Top 5 Tips To Start A Project With A Bang

The nature of dredging projects is that they have a start and an end to the execution. But the start date is often known well in advance, so how can you use that time to make sure you start the project with a bang?

In today’s knowledge update I share with you 5 Top Tips to start a project with a bang.

1. Prepare well in advance

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” A quote by Benjamin Franklin to which I wholeheartedly agree. Preparation will save you from so much agony when you actually start dredging, I find it amazing that many companies, and people for that matter, don’t do it thoroughly.

Prepare all aspects of a project. Think about the risks of the project, what could go wrong? How can you lower those risks now, by a good preparation? Preparation when there is no time pressure is so much more effective than having to solve a problem right then and there when it arises.

2. Have all equipment available on time

A true story. A client bought a CSD, which took several months to build and deliver. Then when it was at the project, ready to dredge, something was missing. The client didn’t buy floating hoses! They didn’t even order them.

Now this is a very large oversight which costed them tens of thousands of euros. But many companies are guilty of similar, although often smaller, oversights. This is where it also ties in to point number one, preparation. But with the added aspect of time. Make sure that any equipment that you need is readily available when the project is about to commence.

3. Start with the most difficult part

Although it seems contradictory to starting with a bang, it actually is complementary. Because when you finish the most difficult part of a project at the start it will be such a great relief to all people involved that the rest of the project almost feels like a breeze.

During the preparation you will have identified the most risky or difficult part of the project. Start with it immediately, or if that is not possible, work towards completing that part the soonest.

And in case this part does turn out to be even more difficult than expected you will have a lot more time to solve the issues.

4. Empower the project manager

In many dredging companies I see a certain reluctance to give the project manager a lot of decision power. I strongly object to this. Whenever a problem on the project occurs, who is more suited to solve it than the people already on site that know all the ins and outs of the project? Of course it also means the project manager has the capabilities to handle the responsibilities.

Give the Project Manager financial decision power to solve any issue on the project. Later on he of course must be able to defend his decisions to headquarters, but at least he and his team can act quickly.

5. Have sufficient spares

Once the first couple of weeks of dredging are done the first wear parts start to wear out and need replacing. The lead time of many spare parts can be months, so this means you need to have spare parts even before you start the project.

I have witnessed several cases where the project was doing well for the first couple weeks. But then the production lowered or even came to a complete halt, because there were no spare parts available.

This, to me, feels like such a big waste. It comes from the mentality of saving money. Don’t spend on spare parts when you don’t need them, is the argument for not having spares. But in the long run you will need almost all wear parts and not having them costs you much more in lost time and production.


When you take these 5 top tips to heart and actually implement them in your work, team and organization you will start every dredging project with a bang! This will create amazing results in your company.

What tips do you have to start a dredging project with a bang? Let us know in the below comments field.

To your success,
Timon Vinke

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