Interview with Federica Tracolli, Senior Marine Planner of Mozzanica
We have often heard the expression “What is the plan to achieve your goal?”.
A line very often used in movies – especially action films – but without a doubt, planning and methodology are fundamental elements to the success of any job.
Planning projects means implementing human resources, timing, logistical aspects…, and if we’re dealing with organizing projects on board ships worldwide, we understand how it can be even more difficult.
To find out more, we decided to interview Ms. Federica Tracolli, Senior Marine Planner of the Mozzanica Company.
Good morning Ms. Tracolli, you are Mozzanica's Planner for the Marine division. Mozzanica is a company that operates worldwide, so can you explain what your job consists of?
I take care of planning service and installation activities on board ships.
Starting from the beginning, I am in contact with customers, scheduling service and/or installation activities. I then move onto the coordination of the work team, assigning the technicians to the different projects planned and organizing their trips.
Lastly, I support the project team leader with drafting the end of work reports.
What numbers are we talking about? How many projects per year are organized and how many technicians are managed?
We manage an average of 250-300 projects per year for a total of about 3,200 working days.
Where do you usually work?
We take on projects practically all over the world.
Since the beginning of my career here at Mozzanica, I believe I have organized activities on every continent.
This is the most stimulating part of my job.
You manage both service interventions and the installation of turnkey systems, especially in "dry docks". What do these two different types of projects entail?
For both types of projects (service and installations in dry docks), we apply the PDCA principle of "plan-do-check-act".
Although the basic principle is the same, in their actual development, we can note substantial differences such as:
For service activities we tend to have a short period of time for both planning and execution. Between the planning and completion of the activities we have an average of 2 weeks.
In turnkey installations, on the other hand, it is necessary to take into account a medium to long period of design, planning and study. As for the execution, on the other hand, some projects can last 40-50 days, while others are often shorter than 7-10 days.
Number of resources used
Resources are allocated to service activities based on the purpose of the job. We usually have service projects for a total of 150 man-days.
For turnkey installations, we also allocate resources according to the purpose of the job. For this type of project, we usually have an average of 750 hours of design and consulting to which we add the 6,500 hours of work in the field.
The materials logistic
For service activities we transfer equal to or less than 1.5 tons of materials. For turnkey installations, we instead manage shipments for a total tonnage that's greater than 15.
Our experience in the field and our desire for continuous improvement have allowed us to create a lean and dynamic system of logistics and preparation of materials.
The people logistic
Both types of interventions require the deployment of personnel in every corner of the world and this calls for particular attention to the relevant reference regulations, entry visas, etc.
What are the most difficult issues you face and what is the best way to resolve them?
Very often we have to deal with tight deadlines for challenging projects, sometimes in remote areas of the world.
With good planning and the attention we give to each project, we are able to resolve even the trickiest problems.
The most important element for the success of any project is the people. Without the support and commitment of the work teams on board the ship, it would be difficult to achieve all the objectives.
Can it be said that skills in handling unforeseen events and being a team player are very important for planning? Who are the actors involved? What part does the customer play?
Yes, absolutely. We are a cohesive team.
Starting from the technical direction to the personnel employed on board the ship. Each of us has our own specific role and we collaborate daily to guarantee our projects' success and our customers' satisfaction.
In any case, we also create groups with customers, always keeping them actively involved in every type of activity.
In conclusion, could we say that planning means “reasoning by objectives”?
I can say that planning means having clear and defined rules but still being ready for the unexpected.
From my point of view, planning means being attentive to people's needs and finding different solutions for the same goal.
It means being ready to break the rules and knowing how to best adapt to the situation.
In my opinion, objective reasoning must be accompanied by an open mind that's quick to think and does not give up in the face of the unexpected. And this is actually what I'm trying to learn over time.