The Journey is Over…well for the moment anyway.

 

Well it’s been 255 days since i embarked on the adventure, and last night the fruits of my labour were rewarded in the form of an email advising that I had successfully achieved my Guild of Project Certification – Expert in Project Controls (see figure 1 below).

Figure 1 – Expert Level Accreditation

What made it more worthwhile is that this was the first certificate at ‘EXPERT’ level that the GPC has issued, so its a special achievement. FYI 00120 is my GPC Membership number.

The course had prepared me well for the examination and interview, but the achieving the certificate consisted of 5 processes:

  1. GPC Profile & Skills
  2. GPC 360 Degree Capability References
  3. Library Submissions – 5 Papers
  4. Examination – 5 Essay type Questions / 5 Hours
  5. Assessor Interview

The only step left for improvement in my certification would be to aim for “Fellow” status (refer to figure 2 Below). Time will tell whether or not this path will be taken.

Figure 2 – GPC Certification Process.

 

 

W28_SJP_Knowledge Enhancement for GPC ELPC Examinations (Part 7)

 

Issue Identification and Appraisal

The final blog in this series of knowledge shortfalls that require enhancement to increase my opportunity of a successful result in the GPC ‘Expert Level’ examination. As previously mentioned, the GPC’s self-assessment questionnaire uncovered a few deficient knowledgeable areas that need addressing, and in order to better understand the subject areas the author felt that developing blogs would assist in a quicker learning process in the deficient areas. All of these blogs have the same problem statement, “What subject areas need knowledge advancement prior to undertaking the GPC Expert Level Project Controls examination?”

Feasible Alternatives

The deficient subject areas can be termed feasible alternatives, and these are:

  • Monte Carlo Simulation – covered in Blog 23
  • Configuration Management – covered in Blog 24
  • BIM Modelling – covered in Blog 25
  • Project Forensics – covered in Blog 26
  • Stakeholder Engagement – covered in Blog 22
  • Contract Selection – covered in Blog 27
  • Management Competencies – to be covered in Blog 28

The above list is based on the results from the GPC’s self-assessment which was performed in May’2017 and is a summary of seven areas that need enhancement in the coming weeks. Hopefully a blog can be developed for each item during the remaining weeks the course runs. For Blog 28, the subject will be “Management Competencies”, a position the author has held many times during his career, but prefers not to have given the choices available.

Develop the Outcomes for each

Each remaining blog will develop an outcome for each “Feasible alternative” (FA) subject as the subject gets reviewed, it will not identify an outcome for the other FA’s in that blog.

“Management Competencies” is included within Module 2 – “Managing People”.

Below is the list of items that this blog will address.

Table 1 – Management Competencies items in GPCCAR Self-assessment

As can be seen from the assessment there are 3 items to address.

Selection Criteria

The criteria for this blog is found in several sections in the GPCCAR;

  • M02-1 “Introduction to Managing People”
  • M02-3 “Developing Individual Competencies”
  • M02-4 “Developing Management Competencies”

Analysis and Comparison of the Alternatives

Let’s look at the GPCCAR sections, where possible the wording has been crafted to the authors own wording, however in some situations what has been written is not different to how the author would have word-smithed it whereby full credit goes to the GPCCAR authors as noted in the references below. In all the blogs 23 thru’ 28 this has been the case, and there has been no intent to plagiarize any work by others.

Item 1 – The background supporting Managing people (GPCCAR Module 02.1.3)

The table below (Figure 1) was provided by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and is broken down into the top traits/attributes which prospective employers are seeking when they hire employee(s).  Applying Pareto’s “80/20” Rule, it can be determined that the top two attributes are LEADERSHIP skills and the ABILITY TO WORK IN A TEAM.

Figure 1 – NACE Attributes desired by employers (GPCCAR)

Item 2 – Communications (GPCCAR Module 02.3.3.5)

One of the key skills Project Controls practitioners need to master is that of the art of communication, from the lowest level upwards, and more importantly as the Controls Manager, when communications are both internal (management team) and external (stakeholders, etc.,). Project Controls positions are seen as key when dealing with claims/disputes and at times practitioners are called upon to be expert witnesses, where communication to others in simplistic forms is important to allow people to understand what has occurred.

Effective communication has four ingredients; clarity, concise, easily understood, honest and complete. Figure 2 below shows the sender/receiver communications model.

Figure 2 – Riley Communications Model (GPCCAR)

There are many different communications models, however the one most applicable to project management in general and project controls specifically, is the Riley Model.

The elements in this model are:

  • Encode: To translate thoughts or ideas into a form of language that can be understood by the receiver; eg, written English, spoken French or a drawn diagram.
  • Message: What is sent: the output of encoding
  • Medium: The method used for sending the message (face-to-face, telephone, email) • Noise: Something that interferes with the sending or understanding of the message (distance, culture, language differences)
  • Decode: The translation of the message by the receiver from the medium into their thoughts.

A single communication is complete once the feedback-message has been decoded by the sender and checked for accuracy against the original idea. Once this loop has been closed both people have a common understanding of the idea. This does not require agreement or concurrence, but if there is to be a disagreement, it helps if everyone has the same basic understanding of the issue or idea in dispute.

Effective communication requires both the sender and the receiver to be engaged. The sender needs to check that the ‘message’ has been received and validate the feedback: “Can we just summarize our discussions to make sure that I have not left anything out?” The receiver needs to check that he/she has absorbed and understood the content of ‘message’ “Can I just summarize our discussions to make sure that I am clear on the details and objectives?” This is active listening and feedback.

Dimensions of communication; Communication can be categorized in a number of different ways. The four primary considerations are: Written or Oral, Formal or Informal, Direction of communication (upwards, downwards, outwards, side wards), and internal or external.

The communication plan is an important part of the overall project management deliverables. Development of the project’s communication plan would normally be delegated to the Project Controls team, as they will be responsible for coordinating and formatting input from various SME’s and the PMT. The plan is an essential element in the communications strategy that will work to support the success of the project. If the plan is inadequate it may lead to problems such as delays in message delivery, the communication of information to the wrong audience, insufficient communications activities, and misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the messages communicated. To avoid these problems and facilitate the development (and then implementation) of an effective communications plan people with the following knowledge and skills are needed:

  • Understanding the politics and power structures in the organization and the wider stakeholder community, including customers and sponsors;
  • Knowledge of the environment and culture of the organization and the key stakeholders;
  • Knowledge of the industry and type of project deliverable;
  • Knowledge of communications technologies;
  • Knowledge of corporate policies and procedures regarding security, legal and other requirements affecting communications.

Project controls cannot function if there is a lack of or no communication, as it is the purpose of group to develop information that can be used to influence/inform actions and decisions. If the information is not communicated effectively and accurately to the stakeholder(s) that needs it, it will not be used, there is no point in producing information that is ignored or remains hidden from the people that need it. Similarly producing information that is communicated in a way that renders it inaccurate or incomplete in the perception of the receiver can lead to wrong, or less than optimal decisions or actions being taken. Basic communication theory and planning ensures the ‘right information’ is provided to the ‘right stakeholders’ at the ‘right time’ and in an optimum format to allow them to make efficient use of the information in the course of their work. Communication monitoring goes beyond ‘document control’, document control focuses on records management and access to information, while communication monitoring asks the question was the communication effective:

  • Did the right people get the information?
  • Did the information achieve the desired effect?
  • How can the communication process be improved?

The choice of communication technology used affects the way information is communicated to stakeholders and team members.

Factors affecting the choice of technology include the:

  • Urgency of the need for information. What is the urgency, frequency, and format of the information to be communicated? This is likely to vary over the life of the project.
  • Availability of technology. Ensure that the technology that is required for distribution of project communications will be available and accessible to the relevant stakeholders throughout the life of the project, or their involvement in the work.
  • Ease of use. Ensure that the choice of communication technologies is suitable for project participants and that proper training is planned where appropriate.
  • Project environment. Factors in the project environment that affect communication technology decisions include: o Are the team be co-located or working in a virtual environment;
    • Are they located in one or multiple time zones;
    • Will they will use multiple languages for communication; and,
    • Are there are any other project environmental factors, such as various aspects of culture, which may affect the choice of technology?
  • Sensitivity and confidentiality of the information. If the information to be communicated is sensitive, confidential or classified; additional security measures may be required and the methods of communication restricted.

