The organisation designs and manufactures a range of GRP products at its UK Manufacturing Centre.

The purpose of the assignment was to:

  • Differentiate the separate work roles in the process
  • Build a project team
  • Streamline the project management process

There were five stages to the assignment:

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Different controls and distractions were explored at each level. The approach used was a combination of work roles, process mapping and benefit realisation.


The assignment began with project management training which included:

  • Mapping out the project management process
  • Exploring the planning framework
  • Identifying how information is shared and stored
  • Introducing work roles

The issues the team wanted to address included:

  • Better organisation of information
  • Management of risk
  • Project “buy in”
  • Project managers agreeing on processes
  • Better allocation of labour
  • Regular project meetings and stage inspections

The outcome of this was an action plan which included checklists for accepting work and kick off meetings

Development Actions

The next phase was to prepare a process charts to map out the process from the receipt of the enquiry to delivery.  This was reviewed by the team along with some customers before the final version was issued.

A number of new procedures were introduced:

  • Use the variation request form to document changes to the original brief at the kick off meeting. Introduce the process for variants during project management
  • Progress meeting to draw out issues during the project life cycle.  These should be planned at the kickoff meeting
  • Email confirmation of  acceptance of assignment at kick off meetings
  • Take more responsibility for accepting moulds, plugs.    
  • Update of the manufacturing process chart
  • Time spent recognising individuals’ contributions along with supporting those people with a positive and proactive approach
  • Build on the function of evaluation asking those difficult questions,
    “Have we ordered sufficient materials and will they arrive on time”?
    “Have we got space to store equipment and moulds”?
    “Have sufficient hours been allowed for the project”?
  • Generation of visibility concerning the availability of materials
  • Reintroduce training plans to highlight training targeted in each three monthly period.  

Working Relationships

The next stage in the project was to profile individuals using Belbin team roles.  The purpose of this was to help project managers and work owners to both:

  • Understand their individual strengths and weaknesses
  • Explore how they could cooperate across departmental boundaries at times such as project initiation, handover meetings and project review
  • Recognise crucial combinations across the project and to explore the working relationships of the team
  • Set rules for interacting with other project teams.

The individual profiles were also used to focus on individual manager’s development needs. We looked at the job requirements of each role along with individual’s compatibility with these requirements.

Each manager then had an interview to agree his training targets for the next six months.


  • Better information distributed through different channels such as  the shared drive, project plans and kick off meetings
  • Project processes defined for both project planning and manufacturing
  • More planning including budgets R & D, equipment  which improved project “buy in”
  • Better project scheduling using Microsoft project
  • Regular project meetings and stage inspections