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The Effective Management of Time on Mega Projects
Why there are so many problems and how to solve them?

There are two primary choices in life; - to accept conditions as they exist,
- or to accept the responsibility for changing them.

Denis Waitley

Keywords: Schedule, Float, Critical Path. 

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The Effective Management of Time on Mega Projects   [P126]

The construction industry’s ability to effectively manage time is getting worse. If the Burj Khalifa in Dubai had been built at the same speed as the Empire State Building (completed in 1931) it would have opened two years earlier!  Research by the CIOB undertaken in 2007  found most complex/mega projects failed to adequately mange time, most finished late and the situation was getting worse over time.  Interestingly, the degree of failure seems to be the same regardless of the size of the penalties imposed for late completion and regardless of the form of contract used. PPP, Alliance, Partnering, D&C, and traditional forms of contract all experienced similar trends and similar levels of failure.

What the CIOB research did uncover was the significant difference in performance between simple and complex projects and on complex projects, between those using effective time management compared to those that did not. The research found:
In response to this challenge, the CIOB assembled an international team of project planning and scheduling experts (including the author) under the leadership of the then IPP, Keith Pickavance, to implement a three-phase strategy to provide the required standards of performance in effective time control.  Phase 1 focuses on the education training and accreditation of project schedulers; it includes:
Phase 2 will focus on the promotion of amendments to standard forms of contract to facilitate effective time management. Followed by Phase 3, which will focus on the education, training and accreditation of project planners.

The Guide has introduced a range of practical ideas to enhance the effective management of time in mega-projects which will be the focus of this paper:
CIOB research has clearly demonstrated time is not money and the effective management of the use of time cannot be achieved by measuring cost performance or imposing cost penalties.  The team that developed the Guide have between them, well over 100 years of experience managing time on major projects world-wide. This paper will identify the key elements within the Guide that proactively contribute to the successful delivery of mega projects, relate these ideas to practical examples of their use on mega-projects and offer a way forward to improve time management.

Author: Patrick Weaver

Key Resources:

International Construction Conference 2010 (ICC2010)
12  to 13 October 
Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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