The range of ‘technologies’ used to communicate information are very wide and can range from simple written documents (physical paper or electronic formats such as PDF) to extensive integrated documentation which can be only accessed via specialized software. Online technologies include interactive databases, and websites; social media technologies integrated with various computer platforms and mobile devices to enable various forms of collaboration and information exchange. The methods used to communicate information among project team and stakeholders can vary significantly, but the following list includes some communication tools and artefacts that can be used:

  • Noticeboards (physical or virtual);
  • Does the organization have an effective knowledge management system that can be used? • Letters to team members; • Press releases; • Various forms of reports; • Emails and intranets;
  • Web portals and other information repositories (for ‘pull’ communication);
  • Phone conversations;
  • Presentations;
  • Team briefings and various types of meetings;
  • Focus groups and facilitated workshops (for ‘problem solving);
  • Face-to-face formal or informal meetings between various stakeholders;
  • Consultation groups or staff forums (face-to-face or virtual);
  • Social computing technology and media – this is becoming a more fashionable method; however, it seems to abuse the context in which it was originally intended for

The design of each communication needs to be based on the needs of the receiver and focused on ensuring the ‘controls message’ is communicated efficiently and is understood and acted upon by the receiver.

Item 3 – Modern Functions of Management (GPCCAR Module 02.4.3)

All Project Controls Practitioners will develop their own individual competencies, but their managers need to be guiding role models which hones these competencies into expert craftsmen. The GPC was heavily influenced by the following management guru’s:

  • Henry Fayol with his “5 Management Functions” and “14 Principles of Management”
  • Clarence “Kelly” Johnson of Skunkworks fame with his “14 Rules of Management”
  • Edwards Deming and his “7 Deadly Diseases” and his “14 Principles of Management”

More recently, the GPC has also been influenced by the work of Peter Drucker, Henry Mintzberg and Patrick Lencioni and much of the “best tested and proven” practices” are based on the work of these researchers. While this Module 02 covers the fundamental theories of Fayol, Johnson, Deming and Drucker, it also included the more current thinking of Mintzberg, Tuckman and Lencioni, the latter two having a strong focus on team building and identifying & fixing dysfunctional teams. Featured in Module 02-4 – Developing Management Competencies is Tuckman’s “Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning” which is so important, especially in project based environments (refer to Blog 01 posted many months ago). This supports the #1 attribute identified by the NACE research shown in figure 1 above.

The following are quotes from the Druker and Mintzberg (GPCCAR)

Below are 10 quotes from Peter Drucker which have important relevance to the project control managers of today and tomorrow, particularly those who are managing the Millennial Generation.

  1. “Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.” For planners and schedulers in particular, this has relevance especially during the early phases of the project development. Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3, as subject matter experts we need to be willing, as part of our assumption testing, to ask whether or not this project should be done at all.
  2. “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” This is why the GPC BoK has taken some strong stands on certain issues. There are many “best tested and proven” practices that we SHOULD do but have gotten in the habit of not doing. Given that projects fail with such alarming regularity, we have a moral if not legal obligation to do our part to increase the success rate.
  3. “There is nothing quite as useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.” Here again, this comes back to the planner/scheduler as subject matter expert. We must be willing to challenge some of the projects we are being assigned to.
  4. “What gets measured gets improved.” Isn’t this the very heart and soul of Project Controls? In particular, Module 10- Managing Project Progress?
  5. “Results are gained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.” Very powerful words. When we get to Module 4- Managing Project Risk & Opportunity, you will see that the GPC has put as much emphasis on managing opportunity as we put on managing risk.
  6. “So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.” Here again, this simple statement has potentially profound meaning for planners/schedulers. Are our schedules actually making it EASY for people to work or are our schedules actually making it difficult to work? This is going to become an even bigger issue when we start creating schedules using BIM. The reason being, building a project in a computer is unlikely to even come close to what will really happen in the field. As planners/schedulers, we need to be able to look at what the 4D BIM has produced or created and apply the appropriate contingency from Module 4-Managing Project Risk/Opportunity and adjustment factors from Module 5- Managing Resources to make the schedules more realistic.
  7. “People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.” This concept is covered in Module 4- Managing Risks & Opportunities. Both risks and opportunities WILL happen. Our job as project control professionals is to help identify them, and alert the appropriate decision makers so they can take appropriate actions.
  8. “Meetings are by definition a concession to a deficient organization. For one either meets or one works. One cannot do both at the same time.” In terms of project controls, isn’t this why we are moving to web based dashboards to help us communicate project status quickly and more efficiently?
  9. “Long-range planning does not deal with the future decisions, but with the future of present decisions.” Again, in terms of project controls, doesn’t this help explain the rationale behind what we know as “Rolling Wave Planning”? For the future, this is why we are more than likely moving beyond the traditional forward pass/backwards pass scheduling programs and will eventually be using systems dynamics software which requires the use of feedback loops, something we cannot do with Primavera and MS Project.
  10. “Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things” Lastly, the relevance of this is it represents an ethical question that is going to engulf the practice of project management, including project controls. Should we as project team members, be held accountable if we know a project is doomed to fail and we don’t do something about it? Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) in the USA, Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act of 2004 in the UK and a host of comparable laws in the European Union are holding management at all levels, including project managers (and with them, potentially project control managers?) legally accountable if projects knowing cause shareholder value to be negatively impacted.

Below are 10 quotes from Henry Mintzberg which have been selected for their relevancy to project control managers to reflect on and consider, whether you manage as a team leader or a full project control department.

  1. “The great myth is the manager as orchestra conductor. It’s this idea of standing on a pedestal and you wave your baton and accounting comes in, and you wave it somewhere else and marketing chimes in with accounting, and they all sound very glorious. But management is more like orchestra conducting during rehearsals, when everything is going wrong.” This analogy has a lot of significance for project control practitioners. Given that projects are “unique one-time events” and given that we only have one shot to get them right, what are the contributions that the project control professional can or should make to ensure that projects consistently finish on time and within budget? This is what has driven the GPC to adopt Double Loop Learning as the basis for our continuous process improvement model.
  2. Corporations are social institutions. If they don’t serve society, they have no business existing. Organizations are communities of human beings, not collections of human resources. The relevance of this philosophy to project controls is what (if any) responsibility to we, as project controllers have in terms of corporate social responsibility? (CSR) What can or should we be doing within the practice of project controls to support or enhance CSR?
  3. I describe management as arts, crafts and science. It is a practice that draws on arts, craft and science and there is a lot of craft – meaning experience – there is a certain amount of craft meaning insight, creativity and vision, and there is the use of science, technique or analysis. Look at the Guilds Competency Levels. Isn’t one of the major components of those levels based on EXPERIENCE? And not just the same experience, but increasingly more challenging experience, under the watchful eyes of a mentor? So here Mintzberg’s philosophy has served to shape the development of not only our GPC BoK, but also the competency assessment model we have developed.
  4. Everyone is against micro managing but macro managing means you’re working at the big picture but don’t know the details. Here is yet another common thread found in the GPC BoK. That project management is about managing the details. This is the concept underlying Activity Based Costing (ABC) (Module 8) and Module 9- Managing Project Progress, which is based on Activity Based Management (ABM)
  5. Basically, managing is about influencing action. Managing is about helping organizations and units to get things done, which means action. Sometimes, managers manage actions directly. They fight fires. They manage projects. They negotiate contracts. In project controls, our roles, especially as planners and schedulers, is to influence action- first we facilitate the creation of the schedule baseline, then we track and report against this baseline, making recommendation based on our analysis. This is covered in Module 07 – Managing Project Planning & Scheduling and again in Module 09- Managing Project Progress, but the concept is found throughout the GPC BoK.
  6. Management is a curious phenomenon. It is generously paid, enormously influential, and significantly devoid of common sense. This is one of the challenges we face as key project management team members. What happens when management has instructed us to create a schedule and/or cost budget which we know to be unrealistic? This comes back to the ethical if not legal obligations we have if we are to earn the right to call project controls a profession.
  7. You can teach all sorts of things that improve the practice of management with people who are managers. What you cannot do is teach management to somebody who is not a manager, the way you cannot teach surgery to somebody who is not a surgeon. This is why the Guild of Project Controls is not encouraging companies who “teach to the exam” and why our competency assessment model has been based on that used by the licensed trades and other professions such as commercial aircraft piloting and commercial truck drivers.
  8. What I have against M.B.A.s is the assumption that you come out of a two-year program probably never having been a manager – at least for full-time younger people M.B.A. programs – and assume you are ready to manage. This philosophy is what shaped the decision by the GPC to focus on EXPERIENCE in our competency assessment model. And not just any experience but progressively more challenging experience, conducted under the watchful eyes of peer reviewers.
  9. We’re all flawed, but basically, effective managers are people whose flaws are not fatal under the circumstances. Maybe the best managers are simply ordinary, healthy people who aren’t too screwed up. Our job as project control professionals is to help project and program managers keep from screwing up. We help them create a reasonable and achievable plan, then we track and report progress against the plan, with the objective to help the program or project manager lead the team in keeping to the plan.
  10. No job is more vital to our society than that of the manager. It is the manager who determines whether our social institutions serve us well or whether they squander our talents and resources. This applies not only to program and project managers, but to project control managers.

