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Dealing with Extra-Long
Duration Industrial
Megaprojects
Nuclear Industry Case Study
Jeremie Averous
Senior Partner
2 © Project Value Delivery 2023
What is an Extra-Long Duration Megaproject?
• Megaproject: > 1BUSD
• Long Duration:
Execution phase > typically 5 years
(development phase duration does
not count the same way)
• Typical examples:
‒ Nuclear power plants
‒ ITER
‒ Very large regional / country-wide/
company-wide infrastructure programmes
3 © Project Value Delivery 2023
Project Value Delivery: Our background and
experience
• Large, complex projects across industries
• Global coverage and interventions
• Offices in Singapore and France
• Active since 2011
• Since 2023 part of the group
© Project Value Delivery 2023
01 Specific challenges of long duration projects
02 Specific challenges for project control
03 Nuclear Industry examples
Contents
© Project Value Delivery 2023
01 – Specific Challenges of
Long Duration Projects
6 © Project Value Delivery 2023
Specific challenges of very long megaprojects - overview
Internal challenges
• Joint Venture partners following different
strategies over time
• Duration > typical job position duration = key
personnel turnover management (governance
and project team)
• Contributors have new ideas
• Obsolescence of information management tools
• Obsolescence of technology used on the project
• Progressive commitments on contractors (rolling
wave commitments)
• Preservation of equipment ordered in advance /
erected
External challenges
• Risk of changes to the project environment as
shaped during project development
‒ Regulatory
‒ Political and geopolitical
‒ Stakeholders turn-over
‒ General acceptance (e.g. accident
elsewhere on similar facility, evolution of
mindset on global warming etc.)
‒ Evolution of contractors (mergers,
bankruptcy…)
7 © Project Value Delivery 2023
External challenges of very long megaprojects
External challenges
• Risk of changes to the project
environment as shaped during project
development
‒ Regulatory
‒ Political and geopolitical
‒ Stakeholders turn-over
‒ General acceptance (e.g. accident
elsewhere on similar facility, evolution of
mindset on global warming etc.)
‒ Evolution of contractors (mergers,
bankruptcy…)
• Ensure stability of nuclear safety
requirements and environmental
requirements over programme duration
(and over replication programme if
relevant): early design approval,
regulatory stability
• Framework law to ensure engagement of
all relevant stakeholders in an efficient
manner and licensing stability at all levels
• Dedicated financing commitment
• Stakeholder engagement programmes
• Industrial development & support
programme (recovery of key suppliers…)
Nuclear case study (good practices)
8 © Project Value Delivery 2023
Internal challenges of very long megaprojects
Internal challenges
• Joint Venture partners following different
strategies over time
• Duration > typical position duration = key
personnel turnover management (governance
and project team)
• Contributors have new ideas
• Obsolescence of information management tools
• Obsolescence of technology used on the project
• Progressive commitments on contractors (rolling
wave commitments)
• Preservation of equipment ordered in advance
• Personnel career plans within project / programme
• Stability of governance (longer position duration
than usual)
• Information System (IS) configuration for extended
enterprise, using standard tools as much as possible
• IS migration & upgrade programmes
• Obsolescence management programme from the
start of execution (not just operation, included in
contracts, including purchasing add’l spare parts)
• Framework agreements with contractors from the
start, rolling wave scope planning on yearly basis
• Operations readiness personnel have a scope of
maintenance, testing and preservation during
project execution
• Periodic refoundation of certain partnerships (owner,
main contractor, subcontractors)
Nuclear case study (good practices)
• Extra-strict Management of Change process
9 © Project Value Delivery 2023
How to deal with those challenges of long-
duration projects?
Acknowledge the
specifics
related to long duration in execution
planning: anticipate several project
phases with clear milestones and
targets for more limited execution
phases
Plan for extra cost and effort
as part of the initial baseline to cover:
• Retention schemes and sufficient hand-over when there is personnel
turn-over, succession planning, career development/promotion
schemes within the project execution phase
• Highly developed onboarding and cultural integration effort
• Specific attention to project governance continuity
• Information systems upgrade and migration
• Changes generated by the project environment (higher provision, the
longer the duration)
• Proactive obsolescence management and preservation programmes
Recommendation: nominate a specific direct report to the Project Director
to be specifically in charge of all those aspects (possibly full-time) and
working closely with project control / project strategy
10 © Project Value Delivery 2023
One way around some of the difficulties of very
long projects: piecemeal definition and approval
When possible, consider a long-term programme of smaller projects that get approved
piecemeal and in a progressive manner
• Not always applicable, but should be preferred option when possible. When not
possible, still implement successive milestones checks
• Requires both a good overview of the entire programme and a proper definition and
control of each individual project
• Generally, involves an element of lessons learned and learning curve exploitation to get
the best overall result
• Example: large programme of upgrades / production enhancement on existing
infrastructure on multiple sites
Advantage: more flexibility to adapt to
circumstances (market, environment,
industrial capability…)
Drawback: programme is launched without a high
maturity on the entire scope, which may lead to
some evolutions of expected cost & schedule
© Project Value Delivery 2023
02 - Specific Challenges
for Project Control
12 © Project Value Delivery 2023
Strategic role of Project Control Manager
Skipper = PD
router /
strategist =
PCM
13 © Project Value Delivery 2023
What Project Control is about…
Before
After
Project Control is about enabling decision-making
14 © Project Value Delivery 2023
What not to do any more in terms of Project
Control on long projects!
