Best Practices Webinar: Accelerate your Major Construction Project Delivery with AI

See a demo of how AI can help you execute projects faster

If your construction teams are suffering from delays and cost overruns on major projects, there is a solution. By applying AI, machine learning and natural language processing to project schedule data, you can unleash predictive insights about delay risks and work prioritization.

Join Foresight and PTAG on April 25,2024 at 11 am (EST) as we discuss best practices for how AI can improve your planning, execution, and risk recognition.

We’ll demonstrate how unlock the hidden value in your Oracle Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project data, including how to:

· Identify Priorities and Set Action Plans

· Collaborate with Diverse Stakeholders

· Recognize Risks and Bottlenecks

· Learn from Past Projects

· Enhance Schedule Reporting and Visibility

Attendees are eligible for a complimentary AI-enabled schedule health check!

See for yourself how quick and easy it is to overcome the shortcomings of legacy scheduling software.

Planning For Startup

Startup is the transitional phase between plant construction completion and commercial operations, including all the activities that bridge these two phases. Critical steps within Startup include system turnover, checkout of systems, commissioning of systems, introduction of feedstock, and performance testing.

The importance of Startup planning is exemplified by the pressures to increase profits by reducing costs, reductions in owner staff and increases in outsourcing of services, demands for shorter project life-cycle times, and a lack of planning capabilities and supportive tools. These business and project challenges demand increases in organizational efficiency and management effectiveness.

Successful project delivery and commercial operation requires a successful Startup. Research indicates a reasonably strong correlation between Startup success and comprehensive Startup planning.

PTAG provides a Startup Planning Model for Startup activities through all eight project phases:

  1. Requirements Definition and Technology Transfer
  2. Conceptual Development and Feasibility
  3. Front-End Engineering
  4. Detailed Design
  5. Procurement
  6. Construction
  7. Checkout & Commissioning
  8. Initial Operations

Planning For Modularization

Planning for modularization is the evaluation and determination of offsite construction in the front end planning phase to achieve specific strategic objectives and improve the project outcomes. The process includes developing a business case and execution strategy for large-scale transfer of stick-built construction effort from the job site to fabrication shops or yards.

In order to achieve higher, more successful levels of modularization, industry and project
leaders should be attentive to the five different elements of the solution, as illustrated in the following picture:

  1. Business case process
  2. Execution plan differences
  3. Critical success factors
  4. Standardization strategy
  5. Modularization maximization enablers

The modularization business case process should be applied at the earliest opportunity. Project teams should consider the modular approach the “default” approach in order to
allow the advancement of modularization in the industry

Industry-wide barriers continue to challenge the broad-based achievement of high levels of modularization. There are ten maximization enablers to act as counter-measures to these challenges and to accelerate modularization across the industry.

At PTAG, our industry-specific teams are ready to implement modularization on your project to enhance various aspects of project management, including time, cost, safety, quality, and productivity.

Partnering (part 2)

What makes partnering successful?

Within the construction industry, partnering – an optimal relationship between a customer and supplier – offers many opportunities to improve construction projects’ total quality and cost-effectiveness while developing an atmosphere conducive to innovation, teamwork, trust, and commitment. Partnering can be used to attain total quality management (TQM).

Key Elements of Partnering:

a. Long-Term Relationship

b. Commitment

c. Continuous Improvement

d. Trust

e. Investment

f.  Alignment

g. Synergism

h. Shared Risks

i.  Mutual Rewards

j.  Equity

k. Systemic Relationship

l. Competitive Edge

Benefits of Partnering:

a. Continuous improvement of the quality of services and products
b. More effective utilization of resources
c. Improved profits (value) for all parties
d. Encourages innovation on projects
e. Develops long-term teamwork, trust, and commitment
f.  Allows for continuous planned development of new skills and processes

Major Concerns of Partnering:

a. Protecting proprietary information
b. Evaluation/assurance of value received
c. Fair sharing of risks by all parties
d. Obtaining/maintaining total commitment
e. Creates strong dependency on partner
f.  Limits competitive market strategy
g. Integration of differing company cultures

Results, Process, and Relationship Measures

To assess the true benefits of partnering, track and measure performance in a partnering relationship, then compare those results with the same data from before the adoption of partnering. Research suggests using the following measures:

  1. Results: hard measures based on objective analysis of performance relative to
    quantifiable standards
  2. Process: used to assess the existence and performance of work processes
  3. Relationship: qualitative measures used to assess the health of a partnership or project
    team, or the perception of its performance by key customers

The partnership triangle shows the criticality of the integration or links of the measures with each other and the business drivers.