Modern Management (distributed authority) – in today’s environment it is impossible to attempt to a ridged hierarchy based on formal instructions as lead to inefficiencies and communications breakdowns. An effective leader needs to establish clear guidelines and protocols regarding the chain of command and how the team will operate, so that everyone in the project team knows what they have to do and who is accountable. This should unify the actions of the team based on the leader’s intent; Once this framework is in place, properly trained team members can go straight into the performing stage of their activity. A successful Team is both trusted and empowered, with an open communication dialogue, all being mini-leaders and motivating one another, as a high-performance team. This concept was developed by the Prussian military at the beginning of the 19th Century with its core tenet of ‘bounded initiative’. It is imperative that people within the organization hierarchy have proper training and fully understand their leader’s rationale and objectives, once this is understood, lower tier personnel can formulate their action plans and tasks appropriately.

Selection of Preferred Alternative

There are no preferred alternatives in this case, all 4 items listed above are needed to enhance current knowledgebase ahead of the GPC ELPC Examination.

Monitoring Post Evaluation Performance

Post evaluation monitoring will be to see if what has been provided above has been fully understood and useful to assist successful passing of the examination, and then used on future projects to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of what a Project Control Practitioner provides to the project team, and decision-making process.

References

W27_SJP_Knowledge Enhancement for GPC ELPC Examinations (Part 6)

 

Issue Identification and Appraisal

Blogs 22 thru’ 26 have covered some of the knowledge shortfalls that require enhancement to increase my opportunity of a successful result in the GPC ‘Expert Level’ examination.

The GPC’s self-assessment questionnaire uncovered a few deficient knowledgeable areas that need addressing. In order to better understand the subject areas development of blogs to assist learning about the areas is a way to better absorb the content. The final few blogs will all have the same problem statement, “What subject areas need knowledge advancement prior to undertaking the GPC Expert Level Project Controls examination?”

Feasible Alternatives

The deficient subject areas can be termed feasible alternatives, and these are:

  • Monte Carlo Simulation – covered in Blog 23
  • Configuration Management – covered in Blog 24
  • BIM Modelling – covered in Blog 25
  • Project Forensics – covered in Blog 26
  • Stakeholder Engagement – covered in Blog 22
  • Contract Selection
  • Management Competencies

The above list is based on the results from the GPC’s self-assessment which was performed in May’2017 and is a summary of seven areas that need enhancement in the coming weeks. Hopefully a blog can be developed for each item during the remaining weeks the course runs. For Blog 27, the subject will be “Contract Selection”, a subject that the author has had to work with for the majority of his working life in the Oil & Gas Industry.

Develop the Outcomes for each

Each remaining blog will develop an outcome for each “Feasible alternative” (FA) subject as the subject gets reviewed, it will not identify an outcome for the other FA’s in that blog.

“Contract Selection” has a dedicated module for it, Module 5 – “Managing contracts” which has six sections to it.

Below is the list of items that this blog will address.

Table 1 – Contract items in GPCCAR Self-assessment

As can be seen from the assessment there are 7 groups which encompasses 9 items.

Selection Criteria

The criteria for this blog is found in several areas in the GPCCAR, as well as some online research;

  • M05-1 “Introduction to Managing Contracts”
  • M05-3 “Select Project Delivery Method/Contract Type”
  • M05-4 “Tendering and Bidding the Project”
  • M05-5 “Managing the Contract (Owner and Contractor)”
  • M05-6 “Closing the Contract (Owner and Contractor)”

Analysis and Comparison of the Alternatives

Let’s look at the GPCCAR sections, where possible the wording has been crafted to the authors own wording, however in some situations what has been written is not different to how the author would have word-smithed it whereby full credit goes to the GPCCAR authors as noted in the references below. In all the blogs 23 thru’ 27 this has been the case, and there has been no intent to plagiarize any work by others.

Item 1 – The processes associated with managing Contracts module (GPCCAR Module 05.1.2)

Figures 1 and 2 are the process maps for the Owner and Contractor respectively.

Figure 1 – Owners Process Flow Chart for Managing Contracts (GPCCAR)

Figure 1 illustrates the “Inputs” as being; Owners Business Case, WBS, and Risk & Opportunity analysis. The key deliverable is to be able to put the project out to bid, evaluate the bids and award a Contract to the successful bidder(s), and assumes that the scope of work is complete (with no omissions, etc.,) and defined in the contract documents, and is complimented with a fully resource and cost loaded CPM schedule (Performance Measurement Baseline – PMB) outlining how the Contractor intends to execute the project.

Figure 2 – Contractors Process Flow Chart for Managing Contracts (GPCCAR)

Figure 2 illustrates the important differences between that of the Owner’s process, largely due to the fact that the scope has been defined by the owner in the Contractual Documents, provided the Contractor with sufficient information to reasonably identify risks which should be included within his/her bid proposal. The key document for the Contractor is the NTP (Notice to Proceed) allowing commencement of work upon execution of the Agreement.

Item 2 – The purpose of the Managing Contracts Module (GPCCAR Module 05.1.1)

This section introduces the tools, techniques and methodologies for managing and what is contained in the module has been identified as being “best tested and proven” practices which have been found to work on “most projects, most of the time”. It discusses the differences between owner and contractor project controls departments in particular the relative importance of contracts. In large Owner organizations, contract preparations/management is performed by a separate functional department to that of project controls, while the Contractors Project Controls organization appear to be more hands-on.

If the objective of both owner and contractor is to mitigate claims (claims avoidance) and disputes, then linking these internal functions with the teams that deal with the day to day running of contracts is imperative. The key to having this type of environment is to ensure that the Scope of Work (SoW) is well defined by the Owner containing minimal or no ambiguities (and those that exist have provisions for changes by the Contractor).

The role of the Project Control Practitioner (or Professional) in managing contracts although not widely recognized or appreciated, is vital to successful management of the project.

Item 3 – The background supporting the Managing Contracts Module (GPCCAR Module 05.1.3)

In most large organizations, contract preparation and management is done by a separate department to that of Project Controls, often the functional responsibility of the legal or contract & commercial departments. While this makes sense, if the objective of an owner or contractor to minimize or eliminate disputes and claims, then whichever functional department contracts is under needs to be proactive in working closely with project controls, in particular, the forensic analysts, to structure contracts in a way designed to reduce if not eliminate disputes and claims and if they do occur address them promptly and proactively rather than let them drag on. The role of project control practitioners in managing contracts is perhaps one of the least appreciated or recognized roles and responsibility a project control department has, particularly from an owner’s perspective. Based on the 2015 KPMG research, it is clear that projects are failing with far too much regularity. Which is why, project control professionals need to know and understand the magnitude of the problem as well as know and understand the leading causes of project failures caused by poor contracting practices. Why is this important to know and understand? Because project control professionals are in the unique position to influence, mitigate or prevent these failures from happening.

Causes of Project Failures “In terms of what was causing these disputes, the issues most typically identified were:

  • a failure to properly administer the contract,
  • ambiguities in the contract documents,
  • a failure to make interim awards on extensions of time and to give associated compensation,
  • incomplete design information or employer requirements and conflicting party interests”.

As can see the majority of these items are contract related. The report concluded by stating that:

  • “although the value of disputes seemed to be decreasing and the trend toward settling them was becoming less formal”:
  • “… disputes are still costing the industry unnecessary time and money and greater focus is still required to help avoid the dispute from the very outset through better contract document design, production and administration, as well as improvements in the level and standard of relevant design information.”

The recommendation is to produce “better contract document design, production and administration” in terms of what this means for the project control practitioner, getting the “right” or “best” contract is of critical importance. Summarizing, as evidenced by the proliferation of claims, disputes and litigation, not to mention the rather abysmal “failure” rate of projects, it is clear that “contracting” as it is currently practiced is not working, either for owners or for contractors. So how to start to fix this problem?

