Faithful+Gould’s Scheduling Network Supports Service Delivery

Geoff van de Merwe
In 2013, I became involved in an initiative that benefits Faithful+Gould’s technical staff and clients: a scheduling service network of Subject Matter Experts (SME) within Faithful+Gould.

The network is led on a national basis by Technical Director Sonny Sicat, with SMEs located in each of the firm's geographic regions; I am SME of the Southeast Region. The goal of this network is to increase scheduling skill sets across the company. Faithful+Gould's employees possess a wide array of skills. By raising awareness of these aptitudes and of our company initiatives, global trends and opportunities, we can take full advantage of the strengths available in Faithful+Gould as an international company.

The scheduling service network demonstrates Faithful+Gould's core values: collaborative, positive and professional. As we discuss with one another the initiatives that we are working on, we have the chance to learn about individual's strengths, needs and opportunities; we are then able to use this knowledge to support one another. This shared knowledge improves our company’s services and client outreach.

Our network also benefits clients by building on all of our schedulers' experience instead of just the experience of the individual scheduler assigned to their project.

Our network also benefits clients by building on all of our schedulers' experience instead of just the experience of the individual scheduler assigned to their project. By utilizing our network and with it, our colleagues' respective areas of expertise, Faithful+Gould has been able to improve service delivery to our clients. 

For example, we are currently working with a large global manufacturing client's project management office, supporting its organization with a wide range of services to improve project delivery. Our client envisions an integrated cost and schedule solution for its entire company. We aim to provide them with a single standard of processes and technology by which to manage, monitor and measure projects. We are also working to raise the maturity level of the project managers by helping the client to understand project controls and receive maximum value out of its projects. Our goal is to help the client implement more efficient and consistent work practices throughout its organization.

Our goal is to help the client implement more efficient and consistent work practices throughout its organization.

The scheduling service network has been an effective tool in providing continuous improvement within the client organization. For example, when responding to a client need to understand the pros and cons of competing schedule analyzing software, I have reached out to the network for advice. Through collaboration, we are able to establish a comprehensive and accurate document that will provide relevant information for the client. By drawing on the experience of a group of experts it will also add further credibility to the work. In addition, the document can be utilized within Faithful+Gould to promote best practice.

As consultants, it is important that we strive to continuously improve service delivery to our clients. Toward that end, we researched the implementation of a single scheduling tool – Oracle Primavera P6 Professional software. Such an implementation would require a thorough understanding of the client's business needs and expectations to ensure implementation is adequate. The scheduling network assisted me with this research – I found colleagues who had successfully implemented the software as a business solution. One colleague in particular advised me of the challenges around the implementation of the software, the necessary IT changes and the paradigm shifts that would need to be addressed through effective communication in order to achieve a successful implementation.

As consultants, it is important that we strive to continuously improve our service delivery to our clients.

Additionally, I was able to utilize the network when the need arose to develop schedule specifications for the client’s construction projects. Within the client’s organization, project sizes and consequently the contract types vary greatly. By receiving feedback from the network, we could be confident that the specifications would not only meet the client’s need but also meet or exceed industry standards. The end result has been a project controls specification that can be easily adjusted by the client’s project team to suit contract size and type, while still clearly setting client expectations for potential contractors.

Our service network initiative leverages our corporate strengths and is a tool that sets us apart from our competitors. Team members involved with similar networks throughout Faithful+Gould can support one another with a variety of solutions to unique challenges faced, providing a backbone to any project we undertake. 

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