Olfa Hamdi is the co-founder of Concord Project Technologies and the founding executive director of the Institute for Advanced Work Packaging. She was a member of the CII research team that produced IR-272, and is now leading the movement for predictable, integrated, technology-driven capital projects management.
What will it take to make site-based projects successful? How do we provide a strong return on investment? How can we deliver on-time? On-budget? The answer to all these questions depends on your commitment to a single word: predictability.
Here at Concord, we’ve long trumpeted the need for predictability in capital project management, but our recent work piloting Advanced Work Packaging on a site-based project for a global Owner company has served to reinforce its importance. As we completed this work, we challenged ourselves to refine our thinking around site-based projects, and to articulate that thinking for leading practitioners like you. Our latest edition of Velocity is the result.
In our Small Is Beautiful edition, we’ve tried to give you a roadmap to predictability by answering some critical questions. Why is predictability important for site-based projects and how, as an industry, can we develop the leadership capacity to make it a driving force behind our work? How can we apply the acts of innovation and integration to make site-based projects a success?
We can start by demanding accurate information throughout the project lifecycle, and then empowering our people to use that information to keep projects on track. Nine out of 10 capital projects go over budget, but seven out of 10 report no budget variance at the 50% schedule mark. This is not a competency problem, it’s a behavioral one — people don’t want to admit that the project has gone off the rails before even leaving the station, so they spend the first half of the project in denial and the second half in crisis management. We can do better by using work progress systems that reveal issues in real-time and force tough conversations about the reality of the project early on.
Next, we can learn how to lead in ways that support and encourage predictability. For example, revisit your standard procedures and take a look at your executive decisions. Are they set up to reward people and companies who deliver predictable results? If not, they should be. This doesn’t just require a change in the operating manual, it requires a change of heart: If leaders don’t believe that predictability is non-negotiable, they’ll never inspire predictable behavior in their teams. This is because predictability isn’t a project controls game, or a numbers game — it’s about behavior.
Our mission here at Concord is simple but powerful. We aim to support the predictable delivery of construction projects and the sustainable growth of capital project organizations. We do this first by empowering your project teams. We apply management systems innovation, and implement transformative integration strategies such as Advanced Work Packaging. We’re presently preparing for a forum on predictability and leadership for site-based projects, and we want to hear what people think of the strategies we’ve outlined here. If you’re interested in contributing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to a predictable future,