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Recently my youngest son had the lead role in the high school musical called How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. That meant I found myself in the theater for three nights in a row as the troupe performed this three-and-a-half hour farce. However, spending all that time in the uncomfortable auditorium seat actually helped me understand the plot and associate the story to real business, or in our case, a real project.

The story is about a lowly window washer who climbs the corporate ladder without any education or experience in business. He simply has a book that guides him along the way, providing tips at just the right time, leading him to the pinnacle of the business world.

Like in this musical, many of us in the industry do not have the experience of walking through an entire project. We all want to, and more importantly, we think we can without fail.

We don’t often see someone reaching for a manual for help through the project steps. Rather, we do see people dive in and think they can pull it off, based on their own merits. But without intervention from experienced people, this person will likely end up over budget, miss the deadlines and experience a rough commissioning — not to mention lose their credibility.

Almost every major project has probably been done in the past. It’s when we put our pride aside and reach out for help from someone more experienced that we find ourselves with a better chance of succeeding with the project, and we also enhance our credibility.

If you are tasked with building a new food plant, reach into the archives and copy successful organizational practices, construction methods and installation techniques. Doing so will not only give you a chance to emulate something good, but it will also speed up your overall timeline. When you lean on others to guide you to the right builders, installers and equipment suppliers, you will have the best chance to achieve your goals.