Contract TYPE is determined by Project Scope Definition

Contracting type is determined by scope definition and one of the most frequent and often fatal mistakes is for owners to select a contracting type which is inappropriate to the real or true percentage of scope defined at the time they put the contracts out to bid. Using a contract type which is inappropriate to the level of scope definition is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

Figures 3 and 4 show the Risk allocation based on Scope Definition in two differing formats.

Figure 3 – Scope Definition and Risk Allocation by Contract Type (GPCCAR)

Figure 4 – Detailed Explanation of Figure 3 (GPCCAR)

Unfortunately, the tendency of many if not most owners is to try to pass along as much risk as possible to the contractor, using firm fixed price contracting, with either no appreciation or a false understanding of how much scope they are really including in their contract documents. Then when the owner starts to get change requests, they blame the contractor when in fact, scope definition is not the contractor’s responsibility at all but the owners. For a contractor, ambiguous or conflicting scope represents a potential OPPORTUNITY, which as good business people, they are obligated to their shareholders and owners to exploit. Explained another way, if owner organizations are receiving large numbers of change orders, they need to look internally at their own scope definition process first before blaming the contractors for being “greedy”.

Another “root cause” problem which owners are often guilty of and that is they rarely if ever give any thought to what risks the contractor can possibly manage if at all (i.e. External Risks from our Risk Register) or whether any specific risk can better be managed by the owner rather than the contractor.

Item 4 – Contract selection (GPCCAR Module 05.3.3.1)

There are Ten Contract types and Five Project Delivery Methods – refer to Figure 5

Figure 5 – Project Delivery Methods and Contract Types Compared (GPCCAR)

The following Matrix shows the Pros and cons of the Contracting Types

Figure 6 – Contract Types, When Used and Pros/Cons (GPCCAR)

The Matrix below provides Delivery Methods

Figure 7 – Project Delivery Methods (GPCCAR)

Item 5 – Reverse Auctions & Agreements (GPCCAR Module 05.4.3.3 & 05.4.3.8)

Reverse Auction – Is a process where bids are posted on the internet with each subsequent bid being lower than the previous bid. One of the reasons for owners requiring unit prices and / or cost and resource loaded schedules as a prerequisite to issuing the notice to proceed is to enable their project control departments to conduct a “due diligence” assessment, analyzing the unit costs and activity costs to ensure that the contractor has not unbalanced the bidding. Unfortunately, bid shopping and reverse auctions are routinely encouraged by owners, to the point where in some countries, laws have been passed prohibiting both. However, especially in the Middle East and Asia, this practice is pervasive, and over the long term only hurts owners as it drives the legitimate contractors out of business leaving only the less scrupulous still in business.

Agreements – The reason this is important to the project control professional (PCP) is; As an OWNER’s PCP, the agreement needs to contain all the elements outlines, if it doesn’t contain all these elements the PCP’s organization is being set-up up for higher pricing (the more ambiguous the contract documents the more likely to get large spreads between the high and low bidders) and the more likely the organization will get hit with change orders. There are many contractors out there who specialize in finding discrepancies in the contract documents then “buy” the project by bidding low, with the expectation they will make money on change orders. A PCP is well positioned as a subject matter expert to guide his/her project team and management into putting together complete and well written contracts.

The Basic building blocks of a contract are:

  • Contract Drawings
  • Technical Specs
  • General Conditions
  • Supplemental/Special Conditions and the Contracting forms
  • Agreements (the actual contract document between owner and contractor)
  • Bonds (performance, Bid, Performance, etc.,)
  • Certificates (Insurance, Business, Technical, etc.,)

“Prior to bidding” any or all of the above building blocks can be modified by the Contract Team (Architect, Engineer, etc.,) by issuing Addenda(s)/Addendum(s), which is then incorporated into the “Bid Package” which is issued to bidders to submit their bids/tenders. Upon determining a suitable bidder either by choosing the lowest bidder, best technically qualified, or after negotiations, the Agreement is formulated and sometimes can include a section for bid clarifications if these formed parts of the negotiations. The agreement needs to be executed by having the designated/authorized owner and contractor personnel sign and date the pages as required. Once there is an executed contract the issuance of a “Notice to Proceed” (NTP) can be implemented allowing work to officially commence. Should future changes occur, these would covered under the Management of change sections of the Agreement (See Module 10).

Item 6 – Elements of Enforceable Contract (GPCCAR Module 05.5.3.2)

There are five elements needed in order to have an enforceable contract; Offer, Acceptance, Exchange, Capacity and Legality.

  • Offer – a promise or commitment with definite clear terms
  • Acceptance – of the offer exactly as made. Any modifications to the original offer are called “a counter offer” and are subject to acceptance
  • Exchange – of something of value
  • Capacity – to perform financially, technically and legally
  • Legality – intent, methodology or deliverables Contracts cannot be enforced to do something which is illegal

Item 7 – Liens (GPCCAR Module 05.6.3.3)

Meaning of Lien – A lien is an encumbrance on one person’s property to secure a debt the property owner owes to another person. The statement that someone’s property is “tied up” describes the effect of liens on both real and Personal PropertyLien is a French word meaning “knot or binding” that was brought to Britain with the French language during the Norman Conquest in 1066. [The Free Dictionary]

Claim on the improved property by the contractor, subcontractors, laborers, and material suppliers for the monies owed to them. In general, a mechanic’s lien takes precedence over any mortgage on that property because, it is assumed, the value of that property has increased to the extent of the lien. Also called materialman’s lien. Given that in many parts of the world, owners are paying their prime contractors but in turn, the primes are not paying the subcontractors, many global organizations with property in countries which do have lien laws (nearly all countries which are based on English law) are requiring the prime contractors to obtain release of liens from their subcontractors, suppliers and vendors. This is something of significant importance for project controllers to know and understand because if the subcontractors and vendors are being starved for working capital, then it impacts the production rates on the project.

Selection of Preferred Alternative

There are no preferred alternatives in this case, all 4 items listed above are needed to enhance current knowledgebase ahead of the GPC ELPC Examination.

Monitoring Post Evaluation Performance

Post evaluation monitoring will be to see if what has been provided above has been fully understood and useful to assist successful passing of the examination, and then used on future projects to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of what a Project Control Practitioner provides to the project team, and decision-making process.

References

W26_SJP_Knowledge Enhancement for GPC ELPC Examinations (Part 5)

 

Issue Identification and Appraisal

Blogs 22 thru’ 25 have covered some of the knowledge shortfalls that require enhancement to increase my opportunity of a successful result in the GPC ‘Expert Level’ examination.

The GPC’s self-assessment questionnaire uncovered a few deficient knowledgeable areas that need addressing. In order to better understand the subject areas development of blogs to assist learning about the areas is a way to better absorb the content. The final few blogs will all have the same problem statement, “What subject areas need knowledge advancement prior to undertaking the GPC Expert Level Project Controls examination?”

Feasible Alternatives

The deficient subject areas can be termed feasible alternatives, and these are:

  • Monte Carlo Simulation – covered in Blog 23
  • Configuration Management – covered in Blog 24
  • BIM Modelling – covered in Blog 25
  • Project Forensics
  • Stakeholder Engagement – covered in Blog 22
  • Contract Selection
  • Management Competencies

The above list is based on the results from the GPC’s self-assessment which was performed in May’2017 and is a summary of seven areas that need enhancement in the coming weeks. Hopefully a blog can be developed for each item during the remaining weeks the course runs. For Blog 26, the subject will be “Project Forensics”, a subject that the author has had to supply information too external parties on several occasions during his working life in the Oil & Gas Industry. Many of the instances have been caused as a result of following: poor contracting strategy, selection of a poor performing contractor as it fitted the budget constraints, and badly defined Scope of Works.

The author on many occasions has been advised too much time is used generating analysis/information that not many people look at, well they don’t look at until it’s too late, and then it’s why, why, why? The generation of such analysis is in the belief that too much information is better than not enough, a person can always discard stuff, but if it needs to be developed it takes time, and sometimes time is not what a practitioner has a lot off.

Develop the Outcomes for each

Each remaining blog will develop an outcome for each “Feasible alternative” (FA) subject as the subject gets reviewed, it will not identify an outcome for the other FA’s in that blog.

