Someone recently asked me which of my projects I was particularly proud of. Well, there are many projects to be proud of, but what always made me particularly proud was when I was able to help people work self-reliantly with efficient processes to achieve the set goals.
A good example of this is a project where I supported a company in production planning. The situation was such that the planning for the existing products ran relatively smoothly, but the new products were much more complex for production and in addition, new technologies were brought in. This overwhelmed the existing production planning system. So far so good. This is not really an unusual situation in a manufacturing company that continues to develop its own products and technologies: at some point, the planning systems and work processes are overwhelmed by the complexity and the whole process must be put on a new footing.
The technical solution to the problem was relatively straightforward. After an analysis of production and planning, the critical parameters were identified and solution options were designed. Based on this, it was decided to proceed with the Rhythm Wheel concept. The implementation was prepared, tested in a pilot, and the results evaluated before planning the final implementation.
The real key point, however, was the collaboration with the client team. At the beginning, the head of production planning often seemed to me to be at the mercy of the back-and-forth between the individual production departments and the sales organization. He could only respond to the everyday crises but was not in a position to plan ahead. By jointly developing a new planning tool and trying out the new planning approach in a pilot test, he gained noticeably in self-confidence. He had learned in the joint work with which tools he could operate and, above all, had gained in confidence that he would succeed in doing so. Towards the end of the project, he was the one who invited to the meetings, set the agenda, and really took the planning helm. For me, that was the most beautiful confirmation of a successful project completion.
John C. Maxwell has phrased this beautifully like this “We were created for meaningful work, and one of life's greatest pleasures is the satisfaction of a job well done.”