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Downs Associates

Project Planning
Project Management

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Planning and Management

Almost unconsiously we plan every job we tackle. But, when the job becomes bigger and requires the completion of many individual tasks the planning becomes more complex. Many aspects present potential problems which could at best delay the completion of the job, and cost extra money. The potential for failure increases as each deadline is missed.

Despite your technical skills to complete the job, have you got:-

to both prepare a complex plan?

More important to monitor its fulfillment?

As the saying goes:-

"when you are up to your backside in alligators
it is difficult to remember the objective
was to drain the swamp"!

Downs Associates with its years of experiance in planning, monitoring and managing projects can help you what ever the nature of your industry or event.

One popular misconception is that purchasing a copy of Microsoft Project and all your problems are solved!

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Our Experiance

Our experiance includes:-

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Our Expertise

Our expertise includes:-

Additonally we can: -

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Project Delivery

Some of the recent examples of cost and time overruns on projects quite frankly amaze us. Whilst we cannot guarantee everything will go according to plan our record is pretty good.

Certainly we have no hesitation in advising when to kill a project because it has become technically impossible. We had to give that advice on one of the major projects listed above.

Industry Backgrounds

From the list above and other information on this site you will realise that we have quite a wide range of Commercial / Engineering / Industrial and even a scientific background.

Partly this comes from previous wide ranging experiance gained in Management Accountancy. Which has also exposed us to a wide variety of Accountancy / CRM / ERM systems, from PC, Networked to main frame based systems. This also nessecitated getting to know exactly what Line Management in a variety of commericial, engineering and industrial situations were trying to accomplish and the data they needed.

But it so happens our princial partner in not just a "bean counter", he also happens to be a qualified Sound Engineer owning a sound system hire, sales and installation company plus holding the Radio Licence, G8HKP. Which means that when involved in engineering particularly electronic engineering he has quite a good understanding of what is going on "under the bonnet".

Addtionally he owns a company which manufactures Wine Racks. As a result of which from time to time he practices the wood working skills he learnt at school and builds units for shopfitting. "Do it yourself" round his various homes has taught him most building trades and skills - but not plastering!

So building the WBA for most projects becomes a much simpler task.

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What will we do for you?

Project planning usually falls into two major stages: -

Preparing the Plan

This is usually quite an intense period of work. Also there is inevitably many hours of quite boring detail as the various stages and resources are identified and recorded into the Plan.

During this period which typically takes at least 4 - 8 weeks we would expect to work nearly full-time on your plan. We say nearly as there will be periods when are forced to wait for information. Also we have to keep other clients jobs "under control" so that might take up some of our time.

We would expect to meet your operational staff at regular intervals as they will have an important role in identifying the various tasks and resources required.

Towards the end of the preparation period we would expect to "sign off" the plan. But there will probably be a further few days of full time work as we set up monitoring systems / change controls etc.

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Once the action on the project gets underway there is a need to keep progress monitored to ensure milestones are reached. Most importantly to quickly identify where time or cost overuns might endanger the project. To build into the project tasks to cover previously unitendified problems and to cope with revised specifications from the customer.

However, our experiance is that for most projects (Building works being the major exception) there is no need for a person to be "breathing down the necks" of those engineers etc working on the project. If they are doing a task which is going to take several days it is pointless chasing them for a progress report every few hours - as a farmer once said "you don't fatten a pig by weighing it!".

So we would anticipate that it is only nessacery to visit and update plans weekly or even fourtnightly and some of this could be done by email / phone. Preparing reports on say a monthly basis for a project review meeting.

This has an impact on our fees - you only pay for the time we need to use!

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