Summary of findings

The cases, both the failures and the successes, demonstrate that the overall management of complex construction projects requires an approach focused

Table 11.1 IT in design and construct management

To support PI, straight forward project management

To support PII, stakeholder-oriented over-all project management

Data bases on:

- parties involved (addresses, features, etc.)

- cost prices

• Administration:

- electronic filing

- financial reporting

• Calculations:

- cost prices

- scheduling

• Communication:

- bulletin board

- information push_

Open Design methodology:

- quantitative integration of stakeholders' interests

- establishing solution spaces within which solutions are possible

- emphasis on relevance

- information pull (asking decision-oriented relevant questions)

• Mathematical modelling of relevant issues:

- linear programming (with negotiable constraints)

- Monte Carlo simulations

- preference ranking techniques on a synthesis of all the stakeholders' interests. This implies that it cannot be governed by contractual or formal limitations. Stakeholders that are not mentioned in any contract can be as important for success as those that are well-represented. To ensure that such a stakeholder-oriented approach is genuinely lived up to, the selection of the project management team is crucial. Members of that team have to understand and wholeheartedly endorse this approach.

A non-manipulative, stakeholder-oriented approach has to be followed in all key issues of complex projects. If one key issue is treated in a manipulative manner, it can spoil the whole project, as happened in the case of the VPRO office. If stakeholders are not enabled to interconnect their decisions, mutual aid will not take place, as happened in the case of the former KLM office. If a bottom-up approach based on stakeholders' knowledge is not adopted, overruns in time and money will occur, as was the case in the Schiphol airport expansion.

Mitigations-on-the-run, managerial measures for coping with unexpected events, are always necessary in complex projects to ensure that progress is maintained according to schedule. How to allow for mitigations-on-the-run in the network planning of the project, including allowance for limited human resources, is described in Chapters 3 and 11 of Open Design, Cases and Exercises. Various classes of possible mitigations are suggested by Heerkens (2001), which enables a systematic approach whenever disasters are looming.

PII best practices in the overall management of complex construction projects can lead to stakeholder satisfaction without overruns in time and money. Together with the requirement of a committed and genuinely stakeholder-oriented management team, these best practices constitute the required approach for managing complexity. Subprojects that are pretty straightforward could be managed with conventional PI best practices. The project management team must develop a feel for where to apply the stakeholder-oriented best practices (PII) and where to rely on control-oriented traditional management practices (PI).

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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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