While Ernest Hemingway’s maxim, ‘when people talk, listen completely’ is most applied as advice for writing naturalistic dialogue, we think it has equal merit for management consulting. When our client, a cutting-edge American biotech firm, reached out to us for support on their complex mission to produce both a therapeutic component and a new production facility simultaneously, we embraced the challenge with open ears.

Management Solutions provided project management support on scheduling, task planning, and resource allocation to help the client make their vision of eco-friendly production of a potentially life-saving treatment a reality. Our client sought out Management Solutions because of our extensive Department of Energy experience applying a level of rigor beyond conventional commercial production. They required our services because of the complexity of the regulatory issues involved with their process and materials. Project Lead Sue Oliver (PMP, PSP, PMI-SP) is helping address the client’s need for a focused, critical path toward production by listening carefully to project stakeholders, identifying client priorities, and creating an integrated master schedule using Primavera P6.

One of the most difficult Project Controls challenges she faced on the project was designing both the technical process and facility schedules simultaneously. Doing both concurrently involved many of the same people ‘dual-hatting’ and juggling multiple priorities. “It’s crucial to manage the schedule so there’s no negative impact on one another,” said Oliver.

Oliver listened to the client, learned what was needed, and then designed and implemented a customized, data-driven solution. From her perspective, the toughest challenge that teams were grappling with was, ‘What should I be doing right now?’ Teams had defined goals, but they sought clarity on how all the moving parts worked together. Oliver used P6 to help define a critical path by managing resource capacity, monitoring project performance, tracking costs, and creating a logical schedule.

The contributions Oliver continues to make toward project success extends far beyond software outputs. “I integrated myself into the team to gain information, and then I became valuable to the team because I was able to share and apply that information,” said Oliver. She mentioned that one of the most satisfying aspects of working with the client is the opportunity to partner with a team of brilliant people and facilitate valuable discussion between divisions. “What’s important to me is to address any disconnects,” said Oliver. The depth of Oliver’s project knowledge and experience gives her a unique ability to highlight priorities and risks and support effective, timely decision-making on complex projects.

Our client appreciated Oliver’s ability to listen attentively, anticipate their needs, gather the necessary data, and respond quickly with the perfect solution to identify and mitigate project risks.