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Project management for civil works

[PMP, PCM and PRM]


1. To optimize the project management systems and subsystems there remains a need to develop
deliberate methodologies, processes and models for implementation down to lowest management
level depending upon type of project. These processes and models can be developed to serve the
specific needs of a project. Civil engineering projects include infrastructure development, power
generation, communications and buildings with variable nature of time, cost, resources and
specifications. Some projects are resource driven and some are fixed duration each having its own
peculiarities. To initiate the process this paper focuses on primary elements of project management
i.e. Project Management Processes (PMP), Project Communication Management (PCM) and
Project Risk Management (PRM).

Project management concepts, process and cycle

2. Project Management is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or
result. Projects produce products. A project is temporary because it has a definite beginning and a
definite end. The outcome is unique because it differs in some distinguishing way from all similar
products or services. For example, an organization may be engaged in many highway projects, but
each project is unique because it involves a unique location and work elements on a specific
section of highway.
An organization divides each project into “components,” each of which produces a major
product required by law. Collectively, these components constitute the “project lifecycle.”

Program Management
3. The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities in order to
meet project requirements. Project management balances competing demands (scope, time,
cost, quality, requirements and expectation of various stakeholders throughout the project
lifecycle and involves the interaction of three elements:
a. People -Perform the work and determine the success or failure of a project.
b. Processes -Processes specify products or deliverables required for the project
and identify who will perform the work and when.
c. Tools -People use predefined tools and techniques to manage the project.

Project Management
4. Project management helps an organization maintain efficiency by helping to ensure that the
right resources complete the right tasks at the right time. Project teams use project management
standards to deliver quality projects that are timely and cost-effective. The purpose of project
management is to:
a. Improve project delivery performance related to quality, scope, schedule, and cost
b. Reduce the support cost of producing the project
c. Do the right things the first time
d. Anticipate and respond to issues before they become problems
e. Communicate effectively with stakeholders
f. Manage change
g. Manage risk
h. Deliver projects that satisfy customer needs

Task Management
5. Task Management is defined as the assignment of individuals (Task Managers) to manage the
production and completion of a discrete deliverable, or work package, on a project within a
defined schedule and budget. Task Managers on all Capital Projects are assigned, at a minimum,
for all Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) work packages. Assigning Task Managers for lower
level WBS work packages is encouraged.
6. For projects to be successful, the project team must understand and apply generally accepted
project management techniques such as work breakdown structures, critical path analysis, and
earned value. Effective management of projects requires that the project team understand
and use the following knowledge and skill sets:
1) Understanding of the project environment
2) General management knowledge and practices
3) Interpersonal skills

7. An organization divides each project into project components, each with its own outcomes,
or “deliverables.” Formerly known as Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), defines the
deliverables for each component. Together, the project components make up the project lifecycle.


Process Groups
8. An organization divides project management activities into five accepted process groups,
a. Initiating Processes
b. Planning Processes
c. Executing Processes
d. Monitoring and Controlling Processes
e. Closing Processes
9. These process groups link to each other by the results they produce — the outcome of one
process group usually becomes an input to another. For example, planning processes produce
plans that the project team will execute, so the project manager engages in executing processes
to coordinate the team’s efforts. Overlap at varying levels of intensity throughout each
component of the project. For example, the project manager performs executing processes to
guide the team’s efforts at the same time that he/she performs controlling processes to monitor
those efforts.

Knowledge Areas

10. Project managers use various tools (reference documents, templates, computer
applications, etc.) and techniques (skills, defined methods, procedures, etc.) to perform the
tasks in each process group. Nine knowledge areas:
a. Project Integration Management.
b. Project Scope Management.
c. Project Time Management.
d. Project Cost Management.
e. Project Quality Management.
f. Project Human Resource Management.
g. Project Communications Management.
h. Project Risk Management.
i. Project Procurement Management.

Project Entities
a. Roles
b. Stakeholders
Project Team

Project Management Plan

11. A project management plan is a group of documents used to define how the
project is to be executed, monitored, and controlled. The plan addresses the project’s
purpose and need (why), goals and objectives (what), schedule (when), and roles (who).
The project management plan includes, but is not limited to, the following:
a. Project charter
b. Workplan
c. Quality management plan
d. Communication management plan
e. Risk management plan
f. Procurement management plan

12. The project manager is the single point of contact for the project management plan,
ensuring that only one set of documents is created and maintained.

