The Recovery Act seeks to invest in the US economy and build jobs for US workers. Progressing from investment to return requires projects that employ good project management methods and good communication among stakeholders. For one Recipient of a financial assistance award from the Office of EERE, a manufacturer of advanced lighting technology, good project management means linkages between the project’s scope, schedule, and budget.
The Recipient’s project management plan includes a resource loaded schedule broken down by task, which includes planned dates of execution, resources to be utilized in each task, and the EERE and Recipient funds allocated to each task. In other words, the Recipient has a detailed plan for how much time and money are required for each piece of the project, where the money for that activity or purchase is coming from, and who will be doing the work.
This not only allows both the Office of EERE and the Recipient to analyze how the project is progressing against the plan, but also allows for rapid adjustments to the schedule and budget as the project evolves. Moreover, this method of project management is considered a best practice by Federal agencies that engage in large scale projects, such as the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense, as well as by project management professional organizations.
Members of the project team within the Office of EERE and the Recipient’s organization have found that this kind of planning and tracking allows for better, faster analysis and spurs more frequent and productive communication about developments in the project. With detailed information about the multifaceted performance of the project’s scope, schedule, and budget, project managers and monitors can identify problems early and solve them quickly.
These effective project management techniques enable the Recipient to move ahead with a new manufacturing facility that will employ Americans to produce advanced, energy-efficient lighting.