“Very experienced Program manager led the integration of three independent competing high value and high priority projects, all within the same area of site, to deliver a product introduction on time and under budget”
Snr. Director Capital Projects. (Europe)
Company size: 14,000 employees; Valuation $20B to $50B
Industry sector and location: API Europe
Assignment Duration: Twenty months
Client Sponsor: Snr. Director for Global Capital Management
Primecore was approached by one of its main clients to review the status of a ‘business critical’ capital project which was in the early stages of execution (Detailed design and early construction).
Following the review the client requested that Primecore take over the leadership and client management of the capital project.
Primecore as a company is committed to the implementation of project management best practice, which places a heavy emphasis on the quality of the front end scope development and planning phases of a project.
* In line with the principles set out above, Primecore carried out a detailed review (eight weeks duration) of the projects planning phases to satisfy ourselves that the solution being proposed was appropriate to the business need, that the End User requirements were understood and that the scope had been sufficiently defined to support a good quality schedule and estimate.
* When looking at the business need, it was found that the project was required to enable the commercial production of three launch products. Primecore worked with the End User team to establish a comprehensive set of requirements to meet the needs of the three products and found that there were significant gaps even at the level of basic technical requirements.
* The project scope in other areas went beyond the needs of the End User and dealt with future requirements which were not within the scope of the project charter. Primecore developed a simpler scope which was aligned with the requirements of the three products and dealt with commercial demand forecast for the following five years.
* Once the revised scope schedule and estimate had been developed and approved, a Monte Carlo risk assessment was carried out on the project schedule to ensure that the business timelines would be met at the appropriate confidence level.
The pausing of the project, to ensure that all the planning essentials were in place, benefited the schedule to the extent that all lost time was made up.
The client were extremely satisfied that the project success criteria had been met by the date required within their business case.
Despite giving the appearance of slowing the project down in the initial eight weeks, to allow time to revisit the planning steps and decisions (concept and preliminary design), the ultimate impact was to reduce scope/cost and to bring the end date of the project forward by three months.
This project demonstrated the importance of the planning phases to the success of a project. With business critical projects which are under time pressure (which is normally the case), there is a strong temptation to minimze project planning and to start executing at the earliest possible date.
It is recognized in the industry at large (and has been Primecore’s experience) that this shortening of the planning phases rather than saving time and money adds to schedule and cost. Any savings in the planning phases is lost due to late project definition/change and often through the implementation of inappropriate and costly solutions.