Greiman City of Boston Presentation 2013

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Managing Project Complexity:
Virginia Greiman, Assistant Professor, Boston University

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Greiman City of Boston Presentation 2013

  1. 1. Managing Project Complexity Northeast Public Sector Project Management ConferenceCity of Boston Department of Innovation and Technology and Boston Public Schools March 20, 2013 Presented By: Professor Virginia A. Greiman V. A. Greiman Copyright © 2013
  2. 2. What Makes a Project Complex?Size and Duration: The Big Dig, Crossrail and TheEnglish Chunnel (FHWA: More than $1Billion)Technology: Hoover Dam and Panama CanalExtensionUntried: BP Gulf of Mexico Oil DisasterIntegration of Processes: Many Diverse andAutonomous, but interrelated and interdependentcomponents or parts linked through many denseinterconnections and interfaces. Virginia A. Greiman © 2013 2
  3. 3. Unique Characteristics of Complex ProjectsLong Duration – 10 to 60 yearsExtensive Public ScrutinyAmbiguity and UncertaintyLarge Scale Policy MakingComplex Organizational and Governance StructuresConsistent Cost UnderestimationSystems Complexity Virginia A. Greiman © 2013 3
  4. 4. Linkage Between Complexity and AmbiguityIf requirements are Ambiguous, then resolving thatAmbiguity will be more complex than if projects arewell specifiedIf the deliverables are complex, then it follows thatthe outcomes will be less certain, especially if theplan is ambiguous about how success will bemeasured Virginia A. Greiman © Copyright 2012 4
  5. 5. Challenges of Mega ProjectsKeeping the Focus on Quality and Safety instead of Scheduleand CostIntegration of all Project Disciplines throughout the Life of theProjectEducating and Involving the Public Citizens from the Inceptionof the ProjectEstablishing a strong public owner with independent oversightIntegration does not mean sacrificing Independence!Dynamic governance structures Virginia A. Greiman © 2010 5
  6. 6. Boston’s Big DigAn Example of a Complex Project Virginia A. Greiman © 2013 6
  7. 7. Another Example London’s Crossrail Project - 16 Billion Pounds – 42 kilometres of rail tunnels underneath London – Nine new Stations – 200 million passengers – 10% increase in rail capacity UK’s High Speed Rail Service between London and Birmingham (HS2) - 17 Billion Pounds Virginia A. Greiman © 2013 7
  8. 8. CA/T Program • 54 Design Packages • 132 Construction Packages • 9000 Processes & Procedures • 161 Lane Miles • 5 Major Interchanges • Landmark Cable-stay Bridge • Jacked Tunnels • Immersed Tubes • Soil Freezing • Deep Soil Mixing • 8 miles of Slurry Wall • Jet GroutingVV. A. Greiman © 2012 2012• Virginia A. Greiman © Copyright Excavation and Parks
  9. 9. Major Complexity Challenges on the Big Dig: Project Integration – (150 Major Employers – One Team) 5,000 workers, thousands of complex processes Risk Management – World’s Largest Wrap-up Program Ambiguity and Uncertainty – Subsurface conditions Technology Integration – Monitoring the Critical Path Claims and Changes - Partnering
  10. 10. Project Integration Management Close Project Project Charter 7 1 Integrated Scope Change Statement Control 2 6 Project Monitor Mgmt And Direct and Plan Control Manage 3 5 Execution 4Project ManagementInstitute, PMBOK, 4th ed.
  11. 11. What is Integration?Requires each project and product processto be appropriately aligned and connectedwith the other processes to facilitate theircoordination. These process interactionsoften require tradeoffs among projectrequirements and objectives.
  12. 12. Integration on Large and Complex ProjectsOrganizational Structure– The People– The ProcessesCommunity and Public ConcernsInternal and External Stakeholders
  13. 13. First of 12 tube sections each longer than a football field arrive in Boston for the Ted Williams TunnelVirginia A. Greiman © Copyright 2012 13
  14. 14. V.A. Greiman © Copyright 2012
  15. 15. Fig. 7.1EIS = EnvironmentalImpactStatementICE – Interstate CostEstimateCSU – Cost andSchedule Update
  16. 16. Why are Mega Projects Consistently Underestimated?A review of large public works projectsover the last century concluded thatcosts are consistently underestimated,a phenomenon attributed to the desireof the project advocates to have theirprojects approved.(Flyvbjerg, Megaprojects and Risk: An Anatomy of Ambition, 2002)
  17. 17. National Transportation Research BoardIn 2006, the Transportation Research Board’s Final Reportfor Cost Estimation and Management for Highway Projects,identified eight strategies to address cost escalation, andlinked these strategies to 18 different causes of costescalation on highway projects in the United States.Notably, the research concluded that most efforts in costestimation have focused on creating tools to improve costestimates with less emphasis on tools for cost estimationmanagement.(Anderson et. al. 2006).
  18. 18. Complexity and Project Management Trade-offsDesign, Risk, Safety, and QualityDecisions!!
  19. 19. Big Dig’s Worst Disaster2006 Ted Williams TunnelRoof CollapseSource: NTSB Report Virginia A. Greiman © Copyright 2012 19
  20. 20. National Transportation Safety Board Findings(1) Failure to identify potential creep by designers and contractors in the anchor adhesive as acritical long-term failure mode(2) A general lack of understanding and knowledge in the construction community about creep inadhesive anchoring systems.(3) Failure of the Contractor to provide the Central Artery/Tunnel project with sufficientlycomplete, accurate, and detailed information about the suitability of the company’s Fast Set epoxyfor sustaining long-term tensile loads.(4) Failure of Powers Fasteners, Inc., to determine that the anchor displacement that was found inthe high-occupancy vehicle tunnel in 1999 was a result of anchor creep.(5) Failure of Contractor, subsequent to the 1999 anchor displacement, to continue to monitoranchor performance in light of the uncertainty as to the cause of the failures.(6) Failure of the owner to implement a timely tunnel inspection program that would likely haverevealed the ongoing anchor creep. Virginia A. Greiman © Copyright 2012 20
  21. 21. Mississippi River I-35 Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis, August 1, 2007 The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the probable cause of the collapse, was the inadequate load capacity, due to a design error, of the gusset plates at the U10 nodes. Contributing to the accident was the generally accepted practice among Federal and State transportation officials of giving inadequate attention to gusset plates during inspections for conditions of distortion, such as bowing, and of excluding gusset plates in load rating analyses. Virginia A. Greiman © Copyright 2012 21
  22. 22. What Tradeoffs Have You Made on Your Project?Resources?Quality?Design?Risk?Time?Cost? Virginia A. Greiman © Copyright 2012 22
  23. 23. Questions???Virginia A. Greiman Professor Boston University 617-353-6860ggreiman@bu.edu Virginia A. Greiman © Copyright 2013 23

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