TROUBLED PROJECTS – Preconceived Notions

As we begin to dig deeper into the troubled project and work breakdown structure has been established, we begin to interview the stakeholders of the project.  One of the general questions one asks, is what do you believe are the issues, what went wrong?  Human nature as it is, these stakeholders tend to be cautions and careful with their contributions.  Rarely do I hear one volunteer or is his or her organization the source for the incongruities.  A cautious approach continues as the interview process progresses further. [Read more…]

Construction Field Labor Productivity Improvement – Plan the Work Well

This is the sixth post regarding productivity in engineering and construction projects.  To review an index and links to the entire series, please visit Subject Series  page in this blog.  This post discusses planning the work and the related impact on construction field labor productivity.

Any discussion of construction field labor (worker) productivity must, of necessity, eventually involve the idea of planning the work.  Virtually every major project employs the expertise of several planners and schedulers to work the Primavera® scheduling program or some other comparable software.  Great effort is placed on getting just the right schedule assembled and in place – with the right number of activities and leveled manpower, etc.  However, all too often the schedule has been constructed in a near vacuum with little or no input or review from those who have to make it work in the field. [Read more…]

Managing Risk Of Delay – Earned Value Management (Part 5)

This post is the fifth in a series of discussions regarding various aspects of time management.  More specifically, we have titled the series MANAGING RISK OF DELAY, since we focus heavily on the managerial aspects of program / project management.  This post addresses some ideas regarding preparation and maintenance of time management related to overall bulk progress.  Some might refer to this as Earned Value Management.

The challenge associated with managing all (critical and non-critical path) work is common to virtually all Lump Sum Turn Key (LSTK), Engineer Procure Construct (EPC) and other similarly executed projects.  In addition to the normal issues associated with bulk progress, actions or inactions by the owner can add considerable complexity to this challenge.  Owner/Employer delays can be masked among the myriad of activities that are the responsibility of other (than the Owner/Employer) stakeholders.  Even when detected or disclosed, these variances to plan are often dismissed as simply consuming available float.  Hence, the Owner/Employer (or other stakeholder) may rationalize these variations as having no impact.  Of course, the reality is that these sorts of departures may (or may not) add risk or disruption to the project execution.  Further, they may delay forecasted completion.  The managerial challenge becomes detection, assessment and quantification (should it be appropriate to compensate the contractor for the impacts). [Read more…]

Blog Objectives and Goals

Welcome to Project Professionals, a blog offered by McLaughlin & McLaughlin for project professionals and those that intend to achieve project professional status.  A project professional must always mindful of Objectives and Goals.  Thus, we regard this as a starting point for planning, development and ultimately execution.  It is essential and appropriate to start with an articulation of these focus point.

Let us formulate the blog objectives as follows:

[Read more…]