PTAG helps you to benefit from partnering by:

a. Continuous improvement of the quality of services and products
b. More effective utilization of resources
c. Improved profits (value) for all parties
d. Encourages innovation on projects
e. Develops long-term teamwork, trust, and commitment
f.  Allows for continuous planned development of new skills and processes

Partnering (Best Practice)

Having a strong partnership makes a tremendous impact on projects.

PTAG has industry-specific teams ready to help you build a united team
with a common objective, improving quality,
reducing costs, and increasing efficiency.

Partnering is a long-term commitment between two or more organizations as in an alliance or it may be applied to a shorter period of time such as the duration of a project. The purpose of partnering is to achieve specific business objectives by maximizing the effectiveness of each participant’s resources.

Partnering’s bottom line: a construction industry process that strengthens both projects and partners, tightens schedules, safeguards quality, and enhances each partner’s competitive edge.

Partnering requires changing traditional relationships to ones that exist within a shared culture without regard to organizational boundaries. These relationships are based on
trust, dedication to common goals, and mutual understanding of individual expectations and values.

Successful partnering involves selecting a qualified partner, establishing a rapport between the two major players in the project, and then expanding the commitment to other key players in the project.

Six key factors in implementing and managing successful partnering relationships are:

  • Establishing Trust
  • Getting Top Management’s Support
  • Establishing Win-Win Objectives
  • Addressing Internal Barriers
  • Getting Champion to Direct the Process
  • Developing Measures, Linked to Objectives

Managing an Effective Partnering Relationship is a Five Phase Process:

Phase 1 – Owner’s Internal Alignment

Phase 2 – Partner Selection

Phase 3 – Partnering Relationship

Phase 4 – Project Alignment

Phase 5 – Work Process Alignment

Lessons Learned Program (LLP)

Lessons Learned (LL) is knowledge gained from experience, successful or otherwise, to improve future performance. Each company should develop a Lessons Learned Program (LLP) to promote success and achievement. The Lessons Learned Program involves the people, processes, and tools that support an organization’s collection, analysis, and implementation of validated lessons learned. People possess organizational knowledge. The procedures must be structured to allow people to collect, analyze, and share knowledge easily.

Overall, Lessons Learned Programs are essential to the construction industry. The key to achieving an effective and sustainable Lessons Learned Program is the degree of continuing commitment and leadership from the organization’s top management. Lessons Learned will become even more critical as employees age and retire and turnover increases. Additionally, globalization also increases the need for LLPs to ensure that an organization is able to address critical issues such as culture, language, distance, and diversity.

  • Every organization should move forward in developing or improving a lessons learned program.
  • Leadership, top-level and tactical, is the essential prerequisite for the success of these programs.
  • Organizations should become “teaching” organizations rather than organizations that only collect or learn from the past in an ad hoc or passive manner.
  • Organizations should adopt an active implementation strategy to ensure that lessons are used.
  • Although technology is vital in developing and using the Lessons Learned Program, the importance of organizational culture should not be underestimated.
  • The quality of lessons learned is more important than the quantity of lessons in the database.
  • Both owners and contractors can benefit from lessons learned programs. Necessarily, the captured lessons learned will be focused on different areas based on the organization’s business needs.

There are three main components to the Lessons Learned Program (LLP):

  1. The collection involves gathering data and information on the experiences of individuals and teams in the organization. Collection can occur at multiple stages of project execution.
  2. Analysis can be performed by a team or a subject matter expert (SME). This step is necessary to ensure the information gathered is relevant, correct, and easily understood.
  3. Implementation can involve changes in practices and procedures or changes in the project execution. Lessons learned should be implemented quickly to ensure they are helpful for the organization.

PTAG has industry-specific teams ready to manage and organize this knowledge to benefit your organization in the form of a reduction of total project cost and/or reduction of project schedule.

