Project coaching

Project coaches

  • Project coaches are senior industrial engineers with extensive knowledge from past projects.
  • They enjoy working with younger industrial engineers.
  • They have strong communication & listening skills.
  • They have strong project management skills.
  • They have excellent operations knowledge.
  • They know many useful contacts.
  • They utilize basic project management techniques to monitor the project plans & schedules, developed by the newer IEs themselves.
  • Project coaches are able to advise multiple projects in various stages of completion.
  • They make themselves available to all the newer engineers.
  • They can adapt to the needs of the individuals being coached.
  • Project coaches are comfortable with helping others complete projects, while they often remain “invisible” to the internal customer.
  • Project coaches take newer IEs out into the factory to meet people and understand production processes: production procedures, support groups, & various data sources.
  • They may review presentations prior to being shown to the project’s customer (including the outline & format and likely questions that may come up).

Project review meetings

  • Check status to the original project plan/profile
    • Is it still valid for the project?
    • Or has the scope or planned deliverables changed?
  • List names of who is currently working on the project
    • Rough amount of time – or % of their time – they have been working on the project recently
    • What is their main role on the project, currently?
  • Check status to the most recent project schedule
    • Using Microsoft Project software or whatever work breakdown structure or milestone chart they are using
  • Check current % complete for the major project stages
    • For each of the main project stages:  start-up, documentation & measurement, solutions, conclusions, implementation or follow-up
  • Review some of the results from any project stage listed as more than 80% complete
    • Show some of the outputs from the project’s stages, as is
    • Do not prepare anything new for this review meeting
  • Discuss the next planned activities
    • What is planned for the next month?
    • Who on the project team will be doing what?
  • Discuss any project concerns
    • Resource issues, cooperation issues, etc.
  • Agree on the timing for the next coaching review meeting
    • Suggested coaching review is when the project is starting a new major stage, or a stage is now listed as 80% complete
    • But no more than 1 month away regardless of % complete


  • Project coaches can be very helpful if they are available, willing, & adaptable.
  • They utilize and teach basic project management techniques as part of their coaching.
  • They utilize the project’s schedule (built by the newer IEs themselves), also the planned deliverables from each stage of a project, during periodic coaching reviews.
  • They try not to influence the project’s conclusions & recommendations.

See Project Coaching.