• Try to baseline the project with the same
high level of detail for the entire project
• Apply the same standard control
approaches to activities at various stages
of maturity cycle
• Not anticipate the next phase which will
have different progress drivers
• Spend a lot of time setting up a heavily
customised Information Systems setup
• Ultra-detailed master schedule with the same
level of details 10 years from now
Nuclear case study (poor practices)
• Standard reporting processes, systematic usage
of EVM for all sorts of cost elements
• Lack of strategic view leading to poor
integration of contributors to next phases into
PCM framework
• Difficult migration from one heavily customised
document control system to another linked with
a new PLM tool
15 © Project Value Delivery 2023
The Long Project - Project Control Conundrum
• Staying within the general project
framing (covering up to project final
delivery), PC needs to deliver robust
detailed control of current activities
(cost at completion, schedule, risk,
contract) to allow decision making
• PC needs to support the Project
Director to strategize project
execution on the longer term,
implementing adaptations and
changes where relevant
• How can I deliver detailed project control and
activity tracking now while keeping the project
within the overall project framing, and anticipating
relevant long lead activities?
• How can I properly strategize for future activities
and options, accounting for current events?
• How to avoid constantly updating the project
control framework to the circumstances and main
activities ongoing, while maintaining sufficient
stability for contributors?
• How do I make sure all incoming contributors (team
members, contractors…) are fully aware about how
things get done in terms of project control?
16 © Project Value Delivery 2023
Approach: divide the project into key phases and
implement rolling wave (swell) approach
• By dividing the project into key phases,
stability must be provided for at least ~2
years in terms of project setup, project
control, key contributors.
• A high-level framework baseline is updated
and provides the reference for the full project
• At the end of the phase, rebaselining
includes detailing the next phase (rolling
wave approach) involving the contributors of
the next phase
• Implement a start-up process for new phase
similar to project start-up in terms of
stakeholder involvement and maturity of PC
setup
17 © Project Value Delivery 2023
Approach: divide the project into key phases and
implement rolling wave (swell) approach
Caution:
For a single infrastructure like a
nuclear facility, this rolling-wave
approach does not remove the need
for sufficient project maturity at Final
Investment Decision in terms of
overall project baseline (technical
maturity – basic design, project
execution and contracting strategy,
project preparedness etc.)
An overall, realistic baseline remains
essential !
© Project Value Delivery 2023
03 – Application to
nuclear projects
19 © Project Value Delivery 2023
Solution: dividing the project into phases
• Each phase calls for
a different
contracting setup,
different
contributors
• Management of
feedback loops,
rework, changes is
essential for project
control
Full scale delivery & site erection
Site logistics
Manufacturing ramp-up &
qualification (offsite)
Design involcing design
contractors
Pre-fab and erection contract
awards
Example: Detailed
design phase
(includes end of basic
design and ramp up of
execution design)
20 © Project Value Delivery 2023
Dividing a nuclear project into phases
Mechanical
Electrical
HVAC
Civil Works
21 © Project Value Delivery 2023
Dividing a nuclear project into phases
Nuclear Example of a possible Phase:
Execution Design of Civil Works (CW) & Detailed Design of Mechanical +
Electrical HVAC (MEH)
‒ Core activity with full-fledged productivity approach (MEH detailed design, Civil execution
design & pre-fab)
‒ Includes start of Civil Works erection
‒ Includes end of MEH basic design by Responsible Designer (specific tracking approach for
completion)
‒ Includes start of MEH execution design by execution designer (specific tracking approach
for mobilisation and ramp up, learning curve acceleration etc)
‒ Includes feedback and change loops to be kept under control between design stages and
between disciplines
© Project Value Delivery 2023
03 – Conclusion
Take-Away
23 © Project Value Delivery 2023
Key take-aways on extra-long duration megaprojects
• Extra-long execution project duration (>5 years) adds substantial complexity
to the project – internal & external
• Duration needs to be addressed proactively in the project plan and this
warrants the nomination of a specific project management role to address
and anticipate related issues
• For project control, the specific challenge of long duration requires:
‒ A structured project phasing around a mature execution framework,
‒ Anticipated and adapted project control approaches / requirements for
each phase,
‒ Usage of robust, standard control tools to enable updates and upgrades
Dealing with Extra Long Duration Megaprojects

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Dealing with Extra Long Duration Megaprojects

  • 1. Dealing with Extra-Long Duration Industrial Megaprojects Nuclear Industry Case Study Jeremie Averous Senior Partner
  • 2. 2 © Project Value Delivery 2023 What is an Extra-Long Duration Megaproject? • Megaproject: > 1BUSD • Long Duration: Execution phase > typically 5 years (development phase duration does not count the same way) • Typical examples: ‒ Nuclear power plants ‒ ITER ‒ Very large regional / country-wide/ company-wide infrastructure programmes
