Project deployments present significant challenges for any business. It’s best to assume Murphy’s Law, in that ‘what can go wrong, will go wrong’ and plan accordingly. While the nature of service, length and location may change there are four primary disciplines that must be considered in order to be successful in supporting temporary and long term project deployments. These include a keen understanding of the customer’s needs, adaptability to the requirements of the mission, maintenance of a well-qualified workforce, and constant planning.
Understanding of the Requirements
Understanding your customer’s needs is paramount to a successful deployment. It is nearly impossible to satisfactorily complete a mission without a keen understand of what those needs are. This sounds like a fairly uncomplicated proposition, however it is not and can devolve quickly especially when timelines contract. The only way to fully comprehend and then deliver the needed support is to open an interactive and forthright dialogue with the customer and constantly assess their needs. Since these needs may change it is important that that dialogue is maintained throughout the deployment and documented. Not only does documentation ensure that contractual changes are reflected, but also ensures all responsible parties are on the same page.
Adaptability is another key to success when delivering services in deployment projects. While this is typical in any service industry, customer needs often evolve greatly as their project begins to take shape. It is imperative to be firmly committed to a mission success philosophy that is adaptive to compliment a customer in meeting their project goals. Often deployments begin with a clearly defined set of service expectations and timelines. Project timelines shift frequently, as do the on the ground needs of the customer. This is especially true when construction is involved. This can be a significant challenge but keeping a mission success philosophy and instilling this as a core value in the team assigned to the project are the best ways to succeed.
Well Qualified Workforce
Excellent leadership of a well-qualified workforce that is informed and empowered with a collective focus throughout the mission is paramount to mission success while deployed. While bench strength is helpful, it is not enough to just put boots on the ground and expect that things will just work out. Persistent and proactive attention to motivate, inspire, and maintain mission focus among team members is required. Leadership and adequate supervisory ratios are the hallmarks of good organizational management and must be deployed in order to succeed.
Planning is critical for successful overseas deployments. There must always be at least three sets of plans in motion to successfully deliver and seamlessly contribute to the evolving needs of your customer while deployed. These plans must take into account the current “as stated needs”, future needs, and potential needs of the program as they evolve. The potential for challenges or disruption for any defined solution has to be taken into account. Operating outside of your normal area of operation can throw any number of obstacles into the mix, both known and unknown. Logistical plans for personnel or materials need to consider potential failure and alternatives should be researched and at the ready. Planning is a constant process and does not cease until the program ends.
Any number of variables can positively or negatively affect the outcome of a program deployment. The common mistake of ‘business as usual’ cannot be overlooked when operating in foreign environments. Most detractors from a mission’s successful completion can be overcome by addressing these areas.
Since 1994, SCIS has successfully supported 200 plus overseas deployments in 10 countries and countless CONUS projects for our customers. Learn more about our Global Support Services.