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How simple technology solutions can deliver effective Project Controls outcomes

How simple technology solutions can deliver effective Project Controls outcomes

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  • Notes: Firstly I apologise, I do not know where the title Seven Star came from. I figure that there are plenty of people within the company that can tell you what the systems can do. This is about why they should do it. This presentation is about what many Clients, who are about to embark on a major project are thinking and what the minimum project Controls they need really are are
  • There are three main areas I will cover. This presentation is not intended to dumb down project controls, but explain what they mean to many customers and the people that work for them It is intended to provide observations from someone who has implemented Project and Risk Controls across major Projects and Companies.
  • The word preconceived is important. The key principle of Project Management is to manage and progress with what you know while actively concluding what is unknown and assumed with minimal impact upon the project
  • Traditionally, Primavera is not good at recording history, nor should it necessarily be. It is a planning and forecasting tool that seeks to manage where we are going on a project and how we will get there, rather than where we have been. Notwithstanding advances in modules Primavera remains a forward focussed planning and management tool. Project control procedures are primarily intended to identify deviations from the project plan rather than to suggest possible areas for cost or time savings The ability to compare a Baseline to current programme and a host of other information, including resources, costs, etc. Are among the most powerful capabilities of Primavera and set it apart from its competition. Project control begins early in the project with planning and ends late in the project with post-implementation review Projects must have a plan, or you cannot track how you are going, or the impact of issues upon your plan.
  • Notes: Put another way Goals and Objectives are Expectations The constraints are the issues that most worry organisations and people as they are usually what they are measured against, be it be by Boards, Shareholders, etc, OR At a personal level; by companies and bosses – jobs are on the line! What is agreed is that: Projects can be scary Projects can damage reputations and careers Better you than me Projects Fail when management don’t want to get involved, sit back and criticise and do not support the project or teams.
  • Organisations are made up of many people – many have different skills, different levels of risk tolerance and different interests and drivers. Given the organisational issues it is far easier for a company to find reasons to not do a project than it is to decide to do it. Projects can be scary. What is important is to be able to align the expectations and agree what is important.
  • At a personal level, it is much easier for a person to support not doing a project than wanting to do one. Project Controls can be an obstacle – if they are just another aspect of a project that makes it hard.
  • This does not alter the fact that there is a reluctance to deliver bad news. If Project Controls Systems are employed and reported on, even monthly, then the facts will come out earlier! Too often project controls systems are adopted to “tick a box” with management or Clients and then dropped.
  • The Balance Wheel recognises that other project controls factors deserve consideration. These are the “non-obvious” issues The Balance Wheel components can vary, but the fundamental controls don’t. There may be more than 8. This will depend on the Client and the Project. What is important is that the “slices” are important enough to influence a decision , or balance out other factors. These issues present opportunities for Oracle as they require the management of data; data to be developed, organised and managed in a structured manner.
  • It is important to note that unless a project has unlimited cost and time, optimal outcomes are rare and even then by the time they are delivered they may, for example, not be state-of-the-art.
  • In one of my roles for a major global construction company I managed risk. This company spends millions on Safety Systems and awareness, but when I asked project teams across the country to rank these Controls 1-8, how many times did safety come out 1 – 1 in nearly 300! What were 1 and 2? – cost and time. So what does this tell us? Projects continue to be measured as successful based on culture and KPI’s.
  • If BP had applied the Balance Wheel to its Project Briefing and all the Board Members had to agree and sign off on it, it should have looked something like this. Ultimately, the culture of the business led to the disaster. The cost of the right answer compared to what it has cost the business pales into insignificance. Projects can cost peoples lives, peoples careers and companies their future. This is the importance of Project Controls.
  • If BP had applied the Balance Wheel to its Project Briefing and all the Board Members had to agree and sign off on it, it should have looked something like this. There had to have been people in the business that warned of what could happen, but they didn’t have enough Power. Their issues weren’t on the agenda. If the Balance Wheel is employed by management, then at leats they have to be considered. Ultimately, the culture of the business and the acceptance of one risk or opportunity over another led to the disaster. Projects can cost peoples lives, peoples careers and companies their future. This is the importance of Project Controls.
  • Using the Balance Wheel to guide decisions, tailor the Needs, or Brief The Budget and Programme.
  • A Risk and Opportunities Management Plan will cover the same Controls as those in the Balance Wheel A key component of the Risk and Opportunities assessment is what resources are required and who is responsible for the issue and resources. Contingency should be added, based on the level of risk, based on the Risk and Opportunity Register and an assessment of what is known, unknown and assumed. The Change Control Plan should also adopt the Balance Wheel controls to ensure that changes are considered on a Balanced basis before adoption. Lastly, an updating and Reporting Plan sets out the regularity and method of updating and reporting progress and issues.
