IAG EFFECTIVE SCOPE MANAGEMENT THROUGH MULTI-LEVEL CLIENT ENGAGEMENT

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1 Your Trusted Partner for Technology Driven Energy Projects IAG EFFECTIVE SCOPE MANAGEMENT THROUGH MULTI-LEVEL CLIENT ENGAGEMENT

2 International Alliance Group IAG is an international program management organization based in Houston, TX. See our website at for more information. RESOURCES KNOWLEDGE PRACTICES PROCEDURES SYSTEMS Skilled PMC Resources (30 yrs avg exp.) Gated Work Process PMC Execution Tools CAP-TURE Project Risk Management Optimized, Fit-for-Purpose Design On-Budget & On-Schedule Delivery Reliable On-Spec Operations Safe, Compliant Execution 2

3 Burgess B Brier, PE PMP Member of PMI NUC; PMP since 2001 Registered Professional Engineer in Utah and Texas Over 40 years experience in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, including: Now Project Director at IAG responsible for engineering, procurement and construction of a major refinery expansion project Division President of a Fortune 500 Company Executive VP of Construction Senior positions in engineering and project management for several EPC contractors 3

4 Safety Minute Project Safety Management is a critical part of the Project Manager s responsibilities in construction projects. This is recognized by PMI through the inclusion of a Project Safety Management knowledge area in the Construction Extension (1) to the PMBOK Guide. For this reason, IAG and most major participants in the industry begin each meeting with a Safety Minute and implement a rigorous, formal health and safety management program on all projects. Since the OSHA standard was enacted in 1970, workplace injuries and illnesses have been reduced from a rate of 11.0 per 200,000 work hours to a rate of 4.2 in (2) Most major oil companies do not allow contractors on their site with a Recordable Incident Rate over 1.0. Over the last 12 years, IAG projects have logged a total of over 15 million work hours at an average Recordable Incident Rate of less than

5 Clients and Confidentiality This presentation is based on the experience of the author and other project management professionals over many projects and 40+ years. No single client or project is the basis for this presentation. The confidentiality of clients and contractor organizations will be respected. Therefore: No company names will be mentioned. If examples specific to a project are discussed, the details will be changed to prevent recognition of the project. No questions about specific projects or companies will be addressed. 5

6 Typical Project Characteristics The observations, conclusions and recommendations presented are based on projects that share the following characteristics: Medium to large industrial projects for the process industries Executed by a team of professionals with expertise in the project management, engineering, procurement and construction disciplines Execution schedule of 9 12 months at a minimum; generally 2 4 years Overlapping engineering, procurement and construction phases Use of stage-gate methodology (a.k.a. front-end loading processes) 6

7 Overview This presentation will cover the following: The difference between scope development and scope change The importance of complete and timely scope development The increasing impact of scope change on cost, schedule and quality as the project progresses How client and contractor personnel can cause scope change Why contractual provisions are generally ineffective at controlling scope change How implementing a multi-level communications strategy between contractor and client can help minimize scope change and lead to successful projects 7

8 Scope Development The PMBOK Guide (3) states that the term scope can refer to: Product scope. The features and functions that characterize a product, service or result; and/or, Project scope. The work that needs to be accomplished to deliver a product, service or result with the specified features and functions. The scope of work for the major capital construction project in the process industries includes both product scope and project scope. Until elements of the scope are approved and issued, changes to those elements are Scope Development not Scope Change. Because subsequent design activity is dependent on previously approved elements of the scope of work, it is critical that: Development of each scope element be completed in a timely manner All stakeholders be involved in development, review and approval 8

9 Timing of Scope Development A typical stage-gate execution methodology includes five stages: FEL-1 Evaluate the business opportunity / feasibility study FEL-2 Scope development / select technology options FEL-3 Project definition / approved budget, schedule and execution plan FEL-4 Execution of detailed engineering, procurement and construction FEL-5 Facility commissioning and operation Most scope elements should be completed and approved in FEL-2. Development in FEL-3 includes: Major equipment requisitions, quotations, bid evaluations and selection Finalize process and instrument diagrams & issue for design Finalize equipment layout and issue plot plans for design 9

10 Consequence of Poor Scope Development IPA research on very large projects (4) demonstrates that poor scope development leads to: Cost overruns of approximately 30% Slippage of approximately 30% compared to the approved schedule Increased likelihood of operability problems Decreased likelihood of a successful project outcome 10

