 4, 2017 5:00:58 PM

A phrase that often gets used when projects go awry is "unintended consequences." On the surface it's a simple-enough statement, declaring that there were outcomes to some actions taken that (usually) ran counter to the intent of the project, and generally they were not desired.  In other words, "some bad things happened that we did not expect."

Read More

Topics: Resource Planning, Project Management

The Battle Over Contingency

Posted by Wendy Smith on Sep 29, 2016 3:08:36 PM

What is contingency?  What is it used for? Who controls it and dictates how it gets allocated?

Read More

Topics: Business, Project Management

Why You Should Share the Business Case for Your Project

Posted by Pete Sherer on May 17, 2016 3:05:22 PM

In recent past articles, we have enjoyed blogging about some of the aspects of how to successfully undertake and deliver capital projects. We have noted that a sound methodology to accomplish this can be found in a process we dubbed “Phases and Gates,” where the project work that streams from the customer’s initial project request for an installed and commissioned solution is divided up into manageable steps with predetermined decision points.  Our content has talked about the need for Requirements, the benefits of Conceptual Design, and the case for Preliminary Engineering.

Read More

Topics: Purchasing, Business, Project Management

What is Proof-of-Principle?

Posted by Pete Sherer on Apr 20, 2016 12:35:39 PM


In our ongoing discussions about executing capital projects in the Process Manufacturing segment, we have described methodologies and shared tips for the first steps or phases in the overall project workflow that results in an installed solution.

Read More

Topics: Mechanical and Process Services, Project Management

How to Know When to Say No to a Project

Posted by Wendy Smith on Apr 19, 2016 2:12:36 PM

 Walking away from projects

Sometimes, the right thing to do is say "no" and walk away. 

Read More

Topics: About Optimation, Business, Project Management

Asking the right questions during the bid process

Posted by Wendy Smith on Apr 11, 2016 2:52:07 PM


Sometimes it is not what you say, but how you say it.  In the engineering services world, we live by requirements (what you say – or write). Sometimes we create the requirements for or with our clients, and other times we write a proposal in response to the requirements and define a project to meet them.

Read More

Topics: Communication, Purchasing, Project Management

Mary, Mary, How does your Project Go? Front End Loading and Preliminary Engineering

Posted by Pete Sherer on Mar 30, 2016 2:45:11 PM

In the business world, when one considers how to accomplish a project to implement a capital investment or improvement, the series of interrelated activities, people, and resources that need to be organized and managed to accomplish the goal can be quite daunting. It is probably safe to say that few of us could keep all of the needed steps clear in our minds. The challenge is only compounded when we strive to complete a project that involves many disciplines, spans a significant length of time, and involves large sums of money. How can the ambitious business investor achieve the advantages of completing a successful project in a way that is controlled and doesn’t put his or her investment at risk?

Read More

Topics: Project Management

What "Pay it Forward" Teaches Us About Manufacturing Projects

Posted by Steve Beyer on Mar 14, 2016 1:00:03 PM

The movie "Pay It Forward" (2000) demonstrates the value and indeed the necessity of doing good works for the sake of doing them, rather than waiting to do them in response to something.

Read More

Topics: Manufacturing, Project Management

Change Control in Project Management

Posted by Wendy Smith on Mar 3, 2016 12:30:05 PM

Project changes are inevitable and can kill the project if they are not handled properly. They can come from a multitude of reasons. They can be customer driven, event driven, trickledown event driven, there can be a technology change, someone can change their mind….the list goes on and on. 

Read More

Topics: Project Management

Welcome to the Optimation Blog

Tips, tricks and trends

The goal of this blog is to be helpful to readers by providing useful information about applications in industrial engineering, design and skilled trades, as well as industry knowledge. We're passionate about manufacturing in the United States. We have a little fun with it too.  


Subscribe to Email Updates