Like many of the other subjects being reviewed “Forensics” crosses multiple modules in the GPCCAR; M01-1 “Introduction to Managing Project Controls”, M12-1 “Introduction to Managing Forensic Analysis”, M12-2 “Developing the Managing Forensic Analysis Policies & Procedures Manual”, M12-3 “Conduct the Preliminary Analysis”, M12-4 “Conduct the Schedule Analysis”, M12-5 “Damage Analysis Phase”, M12-6 “Settlement Negotiations Phase” and M12-7 “Formal Disputes Resolution”.

Below is the list of items that this blog will address.

Table 1 – Forensic items in GPCCAR Self-assessment

As can be seen from the assessment there are 4 groups which encompasses 12 items.

Selection Criteria

The criteria for this blog is found in several areas in the GPCCAR, as well as some online research;

  • M12-1 “Introduction to Managing Forensic Analysis”.
  • M12-2 “Developing the Managing Forensic Analysis Policies & Procedures Manual”
  • M12-3 “Conduct the Preliminary Analysis”
  • M12-4 “Conduct the Schedule Analysis”
  • M12-5 “Damage Analysis Phase”
  • M12-6 “Settlement Negotiations Phase”
  • M12-7 “Formal Disputes Resolution”

Analysis and Comparison of the Alternatives

What is a) Project Forensics and b) how can the Project Controls Practitioner be better prepared for it?

The answers are;

  1. The study of the effects that certain events have on activities in a CPM calculated schedule, understanding the cause and effects of these events by their significance of deviations from the baseline. The results of which are normally used in legal proceedings. One must remember that Schedule Forensics is not only a science and an art, it is also distinct area outside of planning and scheduling – it’s a highly specialized field of expertise.
  2. There are several documents and web-sites available to provide guidance for practitioners to be prepared for such events, most are based around the AACE International Recommended Practice 29R-03, which as the document suggests are recommendations that practitioners might use to aid in the creation of a competent work product. That said, it behooves any project control practitioner to follow the guidelines reflected in the GPCCAR, which would undoubtedly suggest that “all the bases are covered” and his/her project is well documented and analyzed to avoid any delay claims and disputes. In other words, be proactive and not reactive.

Let’s look at the GPCCAR sections, where possible the wording has been crafted to the authors own wording, however in some situations what has been written is not different to how the author would have word-smithed it whereby full credit goes to the GPCCAR authors as noted in the references below. In all the blogs 23 thru’ 26 this has been the case, and there has been no intent to plagiarize any work by others.

Item 1 – How to identify, capture and use the data from the QA/QC processes as they pertain to project controls (GPCCAR Module 12.3)

Quality Assurance records are a very good source of records of when particular elements of a project have been completed. In the Oil and Gas Industry and in particular on projects, where safety is paramount, there is a requirement for a very high level of quality documentation, ensuring that materials, equipment(s), weld acceptance rates, pipe hydro-testing, E&I cable checking, HV Power Hi-pot testing, etc., have all met their applicable codes and regulations while being installed to ensure there is no defective work.

Typical projects may have QA records for the following construction elements:

  • Concrete test results
  • Weld Certificates
  • Piping Hydro-testing, Reinstatement & Box-up records
  • Electrical Hi-pot test results
  • Instrument Loop checks
  • Earthwork inspection
  • Excavation and confined space safety
  • Underground pipeline construction
  • Structural Steelwork fabrication, assembly and erection
  • Scaffolding Safety Certificates

QA commences when a project commences, and is instrumental in all the phases of the project (i.e. Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning) Oil and Gas companies are ISO certified and utilize systems accredited to same, to ensure that contractual obligations have also been met. Examples include; drawing and specification revisions, correspondence registers, insurance renewal certificates, notification of claims, settlement of third party claims, and subcontract correspondence. QA documentation can be extremely useful as reference points during the preparation of any as-built schedules when the necessity of actual dates is critical. These dates should match those in any project schedule update, however there are cases when these are not, as the practitioner did not check the processes and assumed what was seen was completed.

Nowadays, there is a greater demand on accountability than before, and with the big advances in technology there is no excuse for poor record keeping.  If it is the case, that records are poor, the blame lies squarely on bad project management, and It is up to all of us professionals in the engineering and construction industries to ensure that accurate records are kept. Keeping records of the type above will go some way to achieving that aim.

Item 2 – How to identify, capture and use the data from the witnesses of fact as they pertain to project controls (GPCCAR Module 12.3)

It can be useful to interview the project participants who would normally be the fact witnesses, but care should be taken that information received from these participants is not at variance with the contemporaneous documentation from the project. Witness memories can be unreliable, or biases of the participants from long periods of dealing with the project issues may show up in expressions of opinion as fact.

When there are witness statements, those are more likely to have been researched for accurate documents than depositions relying upon the witness memories and question and answer sessions. In either case, research into the documents should support reasonable and accurate fact witness conclusions.

One method to assist with accurate record keeping is to have the key project participants generate a daily log of activities/observations which is compiled into a dossier for each key individual on the project.

Item 3 – How the various negotiation techniques and is and how it impacts or affect the roles and responsibilities of the project controller (GPCCAR Module 12.6)

Figure 1 – Conduct the Settlement Negotiations Process Map (GPCCAR)

As we can see from the graphic below, prevention or early resolution is the more preferable or ideal strategy to adopt in resolving disputes. Implicit in this is the necessity for the project control professional to develop the appropriate negotiating skills to participate in and support the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, regardless of which level of escalation it has reached.

Figure 2 – ADR Process Escalation Steps (GPCCAR)

The GPCCAR’s module assumes that the Prevention and Cooperation Stage to the Dispute Control Stage (1) are “in house” negotiations and more or less informally, preferably at the project level, where the project control professional is in a position to play a key leadership role not only as subject matter expert, but also as a facilitator.

Figure 3 – Detailed Process Flow Chart for Conduct Settlement Negotiations (GPCCAR)

This process, even though it is less formal and generally less adversarial, doesn’t mean it can be treated as unimportant or without a proper and appropriate level of professionalism.

(1) All parties need to have a full and complete understanding of all the issues, from all sides. Failure to understand and appreciate the position of the opposing side will make productive negotiations difficult if not impossible. There needs to mutual respect for the issues even though there is disagreement.

(2) Depending on how much animosity has been generated, it would be preferable for all parties to meet with the objective to be proactive in reaching a settlement.

(3) As mediation and negotiations requires training and a unique set of people skills, it is preferable if a trained mediator/negotiator is employed as an independent third party to facilitate the negotiations.

(4) Assuming agreement has been reached, and the claim/dispute is settled, the appropriate documents are drafted, signed and settlement is made promptly per what was agreed to.

In the GPCCAR Module 5 “Managing Contracts”, there are three tests or barriers that either party must prove or overcome in order to perfect or validate a claim:

•  Entitlement – the parties had a contractual/legal duty/obligation to each another and that one party failed to perform that duty, or performed it improperly or untimely.

•  Quantum Meruit – that one or more of the parties to the contract incurred additional costs or otherwise suffered damages.

•  Causal Relationship – and that those additional costs or damages were incurred as a result of the Entitlement above.

We also know that “prevention is often better than cure” which means that the first responsibility as a project controls practitioner should be to try to PREVENT claims and disputes.

Whether proactive or not, another skill set that project control professionals need to master is the ability to negotiate both personally as well as professionally. Refer to Module 2 “Managing People”.

Item 4 – How the various disputes resolution options how each one impacts or affect the roles and responsibilities of the project controller (GPCCAR Module 12.7)

Figure 4 – The Conduct Formalized Dispute Resolution Process Map (GPCCAR)

Settlement Conference may be either mandatory or voluntary. In both types of settlement conferences, the parties and their attorneys meet with a judge or a neutral person called a “settlement officer” to discuss possible settlement of their dispute. The judge or settlement officer does not make a decision in the case but assists the parties in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the case and in negotiating a settlement. Settlement conferences are appropriate in any case where settlement is an option. Mandatory settlement conferences are often held close to the date a case is set for trial. Click on the video to the left to see a demonstration of the settlement conference process.

Mediation – In mediation, an impartial person called a “mediator” helps the parties try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute. The mediator does not decide the dispute but helps the parties communicate so they can try to settle the dispute themselves. Mediation leaves control of the outcome with the parties. Click the video on the left to see a demonstration of the mediation process.

Cases for Which Mediation May Be Appropriate: Mediation may be particularly useful when parties have a relationship they want to preserve. So when family members, neighbors, or business partners have a dispute, mediation may be the ADR process to use. Mediation is also effective when emotions are getting in the way of resolution. An effective mediator can hear the parties out and help them communicate with each other in an effective and nondestructive manner.

