A clear advantage
MASOOD TAYEBI is chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of Wireless Facilities Inc. (WFI), San Diego, Calif., USA. WFI is an independent provider of outsourced communications and security systems engineering and integration services for the wireless industry, the U.S. government and enterprise customers.
photography by NICK SOUZA
BY MASOOD TAYEBI
If an enterprise were like a puzzle, project management would be the piece that pulls the picture all together.
When put into place, project management aligns an organization's triple constraints—time, cost and quality—to create a strategic advantage. For Wireless Facilities Inc. (WFI), that total picture didn't come into perspective until we began to take the methodology seriously.
When WFI began in 1994, we practiced what I call “self-project-management.” Each employee was responsible for his or her own part of the project. However, in 1998, WFI acquired a project management company to facilitate product development. At the time, the wireless industry was moving more toward turnkey services. It was then that we really started to practice what I call “true project management,” strategically linking the enterprise's triple constraints to strict execution.
With our project management standards and extensive training at the core of the operation, I can confidently verify our performance figures.
Today we put project management at the heart of everything we do. To ensure a dynamic approach, we enlist expert project management coaches. We conduct extensive in-house training programs. At least once or twice a quarter, all WFI directors and regional project managers conduct lessons-learned sessions, documenting their knowledge and updating the training programs and then sharing that knowledge with their own team members. We conduct weekly project reviews as well as monthly forecasts.
Spreading the value of project management across the enterprise, we've gone to great lengths to provide access to centrally located data. We developed and implemented a comprehensive, Web-based tool that we use to manage every project, complete with templates and clear documentation, so now everything we do is online and up-to-date.
In addition, WFI is a public company, so as an executive of this company I must have the utmost trust in what we report and forecast each quarter. With nearly 400 projects currently underway, the possibility for errors or miscalculations could be high, but with our project management standards and extensive training at the core of the operation, I can confidently verify our performance figures. I know precisely what the puzzle pieces look like as a whole.
Probably most critical, project management has benefited our customers. With a clearly understood process in place, we can better educate our clients on our capabilities, and in the meantime, we can better understand how to manipulate those capabilities to meet their individual needs. Underscoring the importance of the methodology, WFI has no marketing department to promote its capabilities, so we rely heavily on repeat business. I truly believe that project management keeps our customers coming back for more. PM
APRIL 2004 | PM NETWORK
PMI research shows project teams that draw from an array of perspectives and skillsets deliver powerful outcomes.