Case Studies

Assessment of an Outsource Maintenance Service Provider

Benchmarking Project Management in a Capital Intensive Industry

In capital intensive industries, selection and management of projects is critical to maximizing the return from the capital investment.

The Issue

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.

Our Role

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.

Key Benefits

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 system.

These recommendations have increased the effective use of resources and have refocused the company’s efforts on attaining schedule performance.