Cases for Which Mediation May Not Be Appropriate: Mediation may not be effective if one of the parties is unwilling to cooperate or compromise. Mediation also may not be effective if one of the parties has a significant advantage in power over the other. Therefore, it may not be a good choice if the parties have a history of abuse or victimization.

Dispute Review Board (DRB) – The Australian Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators defines a Dispute Review Board to be:

  • “Dispute Review Boards are made up of typically one or three experts who can assist in the management of conflicts and disputes in longer term and large projects.
  • Relatively unused in Australia they can be a very useful adjunct to the project planner. Typically, the DRB is established shortly after execution of the contract documents, as performance of work on the project begins.
  • A DRB has two basic responsibilities. The first is to become familiar with the project during construction. This process begins with the Board’s review of the plans and specifications, followed by periodic visits to the project. During these visits, in addition to viewing the work in progress, the DRB members meet with the owner’s and contractor’s staff at the job site to discuss the progress of the work, as well as potential issues on the horizon. These activities on the part of the DRB play a useful role in preventing disputes from arising because the parties are encouraged to clearly and objectively state their positions. They also provide the DRB with valuable background information should it need to hear a dispute.
  • The DRB’s second major responsibility is conducting hearings on any disputes referred to it. At a hearing, which usually is held at the construction site, owner and contractor representatives who have first-hand knowledge of the issues, are given the opportunity to present facts, documents, and the rationale in support of their respective positions. Formal recording of the hearing and participation by lawyers are both relatively rare. Following the hearing the DRB issues a written recommendation or a decision, setting forth its analysis and opinion. If one or both parties elect to reject the recommendation, the issue proceeds to the next stage of dispute resolution under the terms of their agreement.
  • DRBs were first used about 25 years ago in the USA. Since then they have been used on over 800 projects, primarily those involving public infrastructure construction. DRBs have been credited with a 99% success rate.”

Neutral Advisor – In neutral evaluation, each party gets a chance to present the case to a neutral person called an “evaluator.” The evaluator then gives an opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s evidence and arguments and about how the dispute could be resolved. The evaluator is often an expert in the subject matter of the dispute. Although the evaluator’s opinion is not binding, the parties typically use it as a basis for trying to negotiate a resolution of the dispute. Click on the video to the left to see a demonstration of the neutral evaluation process.

Cases for Which Neutral Evaluation May Be Appropriate: Neutral evaluation may be most appropriate in cases in which there are technical issues that require special expertise to resolve or the only significant issue in the case is the amount of damages.

Cases for Which Neutral Evaluation May Not Be Appropriate: Neutral evaluation may not be appropriate when there are significant personal or emotional barriers to resolving the dispute.

Arbitration – In arbitration, a neutral person called an “arbitrator” hears arguments and evidence from each side and then decides the outcome of the dispute. Arbitration is less formal than a trial, and the rules of evidence are often relaxed. Arbitration may be either “binding” or “nonbinding”. Binding arbitration means that the parties waive their right to a trial and agree to accept the arbitrator’s decision as final. Generally, there is no right to appeal an arbitrator’s decision. Nonbinding arbitration means that the parties are free to request a trial if they do not accept the arbitrator’s decision. Click on the video to the left to see a demonstration of the arbitration process.

Cases for Which Arbitration May Be Appropriate: Arbitration is best for cases where the parties want another person to decide the outcome of their dispute for them but would like to avoid the formality, time, and expense of a trial. It may also be appropriate for complex matters where the parties want a decision-maker who has training or experience in the subject matter of the dispute.

Cases for Which Arbitration May Not Be Appropriate: If parties want to retain control over how their dispute is resolved, arbitration, particularly binding arbitration, is not appropriate. In binding arbitration, the parties generally cannot appeal the arbitrator’s award, even if it is not supported by the evidence or the law. Even in nonbinding arbitration, if a party requests a trial and does not receive a more favorable result at trial than in arbitration, there may be penalties.

Private Judge – Jim Zack in his 1998 paper “Resolution of Disputes — The Next Generation“ , described the “Rent-a-Judge” approach to be: “In some construction disputes, there are issues of law which must be decided in order to reach resolution of the dispute. Generally, issues of law ought to be decided by judges as they are skilled and experienced in deciding legal issues. But, litigation need not result. One form of ADR which allows input from judges but avoids the need for litigation is the Rent-A-Judge or Private Judge concept. The concept is to retain the services of a retired judge who is experienced with construction litigation. The private judge will typically conduct the process in a formal manner resembling the litigation process but without the need to await an available judge and courtroom. The private judge will generally render decisions which may be either advisory or determinative of the issue, depending upon the terms of the agreement between the parties. The advantages of this form of ADR follow. Retired judges practicing this type of ADR are most often skilled in managing complex construction cases and making decisions. The cost of this form of ADR is typically lower than many other forms and certainly a great deal less than litigation, generally being split between the two parties to the dispute. Finally, the speed with which a hearing can be established and held is considerably faster than litigation. The primary disadvantage cited by most is that the underlying process remains the same regardless of the fact that the trier of fact is a retired judge. That is, if a private judge is used in a trial, in arbitration, or in mediation, the process is still a trial, arbitration or mediation.”

Mini Trial – Zack goes on to explain in the same paper, the pros and cons of a Mini Trial: “A Mini-Trial is a voluntary, confidential and non-binding procedure. Generally, they involve summary presentations by attorneys and experts of the best case for each side, followed by questions and rebuttals. Mini-Trial agreements frequently limit these presentations to a half-day or a single day for each side. The Mini-Trial concept requires that top management representatives (with authority to settle) participate in the proceeding. The Mini-Trial is typically presided over by a jointly selected neutral who advises the parties, after the presentations are complete, concerning the apparent strengths and weaknesses of the cases. The neutral then assists the parties in negotiating a settlement at this point, somewhat like a mediator. The concept is to get top level management to sit through and listen carefully to both their own best case as well as that of the other side, and to reach a management decision that is based upon a realistic appraisal of both positions. The advantages of this system are the relatively low cost (compared to litigation or arbitration) and the fact that each party gets to present their entire case as if in court or in arbitration. Additionally, the neutral advises and assists top management of both parties in finding ways to resolve the dispute rather than rendering a decision. Non-binding results, privacy, party participation and control over the process are also considered advantages of this ADR form. The disadvantages of the Mini-Trial system arise if the top management personnel were personally involved in the issues in dispute thus making them unsuitable as panel members. Other disadvantages arise if the issues in dispute involve legal matters or matters of credibility as management personnel may not be trained to handle such issues. Finally, this system is not cost effective if the matter in dispute is not very costly.”

Summary Jury Trial – Zack also explains that there is a more formal version of the Mini Trial in which not only is the judge “rented” but also a jury of 6. This is known as a Summary Jury Trial and is similar to the Mini-Trial in many respects. “The concept is that the attorneys for both parties are each given one hour to summarize their case before a “rented” jury of six people. Introduction of evidence is obviously limited due to the time limitation and witnesses and experts are not allowed to participate in the proceeding. The neutral advisor may be either a sitting judge from the local court or may be a Rent-A-Judge. After the case summaries have been presented, the judge provides a short explanation of the law concerning the issues in dispute and the jury retires to the jury room. The jury tries to reach a consensus opinion on the case. Failing that, individual juror views are presented anonymously. Generally, Summary Jury Trial verdicts are advisory and not binding (but may be made so by agreement). The concept is for the parties to gain an understanding of how a potential jury will react to the case prior to going to trial. The advantages of the system are that the cost is relatively low compared to litigation and the time needed to present the case is minimal. Another significant advantage is that when each of the parties has to summarize their case into a precise one hour presentation, both sides are forced to focus on real issues and forego all legal theatrics. The single most commonly cited disadvantage is that the jury has to form an opinion based solely on a one hour presentation from each side, a timeframe that is short in the extreme, given the complexity of the typical construction case.”