  • The majority of the Founding Controls System can be developed in Systems that Clients are comfortable with. The Challenge is to convince Clients to adopt a Project Controls System and make Primavera part of it.
  • The analogy I would draw is that most people can drive ... most people appreciate what a Formula 1 car can do...but ask them to drive it as a daily and it will scare most people off I have a car that can do that. What you are offering is Too fast, too expensive, it needs to much servicing and support ... I will stick with the Holden – even though I would like the experience. Primavera is a management tool – if management don’t understand it they cannot advocate it.
  • Primavera provides simple flexible options for presentations
  • The ability to sort and filter information according to a WBS is key. The filtering of data and ability to show it in different forms is a major differentiator The capability to directly link this information to a Cost code system is very valuable.

Transcript

  • 1. How can simple technology solutions can deliver effective Project Controls outcomes Cameron Downing Primavera Australia 17August 2010 The most comprehensive Oracle applications & technology content under one roof
  • 2. Purpose of the Presentation
    • A perspective on Project Controls such that it may assist in defining an opportunity, positioning products specifically for Clients and selling practical project controls solutions
  • 3. Presentation Topics
    • There are three main topics for this presentation:
    • Explaining what Project Controls are and why they are important
    • Understanding where to start with Project Controls
    • Setting a solid foundation to build on which to develop a Project Controls capability
  • 4.
    • Firstly, what is a Project?
    • A Project is a temporary endeavour, having a defined beginning and end undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives , usually to bring about beneficial change or added value.
    • An alternative view is that it is “ any collection of vaguely related activities that are ninety percent complete, over budget and late ." #
    • Project Controls are the systems and measures put in place to avoid the latter
    • * according to Wikepedia
    • # according to a crusty old cynic
    Defining Project Controls
  • 5.
    • What is Project Management?
    • Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives
    Defining Project Controls
  • 6.
    • Project Management Challenges?
    • The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of these project goals and objectives while honouring preconceived project constraints
    • Typical constraints being scope, time and budget
    • The secondary challenge is to systematically determine, record, prioritise and agree management plans for issues that could influence successfully achieving the Goals and Objectives and ensure that these Key Issues are given focus and resources
    Defining Project Controls
  • 7. Defining Project Controls
    • So what is meant by Project Controls?
    • Traditionally, Project Controls Systems are those systems that keep a Project on-track, on-time and within budget
    • Control systems are needed for cost, risk, quality, communication, time, change, procurement, and human resources
    • Control systems need to be able to manage historical issues, current issues and forecast future issues
    • Project control procedures are primarily intended to identify deviations from the project plan rather than to suggest possible areas for cost or time savings
  • 8. Defining Project Controls
    • So much for theory = what are we REALLY trying to Control?
    • Project Control Systems set, manage and report on Expectations
    • There are two sets of expectations to be established, managed, statused and reported against:
    • Organizational Expectations
    • Individual Expectations
    • These may be similar, but are rarely the same
  • 9. Defining Project Controls
    • Setting and Managing Expectations
    • Organizations expect, or want ...
    • Risks managed and Opportunities maximised
    • Scope definition and control
    • Cost (and time) control
    • An ability to account for and report on the project
    • To be able to account to external parties, such as shareholders or Govt.
    • To look capable and competent, OR
    • Be able to protect the organisation from criticism
    “ The first step in exceeding your customer's expectations is to know those expectations.” ... Roy H Williams
  • 10. Defining Project Controls
    • Setting and Managing Expectations
    • Individual, or Project Team Members expect, or want to ...
    • Be successful and be considered successful
    • Enjoy their work
    • Work efficiently (with tools they know)
    • Manage what they don’t understand without looking stupid
    • Protect themselves from criticism
    • Look after their own KPI’s
    • Survive the project!
    “ A client’s needs and expectations are vastly different.” ... Bruce Bennett
  • 11. Defining Project Controls
    • Why are Project Controls Important?
    • Both Organizations and Individuals agree they want no surprises
    • Therefore, in order to support both Organisations and Individuals effectively, Project Controls Systems must:
    • Manage Expectations and forecast Surprises
    • Establish a basis of TRUST , by p roviding Certainty of Outcome and Comfort that a project is being managed
    • Most importantly, Project Controls systems must be used to be effective
  • 12. Where to Start with Project Controls
    • Traditional Controls
    •  
    • A traditional (and simplistic) view of Project Controls is below.
