Technical Program Abstracts

(DEV) Professional Development

NOTE: Program Subject to Change

(DEV-3336) Leveraging the Soft Skills to improve Project Controls efficiency

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Rahul S. Mulik, CCP


The triangle of People, Processes and Tools represents a Project Management framework. While the construction industry is advancing the sophistication of "processes and tools", the "people" aspect seem to lag, especially at megaprojects. In context of this paper, the "people aspect" is discussed in relation to project controls function. The subsets of "people aspect" are formal education, relevant experience and soft skills. Among these, the "soft skills" are elusive to be reliably verified. Group dynamics studies have shown that individuals placed in construction project like situation, have a difficult time believing that their counterparts are cooperative and collaborative. The resulting interplay of peoples' multifaceted and evolving relationships can disrupt the most carefully planned project and make it radically unpredictable.

The need, application and effectiveness of soft skills of Project Controls professionals is governed by multitude of factors such as Joint Venture and Supply Chain arrangements, availability of formal mentoring opportunities, communications policies championed project leadership teams, and maturity of Owner and other stakeholder organizations. This paper discussions challenges in and opportunities to leverage the Soft Skills to improve Project Controls efficiency. These discussions are based on the lessons learnt at megaprojects in the USA, Middle East and Asia Pacific region.

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