Right First Impressions

Engagement happens. In every moment of every interaction with every prospect, you have an opportunity to engage someone. You’ve all heard the stats on how people communicate: 55% through body language, 38% through tone of voice, and a measly 7% through the words that are actually spoken. And those stats even hold true for the written word. (Make sure that all of those hours and hours you’re spending pouring over the right choice of words in your framing statement or website content count … is your listener able to draw the pictures you want them to see?)

Improving Project Success

Projects are widely different in nature as they could be anything from R&D, FEED study theoretical projects, to huge international oil and gas projects involving engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning. I take it from the introduction to this topic that we are indeed talking about the latter.

In my humble opinion I do think it is vital that the management of these projects are a good mix of hands on engineers, more academic design engineers and a few “drivers” as well as integrators.

It is further important to build a good personal relationship early (before the official project kick-off). As these projects usually lasts from one to several years it is well worth it. All experience indicates that personal face to face relationship within the different disciplines involved increase the willingness and trust needed for the project members to discuss multidisciplinary problems. Later on in the construction and commissioning phase we can see that most problems arise in the interfaces between the different disciplines (drawings and registers/indexes are not fully correlated) of the project (i.e. electrical and mechanical, piping and rotating machinery, instrument and process are typical such interfaces).

A proper document control including a master document register, document coding and numbering system, a proper document database with revision control, and a good document flow procedure with interdisciplinary checks are all IMPERATIVE to the success of the project progress tracking and quality control.

Further the transitions of the project (From Engineering to Procurement, Procurement to Construction and Construction to Commissioning) are all important to spend a lot of time preparing and executing. This often involves change of people in charge of the various disciplines and this is where you will get a lot of help from those in your project team who have hands on field experience as well as being good practical design engineers. There must always be an overlap so the site team can get all the support they need from the engineering team. This will go on until commissioning is done. These days we often do not get time to finish commissioning at the shipyards, and have to spend some months completing offshore with bad infrastructure for parts logistics and communications like Internet might be very low bandwidth. It is therefore important to have a switched on support team onshore who can receive problems from the commissioning team offshore and provide them with answers.

There are plenty of project theory and fancy models more or less reliable, and I am no expert in this field, but I know the above to be a fact. I see these same problems happen over and over again, so this is what I feel I would like to share with the group, which might not have been mentioned all too often elsewhere. There are of course plenty more elements to juggle and all to keep the project on time, within budget and with the right quality.

Posted by Erik Strand

Challenging Power Questions!

 Ever get tired of asking “What keeps you up at night?” and “If you could wave a magic wand, … “? Here are 8 more power questions to keep in your arsenal:

  1. What is it about your current situation that you don’t like?
  2. If you could change just one thing, what would it be?
  3. Tell me how you deal with (name something that you’ve helped someone else overcome).
  4. What have you tried in the past to fix the problem?
  5. How fast have things changed?
  6. If you could solve that problem, what would it help you achieve?
  7. How much are you willing to invest to solve the problem?
  8. How do you see my part in the solution?

Do you have any Power Questions that have worked for you recently? Share then with our Blog!

Contributions by RAC-TQI

The Power of Trust


“For it is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together.” ~ H. L. Mencken

It is impossible to go through life without trust.

Trust is the foundation of a good relationship.

Prospects must trust you: who you are and how you profess to help them.

“A person who trusts no one can’t be trusted.” ~ Jerome Blattner


  • How do you engender trust with those whom you meet?
  • How easy are you to trust others?
  • Do you trust yourself?

“As soon as you trust yourself you will know how to live.” ~ Johann Wolfgang vonGeothe


If you perceive a lack of trust is keeping you from creating good connections with prospects, think about your everyday actions. How do you conduct yourself in public? In private? Is there a difference? Should there be? How could you change your everyday actions to increase your trustworthiness?

“Trust men and they will be good to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Determine one action you can take that will demonstrate your trustworthiness to others … and then DO IT!

Contibutions by RAC-TQI

Networking Connections 101

5 Picnic Rules

 “Remember me from the picnic?” Summer picnic season provides you with an opportunity to relax, reconnect, and relish good friends and neighbors. It can also provide you with an opportunity to make good connections. Here are five general rules about networking in social conversations:

 1. Talk to anyone; maybe not everyone – Don’t waste the entire event trying to figure out a way to talk to the most popular person at the party. In your strategizing, you might miss making a connection to someone else. That person you’ve never met might be your next best big lead! And even if you don’t get to talk to everyone, having a few really good conversations may provide better results than meeting everyone in a “bums-rush” way.

 2. Be approachable – Eye contact is key. Watch that fine line between making good eye contact and not staring someone down. Open body language and a nice smile can help.

 3. Listen attentively – You’re at a social event, so your business agenda should be placed squarely and firmly on the back burner. Listen for content and make mental notes of the names of family members, other friends you have in common, their hobbies and interests. Making connections socially can play into your business life, but let it happen organically.

4. Know when enough is enough – If you’ve run out your repertoire with someone and want to move on, know how to excuse yourself gracefully. Offer to get another round of beverages. If they decline, you’re free to move on alone. If they accept, strike up another conversation with someone else on your way back to them. Then invite them into your new conversation.

 5. Follow up is key – To capitalize on a true connection, be sure your last words are an invitation to meet again. Even if you kept your interaction strictly social, gain a verbal commitment to get together again socially. The business talk can expand as your relationship does. 

Complements or RAC-TQI

Who Really Knows What’s Going ON?

Looking at business you have Strategies, People, Processes and most of all CUSTOMERS.  Are you setting  yourself up for success?  Selling is only the start; you must let the customer buy.  Only the customer knows what he needs and or wants.  LISTEN, then deliver!  WHO IS YOUR customer?

See what Sam Walton, founder of Walmart says in Young Entrepreneur:

The folks on the front line – the ones who actually talk to the customer – are the ones who really know what’s going on out there. There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else. Sam Walton, founder, Walmart

Read more at Young Entrepreneur >