Special Master/Settlement Judge – Lastly, Zack explains the use of Special Masters or Settlement Judges: “The Special Master form of ADR (sometimes referred to as a Settlement Judge) has been called “ADR’s last clear chance before trial”. The concept of a Special Master is for the court to appoint someone with authority and time to control the discovery process (such as deciding objections to deposition questions, document disputes and claims of privilege), to rule on all pretrial matters in lieu of a judge, and to facilitate settlement discussions. Special Masters may be requested by either or both parties or may be imposed unilaterally by a court. Payment is typically split between the disputants. By putting the litigation into a rational framework, the Special Master is often able to help the parties reach a settlement prior to the trial. The advantage of the Special Master system is that it can save a great deal of cost during the pretrial period with respect to needless discovery battles and help facilitate settlement discussions. The perceived disadvantages of this system are that a Court may grant too much authority to the Special Master (for example Summary Judgement Motions). Some also fear the possibility of private discussions between the Special Master and the trial judge concerning the details of settlement negotiations or positions asserted by the parties.”

Selection of Preferred Alternative

There are no preferred alternatives in this case, all 4 items listed above are needed to enhance current knowledgebase ahead of the GPC ELPC Examination.

Monitoring Post Evaluation Performance

Post evaluation monitoring will be to see if what has been provided above has been fully understood and useful to assist successful passing of the examination, and then used on future projects to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of what a Project Control Practitioner provides to the project team, and decision-making process.

References

  • Guild of Project Controls. (October 3, 2015). 12.0 – Managing forensic analysis – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet). Retrieved November 04, 2017 from http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/introduction-to-managing-forensic-analysis
  • AACE International. (2011) Forensic Schedule Analysis (International Recommended Practice No. 29R-030. Retrieved from http://web.aacei.org/resources/publications/recommended-practices
  • Mosaic Projects. (2015). Forensic analysis. Retrieved from https://mosaicprojects.com.au/PM-Knowledge_Index.php#Forensic_Analysis

W25_SJP_Knowledge Enhancement for GPC ELPC Examinations (Part 4)

 

Issue Identification and Appraisal

As mentioned in the Blog 22, the final few blogs will look at areas where my knowledge is lacking and needs to be enhanced in order to increase my opportunities for be in good standing for doing the final examination.

The GPC’s self-assessment questionnaire uncovered a few deficient knowledgeable areas that need addressing. In order to better understand the subject areas development of blogs to assist learning about the areas is a way to better absorb the content. The final few blogs will all have the same problem statement, “What subject areas need knowledge advancement prior to undertaking the GPC Expert Level Project Controls examination?”

Feasible Alternatives

The deficient subject areas can be termed feasible alternatives, and these are:

  • Monte Carlo Simulation – covered in Blog 23
  • Configuration Management – covered in Blog 24
  • BIM Modelling
  • Project Forensics
  • Stakeholder Engagement – covered in Blog 22
  • Contract Selection
  • Management Competencies

The above list is based on the results from the GPC’s self-assessment which was performed in May’2017 and is a summary of seven areas that need enhancement in the coming weeks. Hopefully a blog can be developed for each item during the remaining weeks the course runs. For Blog 25, the subject will be “Building Information Modelling’ (BIM), a subject that the author has not had any involvement in so far during the 35+years in the Oil & Gas Industry.

Develop the Outcomes for each

Each remaining blog will develop an outcome for each ‘Feasible alternative’ (FA) subject as the subject gets reviewed, it will not identify an outcome for the other FA’s in that blog.

BIM crosses multiple modules in the GPCCAR, M03-4 – “Creating the Work Breakdown Structure”, M07-1 – “Introduction to Managing Planning & Scheduling”, M08-6 – “Developing the Contractors Cost Estimate (Bottom Up)” and M10-3 – “Managing Change – The Owner’s Perspective”. Each module outlines the BIM as one of the Tools & Techniques that can be adopted. Certainly, reading through the BIM sections there are some great visuals that allow the project controls practitioners to better understand how the schedule can interact with a 3D model of the facility to show progress or areas where the schedule may be vulnerable.

Below is the list of items that this blog will address.

Table 1 – BIM items in GPCCAR Self-assessment

Selection Criteria

The criteria for this blog is found in several areas in the GPCCAR, as well as some online research;

  • M03-4 – “Creating the Work Breakdown Structure”
  • M07-1 – “Introduction to Managing Planning & Scheduling”
  • M08-6 – “Developing the Contractors Cost Estimate (Bottom Up)”
  • M10-3 – “Managing Change – The Owner’s Perspective”.

Analysis and Comparison of the Alternatives

What is BIM and how can it assist?

BIM is a process for creating and managing information on a project across the project lifecycle. The BIM is the key output of the process which should include the digital description of every aspect of the built asset. This model draws on information assembled and updated at key stages on a project, creating a digital model which enables people to interact and optimize their actions, resulting in a whole life value of the asset. Currently the UK construction industry is undergoing its digital revolution with BIM seen as a way of working. BIM is information modelling and information management in a team environment with all team members working to the same standards, allowing the combined efforts of people, process and technology to determine an optimized model.

BIM brings together all of the information about every project component in one place, making it possible for anyone to access that information for any purpose, e.g. effective integration of different aspects of the design, reducing the risk of mistakes or discrepancies thus minimizing abortive costs. BIM data can be used to illustrate the entire project life-cycle from inception to demolition, and by signaling any conflict detection, prevents errors creeping in at the various project stages.

Figure 1 – BIM Benefits

Figure 2 below provides a brief list of available BIM software and providers. There are quite a few packages and providers covering a full range of disciplines; architecture, sustainability, structures, MEP, construction and facilities management.

Figure 2 – List of BIM Software and Providers

  • Architecture
  1. Autodesk Revit Architecture
  2. Graphisoft ArchiCAD
  3. Nemetschek Allplan Architecture
  4. Gehry Technologies – Digital Project Designer
  5. Nemetschek Vectorworks Architect
  6. Bentley Architecture
  7. 4MSA IDEA Architectural Design (IntelliCAD)
  8. CADSoft Envisioneer
  9. Softtech Spirit
  10. RhinoBIM (BETA)
  • Sustainability
  1. Autodesk Ecotect Analysis
  2. Autodesk Green Building Studio
  3. Graphisoft EcoDesigner
  4. IES Solutions Virtual Environment VE-Pro
  5. Bentley Tas Simulator
  6. Bentley Hevacomp
  7. DesignBuilder
  • Structures
  1. Autodesk Revit Structure
  2. Bentley Structural Modeler
  3. Bentley RAM, STAAD and ProSteel
  4. Tekla Structures
  5. CypeCAD
  6. Graytec Advance Design
  7. StructureSoft Metal Wood Framer
  8. Nemetschek Scia
  9. 4MSA Strad and Steel
  10. Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis
  • MEP
  1. Autodesk Revit MEP
  2. Bentley Hevacomp Mechanical Designer
  3. 4MSA FineHVAC + FineLIFT + FineELEC + FineSANI
  4. Gehry Technologies – Digital Project MEP Systems Routing
  5. CADMEP (CADduct / CADmech)
  • Construction (Simulation, Estimating and Const. Analysis)
  1. Autodesk Navisworks
  2. Solibri Model Checker
  3. Vico Office Suite
  4. Vela Field BIM
  5. Bentley ConstrucSim
  6. Tekla BIMSight
  7. Glue (by Horizontal Systems)
  8. Synchro Professional
  9. Innovaya
  • Facility Managment
  1. Bentley Facilities
  2. FM:Systems FM:Interact
  3. Vintocon ArchiFM (For ArchiCAD)
  4. Onuma System
  5. EcoDomus

Now, let’s look at the GPCCAR sections.

Item 1 – BIM impacts on project Controls (GPCCAR Module 03.4.3.3)

Construction 3D models provide stakeholders/shareholders (Clients, contractors, etc.,) with a better understanding of the project by providing a virtual representation, allowing identification of potential conflicts or design errors compared to the traditional 2D plans and profiles. BIM creates multi-dimensional WBS elements, BoM’s/BoQ’s as well as the planning work packages, these are automated from the system, reducing the need for the project controls practitioner to perform these tasks, and changing the practitioners focus to creating CPM schedules to keep cost and productivity databases updated, as well as analyzing the feasibility of the BIM created schedules and cost estimates. So, in the future the practitioners focus will shift from the creating side of things to analyzing and improving the BIM system outputs, along with set-up, maintaining and updating the BIM databases (GPCCAR includes Module 11 – Managing Project Databases as an introduction for the practitioners of the future.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process which fully links the design documents, (3D BIM) CPM Scheduling (4D BIM), Cost Estimating (5D BIM) and in some cases, Risk Simulation software databases (6D BIM). 4D modelling allows stakeholders to visualize construction over the project duration to identify potential spatial / temporal conflicts in schedule. Adding a cost component to the process creates a 5th dimension, making a 5D model. Such 5D engineered models allow stakeholders to evaluate costs and model cash flows for each phase of construction.

