Optimation Blog

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?

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Topics: Project Management, Business

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Project Management

Change Control in Project Management

Posted by Wendy Smith on Mar 7, 2016 8:26:00 AM

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. 

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Topics: Project Management

Making Time for A Medical Device Testing System

Posted by Steve Beyer on Feb 17, 2016 10:39:10 AM

Medical Device Testing


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Topics: Purchasing, Project Management, Test Systems

The Essential First Step to Capital Project Success

Posted by Pete Sherer on Feb 16, 2016 11:11:53 AM


If your business is growing and thriving, you may be at a point where you are seeking a capital improvement…you may know what you want to accomplish, and what benefits to your business you desire, but you’re not sure how to select the best approach? 

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Topics: Purchasing, 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.  


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