Project Charter

A charter documents the agreement between the sponsor and project manager on the key
elements of a project and component. Many capital projects suffer from rework (due to
scope changes), which leads to schedule and cost overruns. The charter process helps to
manage project scope and reduce rework by preventing unnecessary scope changes.

Work plan
13. Following are the elements of work plan:
a. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
b. Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)
c. Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS)
14. A work plan is a resourced project schedule. It identifies the project’s tasks
(identified by the project’s WBS) and defines the cost, timeline, and along with task
durations and resources (identified by the project’s OBS). For any task in the work plan,
the project manager assigns a WBS element, a RBS element, and an OBS element.

Project Communication
15. Project communication is the exchange of project-specific information with the
emphasis on creating understanding between the sender and the receiver. Effective
communication is one of the most important factors contributing to the success of a project.

16. The project communication plan is a part of the overall project plan. It builds on the
project workplan, which shows:
a. What will be produced on the project — the deliverable including the WBS
b. Who will produce it — the Cost Center
c. When will it be produced

Project managers use project communication management to:

17. Develop a communication plan for the project
18. Distribute information via the methods that reach customers most effectively
19. File data using the Project Development Uniform Filing System and Construction
Organization of Project Documents
20. Archive records in accordance with Department Records Retention policies

Communication Process
21. Consider these five factors:
a. b. Who is involved in the communication process?
c. d. What is being communicated
e. f. When the information is communicated.
g. h. How the information is distributed
i. j. Who will provide the information

Project Risk Management

22. The Capital Project Risk Management Process is intended to aid in the effective
management of project risks, both threats and opportunities. The project manager (PM),
project sponsor (Sponsor), and project team members jointly develop a written plan that
enables them to identify, assess, quantify, prepare a response to, monitor, and control capital
project risks.
23. Risk management goes further than planning, and the risk response actions planned and
incorporated in a risk management plan need to be executed effectively and monitored for
their effectiveness. The project manager should conduct frequent reviews of project risks
and the progress made in addressing them, indicating where risks are being effectively
handled and where additional actions and resources may be needed.

24. The project risk management process helps project sponsors and project teams make
informed decisions regarding alternative approaches to achieving their objectives and the
relative risk involved in each, in order to increase the likelihood of success in meeting or
exceeding the most important objectives (e.g. time) sometimes at the expense of other
objectives (e.g. cost). Risk management encourages the project team to take appropriate
measures to:
a. Minimize adverse impacts to project scope, cost, and schedule (and quality, as a
b. Maximize opportunities to improve the project’s objectives with lower cost,
shorter schedules, enhanced scope and higher quality.
c. Minimize management by crisis.

Process Steps
25. Risk Management Planning
26. Risk Identification
27. Qualitative Risk Analysis
28. Quantitative Risk Analysis
29. Risk Response Planning
30. Risk Monitoring and Control

Strategies for Negative Risks or Threats

31. Risk avoidance involves changing the project plan to eliminate the risk or to protect the
project objectives (time, cost, scope, quality) from its impact. The team might achieve this
by changing scope, adding time, or adding resources (thus relaxing the so-called “triple

32. Risk transference requires shifting the negative impact of a threat, along with
ownership of the response, to a third party. An example would be the team transfers the
financial impact of risk by contracting out some aspect of the work.

33. Risk mitigation implies a reduction in the probability and/or impact of an adverse risk
event to an acceptable threshold. Taking early action to reduce the probability and/or impact
of a risk is often more effective than trying to repair the damage after the risk has occurred.

Strategies for Positive Risks or Opportunities

34. The organization wishes to ensure that the opportunity is realized. This strategy seeks
to eliminate the uncertainty associated with a particular upside risk by making the
opportunity definitely happen. Examples include securing talented resources that may
become available for the project.
35. Allocating ownership to a third party who is best able to capture the opportunity for the
benefit of the project. Examples include: forming risk-sharing partnerships, teams, working
with elected officials, special-purpose companies, joint ventures, etc.