11 Scope Change Scope changes occur when modifications are made to a previouslyapproved element of the scope of work. A modification that would have no impact on the project during initial scope development would have relatively little impact early in FEL-3 but much greater impact after the middle of FEL-3, because: The number of designers and engineers using the original scope definition as the basis of their work increases dramatically Vendors of equipment and materials are incorporating original scope definition in their designs The number of completed and issued deliverables increases dramatically after the middle of FEL-3; each must be checked for impact from a change Rework and recycle create schedule delay and cost increases Quality suffers some rework is missed creating issues for construction Changes after FEL-3 should be restricted to cases where the original design won t work or is not safe! 11

12 Project Team Personnel Owner and contractor project teams are comprised of individuals with different roles and different approaches to the project. Owner team roles include: Executive management / Project Sponsor Project Management Facility Operations and Maintenance Subject Matter Experts for Technical Disciplines Contractor team roles include: Executive management / Project Sponsor Project Management and Project Engineering Technical Leads, Engineers and Designers 12

13 Owner Personnel Characteristics Executive management Responsible for approving project Limited time available for individual projects; receive updates from project management Concerned with achieving rate of return in original business case Concerned with preserving reputation of company and relationships with local authorities Project Management Responsible for executing project per approved business case Concerned with achieving cost, schedule and quality objectives Concerned with satisfying internal customers, including technical disciplines, operations and maintenance, and executive management Committed to executing in accordance with standard company practices Do not like to deliver bad news to executive management! 13

14 Owner Personnel Characteristics (cont) Facility Operations and Maintenance Responsible for operating and maintaining completed facility Concerned that design is flexible to meet all potential operating cases Typically not assigned full time to project until end Concerned with safety, operability and maintainability Subject Matter Experts for Technical Disciplines Responsible for establishing technical standards for the facility Concerned with ensuring that new facility designs conform with technical standards and specifications in effect at their facility Concerned with incorporating lessons learned from past work into this project, regardless of whether or not included in approved specifications Often not assigned to project on a full-time basis; can be more than one part-time person per discipline, each with their own preferences. 14

15 Contractor Personnel Characteristics Executive management Limited time available for individual projects Concerned with maintaining profitability Concerned with preserving reputation of company and relationships with client personnel Project Management and Project Engineering Responsible for executing project in accordance with contractor standard procedures and practices and contractual requirements Negotiates personnel availability and discipline budgets with engineering, procurement and construction department heads Concerned with achieving cost, schedule and quality objectives Concerned with maintaining good relationships with Client personnel and internal stakeholders 15

16 Contractor Personnel Characteristics (cont) Technical Leads, Engineers and Designers Responsible for executing technical work within its discipline Dual reporting relationships; to Project Management and Discipline Department Management Concerned with adhering to departmental standard procedures Concerned with defending discipline budgets Often not concerned with how their work interfaces with others; that s a Project concern Sometimes tasked with management of packaged equipment vendors despite not having multi-disciplinary or Project Engineering expertise 16

17 What Causes Scope Change? Some situations that can cause scope change: Client management commits to use of contractor standard specifications but fails to enforce this on the client project team Client personnel not sufficiently engaged in FEL-2 to ensure that project meets their expectations Local regulatory requirements are not clearly defined or understood Contractor technical personnel take verbal direction from client counterparts without considering change impact on overall project Client technical personnel want to incorporate preferences in design. Client personnel incorporate additional nice to have features during reviews of the detailed design during FEL-4 HAZOP or other safety reviews turn into design reviews; incorporating additional instrumentation, isolation valves, etc. Equipment vendors build to their standard design and contractor technical personnel fail to recognize the deviation or its significance 17

18 What Causes Scope Change? (cont) Client personnel don t understand the importance of early scope development and hold off detailed review until later in project Client operations personnel want to consider alternative operating cases not specified in the original business case Existing facility tie-ins not as represented in current documentation Changes in applicable codes and standards during the project Contractor personnel do not understand client business model Large resident teams representing the client are often comprised of contractors that don t fully represent the core client organization and do not accurately review designs against client requirements Small client teams get overwhelmed by the amount of work required to keep up with a large contractor organization Client organizations don t want to spend the money it takes (typically 3-6% of total installed cost) or commit the human resources to develop complete scope definition, budget estimate and execution plan through FEL-3. 18

