Technical Program Abstracts

(PM)Project Management

 

(PM-2405) (Presentation Only) Managing Uncertainty for Mega Energy Projects

Authors: Dr. Nick J. Lavingia, PE

Abstract: A structured project development and execution process facilitates optimal use of resources such as dollars, people and technology over the life of the project to maximize value.  The desired outcome from this process is to select the right project by making the best decision between competing alternatives and then execute the project with excellence.  This paper addresses how decision and risk analysis is used in the energy industry to make informed decision by comparing alternatives, quantifying risks and uncertainties and evaluating financial outcomes.  Tools such as decision hierarchy, strategy table, influence diagram, tornado chart, decision tree and S-curve will be presented and how they are used to make complex decision on mega oil and gas development project.

 

(PM-2446) Project Controls and Project Management on Bus Rapid Transit Project

Authors: Rashmi Vailaya

Abstract: In 2014, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Austin Texas, the public transportation provider for the Austin area launched the city’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) system – MetroRapid. Bus rapid transit service is defined as high quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable and cost effective services at metro-level capacities.

The implementation of the project involved not only the design and construction of the infrastructure (including MetroRapid stations, the bus yard, the dispatch office), procurement and vehicle readiness of 40’ and 60’ buses but also the addition of cutting edge technology in the form of off-board fare collection, transit signal priority, dynamic message signs and Wi-Fi on the buses. As with any other public transit project, this project involved multiple stakeholders working to establish a dedicated BRT corridor as well as co-ordination with the community at large to ensure a successful outcome. This paper will discuss the project management and project controls strategies utilized on the project.

 

(PM-2538) How to Quantify and React to Different Project Controls Cultures

Authors: Robert J. White

Abstract: Any time project professionals get together to discuss projects at conferences, trade shows, or informal gatherings questions generally deteriorate to “But my project is different, what do I do when…?” and inevitably answers all boil down to “It Depends.”  The phrase “It Depends” has become the go to staple of professors, presenters, and project managers with project experience.  The purpose of this paper is to take that excellent answer to the next level and start to say what “It Depends” on, and more importantly what to do about it.  A method to take begin to answer this question for project controls to copy the success of the Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental (HSSE) community which has shifted focus from standards to culture with a focus on trust.  Project controls must cater its leadership style on a project by project basis through an understanding of the project’s culture.

 

(PM-2582) Problems Associated With Measuring Construction Labor Productivity

Authors: Marwa H. Ahmed; Osama Moselhi

Abstract: Labor productivity in Construction is one of the most widely used performance indicator for assessing success of construction projects. Labor productivity impacts schedule and cost of this class of projects, and hence its reliable measurement is important. Based on review of related literature and earlier studies conducted under the supervision of the second author, one can cluster the problems associated with productivity measurements in four main groups: measurement methods, data collection, management systems of construction companies and lake utilization of automation for data acquisition from construction sites. Therefore, the objectives of this research are to study the problems and major concerns associated with productivity measurements. The impact of data acquisition technologies on construction productivity measurements is discussed. Ten (10) criteria are identified from the literature. Simple Multi attribute Rating Technique (SMART) is used to rank these criteria and accordingly determine their relative importance. Studied also are methods to improve productivity  which can provide a complete, comprehensive and reliable source for managers, owners and contractors for improving productivity measurement and , accordingly, reduce cost and save time.

 

(PM-2605) Turning Around Problem Projects

Authors: Joseph A. Lukas, PE CCP

Abstract: Considerable effort is usually spent on the development and implementation of project management plans to ensure that projects are completed successfully. However, personnel on most projects will eventually be faced with events that result in a troubled or ‘problem’ project—one that is in jeopardy of not meeting the project objectives. This paper addresses the types of problem projects that can occur, and provides suggestions on how to identify the early symptoms of problem projects. Authoritative, competitive and collaborative problem solving strategies will be discussed, including the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. A proven five-step systematic problem resolution technique will be described in detail, along with a creative approach to problem solving. Finally, advice on how to make problem projects less likely to occur will be reviewed. This paper will help prepare you to more effectively deal with a problem project.

 

(PM-2628) Workflow Improvements and Project Success Driven by Mobile Technology

Authors: Jax Kneppers; Dr. Borja Garcia de Soto, PE

Abstract: The construction process incorporates many workflows including early cost projections, detailed estimates, schedule of values, contract agreements, cost reporting, scheduling, contract controls, and change orders. Careful management of data from inception to completion is critical for project success. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of databases and spreadsheets, powered by mobile technology, to address a unified process that has practical field applications. We provide real project experiences that demonstrate the execution of these processes in conjunction with established mobile data collection technology to substantially improve project success.

 

(PM-2629) Project Performance Review - A Model for Continuous Monitoring and Controls

Authors: Dr. Alexia Nalewaik, CCP

Abstract: The recently published book on Project Performance Review focuses on evaluating projects efficiently and in context, identifying important improvement opportunities and including continuous monitoring in the project controls process. Topics addressed in the book include: introducing the project review method, engaging project stakeholders, ensuring project governance, conducting project risk assessments, improving accountability, providing project assurance, organizing and managing projects, optimizing review scope and approach, avoiding review pitfalls, meeting existing audit standards, and proposing alternate approaches to project evaluation. This technical paper provides an overview of the methodology, potential audit findings from each module, and examples of the successful application of the Nalewaik-Mills Project Performance Review method, in the context of project monitoring, project controls, and Total Cost Management.

 

(PM-2639) Identifying and Predicting Labor Availability in the Construction Industry

Authors: Dr. Nour Bouhou; Anthony Gonzales; Dr. Marcelo Azambuja

Abstract: We have all heard the stories; “I can’t find enough electricians to finish my job” or there are not enough skilled concrete workers to finish on time.” The lack of available and qualified labor on a project is not only a recent headline but has historically occurred on numerous occasions. Multiple construction organizations have claimed recurring shortages of construction labor in the U.S. in the past three decades. These organizations emphasized the criticality of understanding the implications of the shortages in the workforce on construction projects. However, firms have relied on published assessments based on cognitive approaches (i.e., employer skill, job vacancy surveys, etc.) instead of empirical information to determine the magnitude of these shortages. This paper focuses on how to properly identify, quantify, and predict Labor Availability; and dispel misconceptions inherent within the construction industry.

 

(PM-2677) Developing a Project Skyline View for Workable Backlog

Authors: Doug Shako

Abstract: In the current world of fast tracked industrial projects, construction often begins before the engineering design is fully complete and long lead items are fully procured. This creates execution inefficiencies at the workface as scheduled work is often on hold as engineering and procurement attempt to keep up with the construction crews executing the work. The workable backlog skyline provides a visual communication tool for the project team to identify and categorize work packages on hold, as well as identify suitable out of sequence work available for immediate execution. By utilizing the workface planning model and the workable backlog skyline, project teams can gain insight into upcoming potential execution problems and minimize crew down time by ensuring other work fronts are available.

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