Implementation Planning Model

Once a new opportunity is identified, and an implementation path is laid out, the implementation process will result in the need for change. The implementation of new or improved practices is the driver for change management. Organizations face many challenges in overcoming barriers that come up during the implementation of new practices. An Implementation Champion will drive the implementation process with support and resources from upper management. Organizations face many challenges in overcoming barriers when implementing new procedures.

PTAG helps you to have a clear perspective on the overall stages required for the entire implementation process. A well-designed implementation plan will guide an organization to a successful outcome.

Follow steps that begin with needs analysis and end with implementation and benchmarking.

  • Stage 1: Needs Analysis – The Needs Analysis lays out the case for implementing a new practice. This case will need to be presented to both management and critical staff, so a compelling argument is required as an output of this stage.
  • Stage 2: Management Buy-In – The management buy-in will be based on the Needs Analysis developed in Stage 1.
  • Stage 3: Establish Steps – The Implementation Planning Model establishes four critical steps that will be followed during the implementation process. The third stage in the overall process requires one to understand these steps and develop an approximate schedule for the implementation process.
  • Stage 4: Adapt Matrix – In this stage, the implementation team must take the specifics within the Implementation Matrix and adapt the generic elements with organization specifics that address the unique requirements of the current implementation task.
  • Stage 5: Develop Plan – In this stage, the team will translate the details from Stage 4 into a plan that meets the specific organization’s requirements.
  • Stage 6: Communicate Plan – This stage requires the team to communicate the proposed implementation plan to both management and the proposed test group.
  • Stage 7: Perform Change Audit – The implementation team will perform a Change Audit that evaluates the readiness of the organization to undertake the implementation process.
  • Stage 8: Implement Tasks/Plan – The implementation team will now follow the tasks laid out in the implementation plan for each step of the implementation process. Each step in the process has a set of three to five tasks that are critical for success in that step.
  • Stage 9: Perform Step Evaluations – In conjunction with Stage 8, the implementation team will perform evaluations during each step of the implementation process to determine if the process is achieving the required goals.
  • Stage 10: Benchmark – The final stage in the implementation process is to benchmark the new practice internally and externally.

Front End Planning Process

Do you want to keep on top of your projects? Are you thinking about having greater influence over your projects?

At PTAG, we focus on creating a strong and early link between the business or mission, project strategy, scope, cost, and schedule, and maintaining that link unbroken throughout the project life. A well-performed front-end planning process can reduce costs, lead to less project variability in cost, schedule, and operating characteristics, and increase the chance of meeting a project’s environmental and social goals.

Successful projects execute front end planning (FEP) differently than less successful projects — specifically concerning information flow activities. These differences include more time spent and more resources utilized while planning projects.

The following figure illustrates the three sub-phases of FEP in the context of the typical life cycle of a project.

Steps In Construction Dispute Resolution

How much time do you spend managing conflicts in your projects?

In the construction industry, disputes are common. Identifying the aspects of a project that can lead to disputes early on and the steps required to resolve them is crucial for successful projects.

PTAG has industry specific teams ready to review the causes and administrative costs of such claims, recommend procedures for avoiding claims and investigate alternatives for the early, equitable settlement of claims. Dispute Review Boards (DRB) can be an effective way to facilitate timely on-site resolution of disputes, preventing matters from escalating costs and timelines. 

To create a comprehensive system for dispute prevention and resolution, a project must:

  • Start Right
  • Stay Right
  • Provide for Resolution

Within the bounds of feasibility, PTAG provides the solutions for your project’s requirements.

Principles of Effective Change Management

Change is complicated and understanding what to avoid is just as crucial as understanding what to do. Most capital projects face unexpected changes which can lead to problems and hinder project success if not properly anticipated and addressed. 

PTAG helps clients make better decisions about how to implement a change management program most efficiently. Significant savings in total installed costs of projects are achievable by improving the management of changes. 

 An effective change management process recognizes change as a modification to an agreement between project participants. 

At PTAG, we are familiar with the complexity and depth of our client’s projects. We work alongside our clients to develop and put into action solutions that directly and effectively address the full spectrum of capital project issues.