An important part of project management is to identify past due tasks so they can be dealt with. Past due tasks can be customer jobs you’ve agreed to deliver by a certain date or tasks that need to be finished before others can start. (scroll down for a video)
In any case, consider using the tool below to identify past due tasks. You can get a list of them and the total number of hours left to do.
Here’s a scenario that occurs every day in manufacturing job shops: A customer calls wanting to know the status of their job. You take the call but have only the slightest idea where their job is. Somebody scheduled it for production but you’re not sure when, and you’re not sure how far along it is. You don’t know the phase it’s in, so you can’t quite predict a completion date, which you know the customer is going to ask next.
Watch this little teaser video, then scroll down for more discussion.
What if you could look up on the big-screen on the shop floor wall and see the status. Or see it right on your PC. Wouldn’t that be cool?
But how would that work?
It works because employees on the shop floor are scanning tasks as they complete them. They scan the job and task, which tell you what stage the job is in at any given time. Dozens of jobs are in progress simultaneously, so this gives status to every one of them. What stage is it in? What percentage complete? How many hours have been completed so far? Which employee worked on it last? What department is it in? And what is the likely completion date?
This is “Work In Progress.” And it is available on a big TV screen on your shop floor. Now everybody knows the status of over job, from sales to project managers to supervisors to shop floor operators.
Ever wonder what you could get from scanning barcodes on the shop floor? What are the advantages? Would it help your business? Is it worthwhile?
The video below shows sixteen things you get by scanning four barcodes. Here are the four barcodes you would scan to get these things:
Employee name again, after the task is finished
The word STOP
Can I use any of the sixteen results of barcode scanning?
Those four barcodes will give you at least sixteen results. Can you use all sixteen? Maybe. Can you use one or two of the sixteen? Quite likely. Which ones? Watch the video a few times, and write them down. Now you’re on the right track.
So you’ve decided you can use a few of these. Good. But how much time and money will they save? Well, the next question you’ve got to ask yourself is this:
How much of your process is manual?
In other words, can you replace some of your manual processes with automated ones? For instance, could you replace manual handwritten communication with scans? Could you replace verbal communication with a shop floor status window? Could you replace manual payroll entry with exported time logs? Could you replace verbal work order tasks with barcoded tasks?
The list goes on.
If you’re like most manufacturing or engineering shops, you can likely replace a dozen manual processes with automated ones. So… grab a notepad and start writing. Write down the manual things you do now. Then write down the automated results from this video. Now connect the dots. Watch the video ten times if you have to. But make sure you identify all your manual operations.
Smartphones have changed the way people can enter their time onto their timesheet. Consultants can take their phone out into the field and record their time, it then goes into the cloud and is recorded.
Also clients are able to follow the progress done on their projects with Project Bot. They log in with their own ID and follow along. No longer do they have to call the office for the updates!