36. This strategy modifies the size of an opportunity by increasing probability and/or
positive impacts, and by identifying and maximizing key drivers of these positive-impact
risks. Seeking to facilitate or strengthen the cause of the opportunity, and proactively
targeting and reinforcing its trigger conditions, might increase probability. Impact drivers
can also be targeted, seeking to increase the project’s susceptibility to the opportunity.

Risk Monitoring and Control

37. Risk monitoring and control keeps track of the identified risks, residual risks, and new
risks. It also monitors the execution of planned strategies on the identified risks and
evaluates their effectiveness.
38. Risk monitoring and control continues for the life of the project. The list of project risks
changes as the project matures, new risks develop, or anticipated risks disappear.
39. Typically during project execution there should be regularly held risk meetings during
which all or a part of the Risk Register is reviewed for the effectiveness of their handling
and new risks are discussed and assigned owners. Periodic project risk reviews repeat the
process of identification, analysis, and response planning. The project manager ensures that
project risk is an agenda item at all meetings. Risk ratings and prioritization commonly
change during the project lifecycle.
40. If an unanticipated risk emerges, or a risk’s impact is greater than expected, the planned
response may not be adequate. The project manager must perform additional response
planning to control the risk.
41. Risk control involves:
a. Choosing alternative response strategies
b. Implementing a contingency plan
c. Taking corrective actions
d. Re-planning the project, as applicable

Risk List of Civil Works

42. The process of risk identification produces a project risk list. The project team then
puts the risks into categories and assigns each risk to a team member.
43. The project team members may use this sample risk checklist to help in developing a
project specific risk list. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive; it is just a guide. Care should be
taken to explore items that do not appear on this checklist. Team members add other risk areas from
previous project results and as they arise during the project. Such sources might include:
a. Final project reports
b. Risk response plans
c. Organized lessons learned
d. The experience of project stakeholders or others in the organization
e. Published information such as commercial databases or academic studies
Design Risks
a. Design incomplete
b. Unexpected geotechnical or groundwater issues
c. Inaccurate assumptions on technical issues in planning stage
d. Surveys incomplete
e. Changes to materials/geotechnical/foundation
f. Bridge site data incomplete
g. Hazardous waste site analysis incomplete
h. Unforeseen design exceptions required
i. Consultant design not up to Department standards
j. Unresolved constructability items
k. Complex hydraulic features
l. Project in a critical water shortage area and a water source agreement required
m. Incomplete quantity estimates
n. Unforeseen construction window and/or rainy season requirements
o. New or revised design standard
p. Construction staging more complex than anticipated

External Risks
a. Landowners unwilling to sell
b. Local communities pose objections
c. Unreasonably high expectations from stakeholders
d. Political factors or support for project changes
e. Stakeholders request late changes
f. New stakeholders emerge and request changes
g. Threat of lawsuits
h. Increase in material cost due to market forces
i. Water quality regulations change
j. New permits or additional information required
k. Reviewing agency requires longer than expected review time
l. Changes to storm-water requirements
m. Permits or agency actions delayed or take longer than expected
n. New information required for permits
o. Environmental regulations change
p. Controversy on environmental grounds expected
q. Pressure to deliver project on an accelerated schedule
r. Labor shortage or strike
s. Construction or pile driving noise and vibration impacting adjacent businesses or

Environmental Risks
a. Environmental analysis incomplete
b. Availability of project data and mapping at the beginning of the environmental study
is insufficient
c. New information after Environmental Document is completed may require re-
evaluation or a new document (i.e. utility relocation beyond document coverage)
d. New alternatives required to avoid, mitigate or minimize impact
e. Acquisition, creation or restoration of on or off-site mitigation
f. Environmental clearance for staging or borrow sites required
g. Historic site, endangered species, riparian areas, wetlands and/or public park present
h. Design changes require additional Environmental analysis
i. Project may encroach into the Coastal Zone
j. Project may encroach onto a Scenic Highway
k. Project may encroach to a Wild and Scenic River
l. Unanticipated noise impacts
m. Project causes an unanticipated barrier to wildlife
n. Project may encroach into a floodplain or a regulatory floodway
o. Project does not conform to the state implementation plan for air quality at the
program and plan level
p. Unanticipated cumulative impact issues