  • 3. 3 © Project Value Delivery 2023 Project Value Delivery: Our background and experience • Large, complex projects across industries • Global coverage and interventions • Offices in Singapore and France • Active since 2011 • Since 2023 part of the group
  • 4. © Project Value Delivery 2023 01 Specific challenges of long duration projects 02 Specific challenges for project control 03 Nuclear Industry examples Contents
  • 5. © Project Value Delivery 2023 01 – Specific Challenges of Long Duration Projects
  • 6. 6 © Project Value Delivery 2023 Specific challenges of very long megaprojects - overview Internal challenges • Joint Venture partners following different strategies over time • Duration > typical job position duration = key personnel turnover management (governance and project team) • Contributors have new ideas • Obsolescence of information management tools • Obsolescence of technology used on the project • Progressive commitments on contractors (rolling wave commitments) • Preservation of equipment ordered in advance / erected External challenges • Risk of changes to the project environment as shaped during project development ‒ Regulatory ‒ Political and geopolitical ‒ Stakeholders turn-over ‒ General acceptance (e.g. accident elsewhere on similar facility, evolution of mindset on global warming etc.) ‒ Evolution of contractors (mergers, bankruptcy…)
  • 7. 7 © Project Value Delivery 2023 External challenges of very long megaprojects External challenges • Risk of changes to the project environment as shaped during project development ‒ Regulatory ‒ Political and geopolitical ‒ Stakeholders turn-over ‒ General acceptance (e.g. accident elsewhere on similar facility, evolution of mindset on global warming etc.) ‒ Evolution of contractors (mergers, bankruptcy…) • Ensure stability of nuclear safety requirements and environmental requirements over programme duration (and over replication programme if relevant): early design approval, regulatory stability • Framework law to ensure engagement of all relevant stakeholders in an efficient manner and licensing stability at all levels • Dedicated financing commitment • Stakeholder engagement programmes • Industrial development & support programme (recovery of key suppliers…) Nuclear case study (good practices)
  • 8. 8 © Project Value Delivery 2023 Internal challenges of very long megaprojects Internal challenges • Joint Venture partners following different strategies over time • Duration > typical position duration = key personnel turnover management (governance and project team) • Contributors have new ideas • Obsolescence of information management tools • Obsolescence of technology used on the project • Progressive commitments on contractors (rolling wave commitments) • Preservation of equipment ordered in advance • Personnel career plans within project / programme • Stability of governance (longer position duration than usual) • Information System (IS) configuration for extended enterprise, using standard tools as much as possible • IS migration & upgrade programmes • Obsolescence management programme from the start of execution (not just operation, included in contracts, including purchasing add’l spare parts) • Framework agreements with contractors from the start, rolling wave scope planning on yearly basis • Operations readiness personnel have a scope of maintenance, testing and preservation during project execution • Periodic refoundation of certain partnerships (owner, main contractor, subcontractors) Nuclear case study (good practices) • Extra-strict Management of Change process
  • 9. 9 © Project Value Delivery 2023 How to deal with those challenges of long- duration projects? Acknowledge the specifics related to long duration in execution planning: anticipate several project phases with clear milestones and targets for more limited execution phases Plan for extra cost and effort as part of the initial baseline to cover: • Retention schemes and sufficient hand-over when there is personnel turn-over, succession planning, career development/promotion schemes within the project execution phase • Highly developed onboarding and cultural integration effort • Specific attention to project governance continuity • Information systems upgrade and migration • Changes generated by the project environment (higher provision, the longer the duration) • Proactive obsolescence management and preservation programmes Recommendation: nominate a specific direct report to the Project Director to be specifically in charge of all those aspects (possibly full-time) and working closely with project control / project strategy
  • 10. 10 © Project Value Delivery 2023 One way around some of the difficulties of very long projects: piecemeal definition and approval When possible, consider a long-term programme of smaller projects that get approved piecemeal and in a progressive manner • Not always applicable, but should be preferred option when possible. When not possible, still implement successive milestones checks • Requires both a good overview of the entire programme and a proper definition and control of each individual project • Generally, involves an element of lessons learned and learning curve exploitation to get the best overall result • Example: large programme of upgrades / production enhancement on existing infrastructure on multiple sites Advantage: more flexibility to adapt to circumstances (market, environment, industrial capability…) Drawback: programme is launched without a high maturity on the entire scope, which may lead to some evolutions of expected cost & schedule
