Is this you?
Take a look at some project problems PrimeSource has helped clients work through:
Small organizations taking on a large capital program with little experience or resources to help learn the process.
It is tricky and difficult to create a facilities organization and procedures that can quickly scale up – and then scale down – to successfully deliver a capital program and then return to normal operations. Issues range from recruitment and compensation to independent oversight to basic reporting and control procedures.
Interagency conflicts wherein a building agency’s program is often thwarted by regulatory, funding, partnering or competing agencies.
These issues can erupt to stop a project in its tracks physically or financially. It is often a shock to agencies to discover the lack of cooperation and out-and-out hindrances created by other agencies, especially when competing agendas collide. Agency staff can quickly find themselves overwhelmed by larger agencies and the associated politics.
Overselling capital program budgets and benefits – and then dealing with the pain of getting more money or scaling back project expectations.
Value engineering of a program goes well beyond the usual steps in tightening up project cost. It requires determining and comparing competing agency missions, needs, and then communicating those determinations clearly to the elected officials and to the public. Re-building the public trust after such an episode requires deliberate, thoughtful management and the ability to accurately quantify and explain program necessities and benefits.
Lack of decision-making empowerment and responsibility.
This is often caused by elected official’s distrust of staff or their need to promote a public perception of higher accountability – while actually increasing project cost and delay. The staff’s unwillingness to accept responsibility and accountability for specific outcomes and quality is a common cause. This is exacerbated by not understanding the true cost of delays to contractors and the loss of value to agencies. We frequently find that overlapping control mechanisms and checks and balances are actually counterproductive. They are often used as an excuse to avoid responsibility by staff and too often result in large quantities of waste and delay.
The right-of-way process is frequently an issue.
Engineers and project managers are often ill equipped to understand or manage the right-of-way process. A right-of-way acquisition frequently takes as long as the entire design process and can derail an entire project. Making “no dirt, no dirt work” an often ignored truism. Engaged and early management of the right-of-way process – and engaged coordination of engineering and right-of-way is the exception and leads to serious negative impacts on budget and scheduling. Thoughtful reengineering can often avoid right-of-way “takes” or reduce the impact and compensation to owners without compromising engineering performance.
Property acquisition, including the eminent domain process, is particularly challenging for public agencies.
The legal structure in which they must operate is becoming ever more constrained. A botched eminent domain process – or even one highly visible parcel – can threaten an entire public works program. Nothing else in the capital process is subject to as much public scrutiny and judgment. At the same time, traditional project managers are rarely equipped to manage this process, especially when a substantial legal team is involved.
Going through the “motions” of project scheduling and not doing value add schedule management.
There is too often an emphasis on the mechanics of project scheduling – the CPM scheduling process, reporting and conflicts over measuring and accounting for delay – at the expense of schedule management. Good schedule management recognizes the true value of time and delay to the agency and to contractors, clearly communicates that value among all stakeholders, and then embeds it into the decision-making process.
Out of control designs.
Designs too often drift away from core values and begin adding redundancies and features to satisfy designer comfort or ego or succumb to pressure from peripheral user groups at the expense of the project as a whole. There is an art to identifying real user requirements and then satisfying them in the leanest fashion possible.
Let PrimeSource help you take control of your projects and help you avoid the traps that doom so many to failure. Make PrimeSource part of your team and make your project a success!