Production, Technology and Workforce: A Killing Combination

During a project it seems that most managers focus only on production. Believing that despite the condition and age of machinery, workhours and human effort the production has to be at the top and close to 110%.

In my years of experience the most satisfying achievements in a project were accomplished when a merge between technology and humans happens.

The key question is HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS KIND OF SUCCESS?….It is not simple neither impossible, a lot of management effort has to be put in practice and mostly here is when managers can show if they are ‘BOSSES or LEADERS’.

An insightful article by Alex L, in which he shares some of his learnings as operations manager in the oil & gas industry.

Some keys are:

  • Equipment, machinery and tools: Are they in good shape, proper maintenance and your team has all the supply needed? You might need to start thinking in bringing new and update technology to your project. Check options, quotations, discuss with your supervisors about this.
  • Be open minded: Some people can bring different approaches to the same situation and ‘you’ as manager must listen and evaluate them;
  • Expect the unexpected: If production is not developing in the way you planned or you set as goal first think what you can do to improve it and share it with your teamwork. Going to a blame culture is not the solution, on the contrary will generate a negative thought of you as manager among employees;
  • Communication with your subordinate, co-workers and manager are essential: As you have subordinates you are someone’s else subordinate. So, treat your employees the way you want to be treat – Talk to them; listen to their ideas and thoughts – It is called human interaction;
  • Comply with the HSE policies: The worst nightmare for a manager is having a LTI or a damage in production because of not following procedures and not safety been considered at a proper time. An incident will definitely damage the company culture and reputation, the team, and production will be going down;
  • Train your personnel (Technical and Safety regards): Efficiency is the result of technology, qualified personnel and the safety manner to combined them;
  • Recognize their efforts: With this act you will definitely rise your employee’s morale and will encourage them to improve and increase production and productivity, a phrase like thank you, well done, keep going, will produce a lot of improvement in your daily production. One of the most frustrating situations that most employees face in their everyday job is the fact that they are ‘call’, by manager, when something is going on in a wrong or different way as planned. But, how many time manager calls employees to congratulates for their subordinates’ efforts and achievements?

Production is more than numbers and statistics. As manager we need to show results and the way to get this result (positive one) is being up-to-date in our management skills from the technical side as well. Managers must be engaged and understand every stage of the daily job. Unqualified managers and subordinates bring as inherent result low production. An self-assessment is every managers responsibility in order to identify their weaknesses and take them as a starting point to work and improve them.

Remember to be a manager is not about having a big office, drink coffee and shout out orders and commands. It is a lot more. It is a huge responsibility where the manager needs to understand how technology and employees can work in the best and safest way in order to get the outstanding result of a project. Overcome to your weaknesses, focus on the objectives, train your people, provide them with the right technology, motivate and respect them and you will excel the project goals.