  • 11. © Project Value Delivery 2023 02 - Specific Challenges for Project Control
  • 12. 12 © Project Value Delivery 2023 Strategic role of Project Control Manager Skipper = PD router / strategist = PCM
  • 13. 13 © Project Value Delivery 2023 What Project Control is about… Before After Project Control is about enabling decision-making
  • 14. 14 © Project Value Delivery 2023 What not to do any more in terms of Project Control on long projects! • Try to baseline the project with the same high level of detail for the entire project • Apply the same standard control approaches to activities at various stages of maturity cycle • Not anticipate the next phase which will have different progress drivers • Spend a lot of time setting up a heavily customised Information Systems setup • Ultra-detailed master schedule with the same level of details 10 years from now Nuclear case study (poor practices) • Standard reporting processes, systematic usage of EVM for all sorts of cost elements • Lack of strategic view leading to poor integration of contributors to next phases into PCM framework • Difficult migration from one heavily customised document control system to another linked with a new PLM tool
  • 15. 15 © Project Value Delivery 2023 The Long Project - Project Control Conundrum • Staying within the general project framing (covering up to project final delivery), PC needs to deliver robust detailed control of current activities (cost at completion, schedule, risk, contract) to allow decision making • PC needs to support the Project Director to strategize project execution on the longer term, implementing adaptations and changes where relevant • How can I deliver detailed project control and activity tracking now while keeping the project within the overall project framing, and anticipating relevant long lead activities? • How can I properly strategize for future activities and options, accounting for current events? • How to avoid constantly updating the project control framework to the circumstances and main activities ongoing, while maintaining sufficient stability for contributors? • How do I make sure all incoming contributors (team members, contractors…) are fully aware about how things get done in terms of project control?
  • 16. 16 © Project Value Delivery 2023 Approach: divide the project into key phases and implement rolling wave (swell) approach • By dividing the project into key phases, stability must be provided for at least ~2 years in terms of project setup, project control, key contributors. • A high-level framework baseline is updated and provides the reference for the full project • At the end of the phase, rebaselining includes detailing the next phase (rolling wave approach) involving the contributors of the next phase • Implement a start-up process for new phase similar to project start-up in terms of stakeholder involvement and maturity of PC setup
  • 17. 17 © Project Value Delivery 2023 Approach: divide the project into key phases and implement rolling wave (swell) approach Caution: For a single infrastructure like a nuclear facility, this rolling-wave approach does not remove the need for sufficient project maturity at Final Investment Decision in terms of overall project baseline (technical maturity – basic design, project execution and contracting strategy, project preparedness etc.) An overall, realistic baseline remains essential !
  • 18. © Project Value Delivery 2023 03 – Application to nuclear projects
  • 19. 19 © Project Value Delivery 2023 Solution: dividing the project into phases • Each phase calls for a different contracting setup, different contributors • Management of feedback loops, rework, changes is essential for project control Full scale delivery & site erection Site logistics Manufacturing ramp-up & qualification (offsite) Design involcing design contractors Pre-fab and erection contract awards Example: Detailed design phase (includes end of basic design and ramp up of execution design)
  • 20. 20 © Project Value Delivery 2023 Dividing a nuclear project into phases Mechanical Electrical HVAC Civil Works
  • 21. 21 © Project Value Delivery 2023 Dividing a nuclear project into phases Nuclear Example of a possible Phase: Execution Design of Civil Works (CW) & Detailed Design of Mechanical + Electrical HVAC (MEH) ‒ Core activity with full-fledged productivity approach (MEH detailed design, Civil execution design & pre-fab) ‒ Includes start of Civil Works erection ‒ Includes end of MEH basic design by Responsible Designer (specific tracking approach for completion) ‒ Includes start of MEH execution design by execution designer (specific tracking approach for mobilisation and ramp up, learning curve acceleration etc) ‒ Includes feedback and change loops to be kept under control between design stages and between disciplines
  • 22. © Project Value Delivery 2023 03 – Conclusion Take-Away
  • 23. 23 © Project Value Delivery 2023 Key take-aways on extra-long duration megaprojects • Extra-long execution project duration (>5 years) adds substantial complexity to the project – internal & external • Duration needs to be addressed proactively in the project plan and this warrants the nomination of a specific project management role to address and anticipate related issues • For project control, the specific challenge of long duration requires: ‒ A structured project phasing around a mature execution framework, ‒ Anticipated and adapted project control approaches / requirements for each phase, ‒ Usage of robust, standard control tools to enable updates and upgrades