PROJECT MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY
Our team is structured to be responsive to your needs. Our management philosophy is to commit our principals and technical experts to an active role in every project. This provides our clients with the interest, responsiveness, and talent of experienced people and strengthens our efforts in directing staff through each assignment. As a result, our work is executed in a timely and efficient manner in accordance with your needs and directives. To ensure continuity, we maintain a principal and project manager on each project from the planning stage to completion of construction and start-up. We take pride in the large number of clients with whom we have had continuing working relationships.
Project Management is the professional management of a single project from planning, design phase through closeout and occupancy. Project management services may include Project Definition; Developing a realistic and complete budget; Schedule of planning and design phase management; Management information system; Schedule and quality control; and Review of documents for coordination and constructability.
As depicted in our project management philosophy, communication and feedback are essential to the success of your projects. We know that you feel the same. Our goal for your projects is to develop effective, efficient communication protocols and methods that allow you to provide timely input and feedback to our team and therefore minimize frustration and duplication of effort. Our approach to all projects is to implement four means of communication and feedback:
- Project Websites/e-mail
- Project Workshops
- Quarterly Feedback Meetings
One of our teams’ strengths is that we have been successful at listening to client’s concerns on past projects
In order to deliver highly complex, multimillion-dollar projects on time and under budget, every member of our collective teams needs to be on the same page-literally-no matter where they are in the world. Our approach is to use specific web sites and electronic mail (email) to maintain contact with project team members. The solution to secure an online project website for all project team members to communicate, share documents, and collaborate using a standard Web browser.
Regardless of the project complexity, project workshops via face-to-face meetings or video conferencing are essential to the success of any project. The frequency of workshops will be established at a project scoping meeting. Project workshop notes are prepared and placed on the project website for review and comment of all team members. The format for project workshops may vary, but generally workshops consist of a series of presentation and feedback sessions by both the client and consultant to facilitate understanding of issues, concerns, existing conditions, project concepts and brainstorming. At the end of each workshop, assignments are made for the next meeting so that the team will be prepared and effective at the next workshop.
Quarterly Feedback Meetings
We strive to seek candor-brutal truths that may not be forthcoming from other sources. We are interested in knowing where we are falling short because we want to fix it and fix it right now. This is necessary to ensure that our team is meeting your project goals and objectives. It is also an opportunity to get feedback and provide input so that we collectively can make adjustments to improve the project efficiency and outcome.
Our participative project management approach as described above provides a unique forum for evaluating alternatives for your projects. The workshops facilitate opportunities for our team and the client to collectively evaluate alternatives and develop solutions to complex problems. The benefit to the client that our participative approach allows your ideas and input to become a significant part of the project development process.
ESTABLISHING THE PROJECT SCOPE OF WORK
Establishing the Project Scope of Work is key to the success of a project. All parties must be in agreement on what is included in the scope. Our team knows this is paramount to initiating a project. We provide a written scope with detailed tasks and deliverables well defined. This is discussed with the client and agreement is reached. The scope of work is included as part of the contract. After the scope is defined, the budget and schedule are established. It is impossible to know what a project will cost until the scope is defined. For those tasks that cannot be well defined, we recommend that compensation be based upon time and materials. An upper limit can also be established to help control cost in the cases where the scope is not defined.
Scope creep is where many project budgets and schedule lost control. Scope creep is where additional items are added to the project scope without addressing their impacts on the project. Frequent review of the scope during the project is done to see if additional items are creeping into the work effort. If there are items identified during these reviews that have crept into the project, they will be discussed with the client. Our goal is to discuss these items with the client prior to the work being performed. Budgets and schedules can be addressed before there is a problem.
For a credible and successful project, budget compliance is a basic necessity. The Simplex team is comprised of experience estimators in all disciplines and works closely with the design team to develop complete, accurate budgets. Since any established budget is a meaningless number if it is not accompanied by a project scope definition, it is our specific responsibility to identify the project scope upon which the budget is based. When the project scope is defined, the budget is established based on current market pricing.
Our basic approach and methodology of developing estimates involves detailed take offs of various items, application of unit material, equipment, labor cost and the corresponding extensions and finally computing contractor’s overhead & profit to arrive at the final cost of the project/change order work.
Our conservative approach and proven estimating techniques allow you to have confidence that there will be adequate funds to construct your project. Our low change order history is testimony to our management and quality control efforts.
ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING SCHEDULES
Schedules are established by identifying project milestones and determining when each task must be completed to meet the milestone dates. The schedule is reviewed to determine staff requirements to complete the project on schedule. If a project is needed on a fast track, a larger staff is assigned than for a project with a longer schedule.
Either monthly or twice monthly, depending on the project, the project manager assesses the percent completion of the project. The percent completion is estimated on a per task basis in a defined manner, and is done independently of budget review. Budget status is not provided to the project manager until after the percent complete has been estimated.
The estimated percent complete is compared to the planned percent complete to determine if the project is on schedule if the project is not on schedule, staffing adjustments or other corrective measures are implemented.
To monitor project progress, the project labor budget is graphed on a time and percent complete curve. This curve shows a graphical illustration of the project plan of how the project will be completed on time and within the budget. Each month, the percent complete is plotted on the curve to compare actual project progress to the planned progress. As previously noted, if the actual progress falls behind the planned progress, corrective measures are identified and implemented.
SCHEDULE AND COST CONTROL
The successful completion and financial success of almost any project depends upon a realistic, achievable schedule and budget. Construction schedules should be realistic and should reflect the actual sequence of work; actual progress should be compared to the baseline schedule on a regular basis; and techniques, such as short interval scheduling and critical path analysis, can help avoid delays and make up lost time if necessary. Our team has well defined, rigorous procedures for project management. These techniques have been developed and refined and contribute to our success and reputation. Key elements of our management approach include:
- Emphasis on communication with the client and with the project team.
- Emphasis on quality.
- Key senior staff involvement at all project stages.
- Frequent comparison of planned versus actual budget and schedule.
Constructability reviews are key to trouble-free projects. We approach the review as a structured review of the plans and specifications. The focus is on the buildability, bidability, and efficiency of construction. Our reviews bring to light problems in the following areas: reasonableness of work sequence, comprehensive and completion of construction documents, coordination of the documents among the various engineering disciplines, adequacy of lead time for material and equipment procurement, site restrictions and adequacy of access.