Organizational Risks
a. Inexperienced staff assigned
b. Losing critical staff at crucial point of the project
c. Insufficient time to plan
d. Unanticipated project manager workload
e. Internal “red tape” causes delay getting approvals, decisions
f. Functional units not available, overloaded
g. Lack of understanding of complex internal funding procedures
h. Priorities change on existing program
i. Inconsistent cost, time, scope and quality objectives
j. Overlapping of one or more project limits, scope of work or schedule
k. Funding changes for fiscal year
l. Lack of specialized staff.
m. Capital funding unavailable for right of way or construction

Project Management Risks

a. Project purpose and need is not well-defined
b. Project scope definition is incomplete
c. Project scope, schedule, objectives, cost, and deliverables are not clearly defined or
d. No control over staff priorities
e. Consultant or contractor delays
f. Estimating and/or scheduling errors
g. Unplanned work that must be accommodated
h. Lack of coordination/communication
i. Underestimated support resources or overly optimistic delivery schedule
j. Scope creep
k. Unresolved project conflicts not escalated in a timely manner
l. Unanticipated escalation in right of way values or construction cost
m. Delay in earlier project phases jeopardizes ability to meet programmed delivery
n. Added workload or time requirements because of new direction, policy, or statute
o. Local agency support not attained
p. Public awareness/campaign not planned
q. Unforeseen agreements required
r. Priorities change on existing program
s. Inconsistent cost, time, scope, and quality objectives
Right of Way Risks
a. Utility relocation requires more time than planned
b. Unforeseen railroad involvement
c. Resolving objections to Right of Way appraisal takes more time and/or money
d. Right of Way datasheet incomplete or underestimated
e. Need for “Permits to Enter” not considered in project schedule development
f. Condemnation process takes longer than anticipated
g. Acquisition of parcels controlled by a State or Federal Agency may take longer than
h. Discovery of hazardous waste in the right of way phase
i. Seasonal requirements during utility relocation
j. Utility company workload, financial condition or timeline
k. Expired temporary construction easements
l. Inadequate pool of expert witnesses or qualified appraisers

Construction Risks
a. Inaccurate contract time estimates
b. Permit work window time is insufficient
c. Change requests due to differing site conditions
d. Temporary excavation and shoring system design is not adequate
e. Falsework design is not adequate
f. Unidentified utilities
g. Buried man-made objects/unidentified hazardous waste
h. Dewatering is required due to change in water table
i. Temporary construction easements expire
j. Electrical power lines not seen and in conflict with construction
k. Street or ramp closures not coordinated with local community
l. Insufficient or limited construction or staging areas
m. Changes during construction require additional coordination with resource agencies
n. Experimental or research features incorporated
o. Delay in demolition due to sensitive habitat requirements or other reasons
p. Long lead time for utilities caused by design and manufacture of special components
(steel towers or special pipe)

Engineering Services Risks

a. Foundations utilizing Cast-In-Drilled-Hole or Cast-In-Steel-Shell pile may require
tunneling and mining provisions within the contract documents.
b. Piles driven into fish habitat may require special noise attenuation to protect marine
c. Special railroad requirements are necessary including an extensive geotechnical
report for temporary shoring system adjacent to tracks
d. Access to adjacent properties is necessary to resolve constructability requirements
e. Existing structures planned for modification not evaluated for seismic retrofit, scour
potential and structural capacity
f. Foundation and geotechnical tasks (foundation drilling and material testing) not
identified and included in project workplan
g. Condition of the bridge deck unknown
h. Verify that all seasonal constraints and permitting requirements are identified and
incorporated in the project schedule
i. Complex structures hydraulic design requiring investigation and planning
j. Assumptions upon which the Advance Planning Study is based on are realistic and
verification of these assumptions prior to completion of the Project Report
k. Delay due to permits or agreements, from Federal, State, or local agencies for
geotechnical subsurface exploration