    • It does not recognise that:
    • Expectations differ between Organizations and People
    • Appetites for risk vary
    • People are involved
    • Project or Issues Complexity
  • 13. An Alternate view of Project Controls
    • The Balance Wheel
    •  
    “ The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.” ... Oswald Spengler
  • 14. An Alternate View of Project Controls
    • The Balance Wheel
    • Sets out to Optimise Value by considering a range of issues, not just traditional scope, time and cost, but other key controls such as safety, sustainability and quality and external factors; factors that affect other Organisations and Individuals
    • By recognising these factors an optimum outcome is possible; being the best possible under the circumstances
  • 15. An Alternate View of Project Controls
    • The Balance Wheel
    • The purpose of the Balance Wheel is to:
    • Reach consensus on what is REALLY important by defining both success and failure
    • Set an agenda to establish and agree:
    • A basis for optimising the project outcomes
    • The risk issues, priorities and how they inter-relate
    • How these issues will be managed/offset, measured and reported
    • Effective Expectation Management and Communications
    “ After the Challenger accident, NASA put in a lot of time to improve the safety of the space shuttle to fix the things that had gone wrong.”... Sally Ride, Astronaut
  • 16. An Alternate View of Project Controls “ I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest." ... Tony Hayward, CEO of BP BP and the Balance Wheel – what they were thinking.
  • 17. Setting a Solid Foundation BP and the Balance Wheel - what were they thinking?! “ I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest." ... Tony Hayward, EX- CEO of BP
  • 18. Founding Project Controls Principles Functional and Operational Brief Project Scope Budget Programme “ Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” ... Henry Ford Setting a Solid Foundation
  • 19. Agreed Project Scope and WBS Agreed Programme Agreed Budget Functional and Operational Brief Project Scope Budget Programme Agreed Functional and Operational Brief Setting a Solid Foundation Founding Project Controls Principles
  • 20. ` Updating and Reporting Plan Functional and Operational Brief Agreed Project Scope and WBS Agreed Programme Agreed Budget Contingency Risk and Opportunity Mgt Plan Founding Project Controls Principles “ If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.” ... Albert Einstein Change Control Plan OH&S Qual Sust Cost Time Int Exp Ext Exp Brand
  • 21. Setting a Solid Foundation
    • Minimum Requirements for Project Controls
    • Functional and Operational Brief (Text)
    • Scope of Works (Text)
    • Work Breakdown Structure (Spreadsheet and Primavera )
    • Budget (Database, Spreadsheet with WBS)
    • Time/Programme (Primavera)
    • Issues (Risk and Opportunity) Register (Database, Spreadsheet WBS)
    • Change Control Process (Text and Spreadsheet)
    • Updating and Reporting Plan (Combination of Systems)
  • 22.
    • Positioning Primavera – Obstacles to adoption
    • Many big businesses do not have mature Project Controls Systems
    • Many companies have mature cost management systems, but immature Time Management and reporting capabilities and expectations
    • The true cost of time is (often) undervalued
    • Planning is not seen as a core skill – many major contractors outsource planning
    • Very few managers in Major Clients / Contractors can use Primavera – so there are few real advocates
    • Primavera is accepted as the standard, but ...“ I can’t get my people to do a programme; let alone one in Primavera!! ”
    Setting a Solid Foundation
  • 23.
    • Positioning Primavera – Obstacles to adoption
    • The User Interface is the single largest obstacle in my experience
    • (but it is also something that is being addressed)
    • There is a perception that it is hard to use ... and
    • That it is complex and does much more than is required
    Setting a Solid Foundation
  • 24. Positioning Primavera
    • Positioning Primavera – The Base Case
    • My experience is that unless the Customer has a mature Project Controls culture, it is a mistake to try and sell the entire capacity of Primavera
    • Sell what a Client is comfortable with and able to use as a base to greater capability
    • Then build on that capability with a modular approach
  • 25. Positioning Primavera
    • Positioning Primavera – Superior Presentations
  • 26. Positioning Primavera
    • Positioning Primavera – WBS and Status Updates
  • 27. Positioning Primavera
    • Positioning Primavera – Readymade Dashboards
  • 28. Conclusion
    • Understanding of What Project Controls are and why they are important
    • Consider what is important to a Customer Organisation and the Individuals within it - understand the EXPECTATIONS that need to be managed
    • Understanding of where to start with Project Controls
    • Understand the capabilities and expectations of a Customer Organisation and the Individuals within it and tailor solutions that get them started with (Project Controls) Primavera solutions to effectively manage these expectations
    • Setting a solid foundation to build on
    • Simple yet effective solutions may not utilise all the features and capabilities of Project Controls Systems like Primavera, but they may be appropriate for Customers skills and capabilities and sufficient to get started
  • 29. Thank you!