In capital intensive industries,
selection and management of projects is critical to maximizing the return
from the capital investment.
An energy sector company wanted to
review their capital project processes, relative to other capital
intensive organizations to see if they could improve their project
selection and management processes.
As technical resources were always in short supply, they were
concerned proposed projects were not being reviewed for strategic need,
nor being executed as effectively as possible, resulting in ineffective
use of resources.
We assessed their project
management processes using a self-assessment questionnaire (structured
upon Project Management Institute’s PMBOK) and staff interviews. We facilitated the development of the benchmarking scope,
structure and questionnaire development.
We then solicited participation in the benchmarking, administered
the questionnaire, visited participant’s sites with the client, and
analysed and reported the findings. Participants
selected for the benchmarking study were organizations we expected to have
similar project issues and constraints.
Based on the results of our
benchmarking exercise, changes were made in a number of areas, including:
Development and use of a project prioritization and
selection process. This is
to ensure that proposed projects that are not likely to be approved do
not consume resources, and that those resources can be applied to the
most appropriate projects;
Development and use of a database to document and track
continuous improvements opportunities for project-related activities;
Development and use of formal measures to evaluate the
effectiveness of the project management process;
Evaluation and use of a single design engineering source
for selected projects to determine the effectiveness of doing a similar
initiative for construction contracting;
Conversion of current hard copies of drawings and records
to electronic form, and the use of an electronic document management
These recommendations have
increased the effective use of resources and have refocused the
company’s efforts on attaining schedule performance.