19 Contract Provisions Generally Not Effective Most contracts incorporate language that prevents work from proceding on a scope change until full approval is given to the resulting cost and schedule impact. These provisions are generally not effective in reducing scope change, because: Too much time is required to evaluate the cost and schedule impact of a proposed change making it impractical to follow procedure. Contractor technical personnel proceed with changes based on verbal client instructions without following procedure to obtain prior approval. Client and contractor project managers develop a method to proceed with change implementation on a good faith basis to work around what both feel to be an unreasonable contractual requirement. 19

20 So How do you Control Change? The most effective method to control scope change is for the client to: Clearly define requirements at the outset, involving all internal stakeholders in the project definition. Discipline themselves to not allow any change after early in FEL-3 unless the original design will not operate or is unsafe. Turn down any and all improvement recommendations I ve seen this work exactly once in 40 years, but it did work! A more generally achievable plan is to: Engage all client stakeholders in scope development activities Encourage truly open communications between the client and contractor organizations to build trust and mutual understanding of the impact each has on the other Openly share information about issues important to each organization 20

21 Multi-Level Client Engagement Plan A multi-level client engagement plan works by pairing up personnel at comparable levels in the client and contractor organizations and encouraging direct, open off-the-record communications between them. CLIENT Project Sponsor (e.g. Plant Manager, Corporate VP of Projects) Project Manager Operations Manager Maintenance Manager Project Engineer(s) Technical Subject Matter Experts CONTRACTOR Project Sponsor (e.g. VP of Projects, President) Project Manager Lead Process Engineer, Project Manager, Project Engineering Manager Construction Manager, Project Engineering Manager Project Engineering Manager, Project Engineer(s) Discipline Lead Engineers and Designers 21

22 Discussion Objectives These direct, off-the-record communications should be: Scheduled at least monthly throughout, but more frequently in the beginning. Definitely not ad-hoc. Private and open. Intended to ensure that key personnel in each organization understands each others important issues. Focused on the project status, plans, etc; not just social get togethers. The end result should be a set of communications channels built on trust and mutual understanding that will enable timely corrective action to be taken when needed. This has proven to be effective in eliminating or at least minimizing the impact of most of the sources of change discussed previously. 22

23 Project Sponsor Discussions The most difficult to establish, and by far the most important, of these communications channels is at the Project Sponsor level. Topics that can be discussed a this level include: Performance of both project teams. Any personnel issues? Client business case what s more important; cost or schedule? Perceived risk areas and mutual assistance in mitigation. Relationships with external stakeholders; e.g. local authorities. Current project issues, including scope change trends. In addition to the informal contact between sponsors, an effective plan also incorporates formal Executive Steering Committee meetings. 23

24 Executive Steering Committee Meetings The steering committee should include: Project Managers for both organizations Project Sponsors for both organizations Other senior management representatives This is a formal meeting, held every 1 3 months depending upon project activities, management preferences, etc. The meeting generally lasts 2 4 hours. Topics to be covered include: Current status vs. plan Current cost and schedule projections vs. approved budget and plan Current status of project changes Major project events and decisions e.g. construction contractor selection Current issues and what s being done to overcome them Perceived future risks and what can be done to avoid them Any need for changes to the execution strategy? 24

25 Summary The major message today was: Complete and timely scope development is critical to project success Scope development should be completed prior to beginning execution of detailed engineering, procurement and construction Scope changes after the middle of FEL-3 have significant impact on project cost, schedule and the likelihood of project success The most effective method of minimizing changes is for the client organization to spend the resources necessary to fully complete FEL-3 and the discipline to restrict changes to those absolutely needed for safety reasons or to correct a design that will not work. A Multi-Level Client Engagement Plan can help minimize changes by establishing open channels of communications at all organizational levels. The most important such relationship is at the level of executive management Formal Executive Steering Committee Meetings should also be held. 25

26 Questions? Any questions not answered during the presentation may be sent to the author at: All questions submitted by will be answered. 26

27 References (1) - Project Management Institute, Inc., Construction Extension to the PMBOK Guide, Third Edition, Second Edition (Newtown Square, PA: PMI, 2007) (2) - Occupational Safety & Health Administration, OSHA Factbook - OSHA 3340 (Washington, D.C.: OSHA, 2008), pg. 7 (3) - Project Management Institute, Inc., A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Fourth Edition (Newtown Square, PA: PMI, 2008), pg. 103 (4) - Edward W. Merrow, Industrial Megaprojects, Concepts, Strategies and Practices for Success (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011), Part Three: Chapter 10 27

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