This section is then split into 4 parts, part 1 shows commences with the BIM system turning 2D drawings into 3D drawings allowing a better understanding of the what the project will look like. As the 3D BIM becomes further developed the database is then linked to the CPM Scheduling database and the Cost Estimating database. Linking these is the challenge as all three databases need to have the same coding structure (assuming all three databases can interact with each other in the first instance – this is key driver to ensure that any BIM system set-up has inter-relation databases. Part 2 discusses more on the 4D/5D advising that this is being done in “real time”, this where the author is not sure how the BIM will act as it mentions that engineers can do what-if scenarios allowing key decision makers to experiment – unsure what impacts this may have to equipment and material selections if they have already been purchased, but in theory the system seems practical. Part 3 delves into the Risk assessment side of the project by now using 6D with the introduction of Monte Carlo simulation. Part 4 completes the section by bringing in the major challenges ahead that practitioners will face in how these databased can be developed and maintained and again cites the standardization of coding as being key. It then closes with the conundrum as to how a Company’s current system can be adapted to compliment the new systems, translate the current system, or adopt a new system, either way, there is a lot of work ahead facing practitioners.

Item 2 – Working with BIM modelers to integrate data (GPCCAR Module 07.1)

The intersection of Planning and Scheduling and BIM is known as “4D Modeling” and is the alignment of the 3D elements of the BIM model with the schedule, allowing duration and erection sequencing allocations from the planning and scheduling database. It is going to be key for the practitioner to be able to assign the same level of detail as the 3D model has, and this is seen as being technologically dependent. The section highlights an area that shows that the equipment room doors are not large enough for the equipment that will be arriving (the author has seen this sort of issue on a project many years ago), but the schedule says the room will be complete before the equipment arrives. These are the sort of issues that can be identified using the BIM system.

Figure 3 – 4D Illustration from the GPCCAR

Item 3 – Analysis of BIM Generated BoQs (GPCCAR Module 08.6)

As BIM seems to be gaining traction, the days of performing manual or even digitized quantity take offs is probably coming to a close, except for the smallest of projects. With BIM, as the design is created, the BoM/BoQ is automatically created. As with any computer program, the old maxim “garbage in/garbage out” applies and it still behooves the contractor to perform their own due diligence by random sampling some of the major components just to see how reliable, accurate and precise the BoM/BoQ are.

Item 4 – Using BIM outputs as inputs to Project controls Processes (GPCCAR Module 10.3)

BIM is a fully integrated model which follows the creation of a physical asset through its entire lifespan, from concept through to the eventual demolition or repurposing. BIM is going to have a profound impact on the practice of project controls as the design databases are “hot linked” to the CPM scheduling (4D) and cost estimating (5D) databases which means as the structure is designed and built in three dimensions, the CPM schedule and cost estimate are being generated at the same time. While this will unlikely reduce the role the project control professional has played in terms of quantity take offs and creating CPM schedules, it will open opportunities to create, update and manage the cost and productivity databases which are necessary to make 4D and 5D BIM work.

Figure 4 – BIM Illustration from the GPCCAR

Selection of Preferred Alternative

There are no preferred alternatives in this case, all 4 items listed above are needed to enhance current knowledgebase ahead of the GPC ELPC Examination.

Monitoring Post Evaluation Performance

Post evaluation monitoring will be to see if what has been provided above has been fully understood and useful to assist successful passing of the examination, and then used on future projects to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of what a Project Control Practitioner provides to the project team, and decision-making process.

References

W24_SJP_Knowledge Enhancement for GPC ELPC Examinations (Part 3)

 

Issue Identification and Appraisal

As mentioned in the Blog 22, the final few blogs will look at areas where my knowledge is lacking and needs to be enhanced in order to increase my opportunities for be in good standing for doing the final examination.

The GPC’s self-assessment questionnaire uncovered a few deficient knowledgeable areas that need addressing. In order to better understand the subject areas development of blogs to assist learning about the areas is a way to better absorb the content. The final few blogs will all have the same problem statement, “What subject areas need knowledge advancement prior to undertaking the GPC Expert Level Project Controls examination?”

Feasible Alternatives

The deficient subject areas can be termed feasible alternatives, and these are:

  • Monte Carlo Simulation – covered in Blog 23
  • Configuration Management
  • BIM Modelling
  • Project Forensics
  • Stakeholder Engagement – covered in Blog 22
  • Contract Selection
  • Management Competencies

The above list is based on the results from the GPC’s self-assessment which was performed in May’2017 and is a summary of seven areas that need enhancement in the coming weeks. Hopefully a blog can be developed for each item during the remaining weeks the course runs. For Blog 24, the subject will be “Configuration Management’, a subject which the author was not aware off until reading the GPCCAR’s module M10-5 – Configuration Management, however it turns out it is just another name for Project Change Management as adopted in the IT and Systems Engineering projects in the Defence and related industries. Certainly, within the Companies the author has worked for in Oil and Gas Industry this term has not been used to date, not to say that it will not be used in the future, and so expanding my knowledge to better understand how this process is used will certainly broaden my experience as a practitioner.

Develop the Outcomes for each

Each remaining blog will develop an outcome for each ‘Feasible alternative’ (FA) subject as the subject gets reviewed, it will not identify an outcome for the other FA’s in that blog.

Configuration Management has a section devoted to it within the GPCCAR, M10-5 – “Configuration Management”, which introduces the principle, and then runs through basic tools, advanced tools types, as well as providing what outputs are expected. The CAR also provides some additional references and templates which are very informative.

Figure 1 – Configuration Management Process Map from the GPCCAR

Selection Criteria

Review of the GPC self-assessment items shows that there are four items to be addressed, see table 1 below.

Table 1 – Configuration Management items in GPCCAR Self-assessment

As the subject although familiar to the author in its original state of “Project Change Management” covers an industry which is not familiar to the author so to better understand them, Module 10.5 of the GPCCAR will be reviewed and documented in this blog, along with further comparisons from on-line research as necessary.

Analysis and Comparison of the Alternatives

The origins of Configuration Management (CM) go back to the 1950’s, but came more into ‘fashion’ in the 1980’s with the commencement of the IT and software development era.

Given the complexity of Billion dollar projects, the CM process tends to be heavy on bureaucracy, like those done by NASA. The GPCCAR goes on to advise that project control practitioners no matter whether working for owners or contractors or industry should familiar themselves with the processes, furthermore it suggests review of the excellent templates it contains incase the organization the practitioner is currently employed with does not have a robust change management system in place.

“Configuration management (CM) is the detailed recording and updating of information that describes an enterprise’s hardware and software. Such information typically includes the versions and updates that have been applied to installed software packages and the locations and network addresses of hardware devices. Special configuration management software is available. When a system needs a hardware or software upgrade, a computer technician can access the configuration management program and database to see what is currently installed. The technician can then make a more informed decision about the upgrade needed.” – Rouse, Margaret (2014)

Using the CM application enables the review of multiple systems to ensure any changes made to one system are incorporated in other systems or that the change made is not affecting the others. When used in software development, CM is called Unified Configuration Management (UCM) and it allows developers to keep track of source code, documentation, issues, and change management (requests and implemented).

In figure 2 below, the demonstration of the Asset Lifespan and where CM commences can be seen, the ‘V’ shape in the illustration demonstrating the project lifespan and the horizontal ‘Top line’ the rest of the lifespan from conception to retirement.

Figure 2 – Configuration Management Life Span as a function of the Asset Life Span

Figure 3 provides a more detailed view of the CM Process.

Figure 3 – Configuration Management Process

The GPCCAR indicates that three databases are required inputs; Cost Estimating DB, Scheduling DB, and Productivity DBs.

As noted above, there are four items requiring answers, which will be dealt with individually in order to satisfy what maybe be requested in the pending examinations. These four items are centered around the Tools and Techniques and probably best to summarize each section to cover what is required for the examination questions (should this subject arise).

Item 1 – Basic Configuration Management (GPCCAR Module 10.5.3.1)

Basic toolsets should:

  • Permit the structured definition, identification and storage of configuration items. The file systems of operating systems allow storage of CIs in files. A file system should object if the user tries to create a file with the same name as an existing file, i.e. it should ensure that names are unique.
  • Permit the structured storage of configuration items. The file systems of operating systems should allow the creation of directory trees for storing files.
  • Provide a librarian system that supports: – insertion of modules; – extraction of modules; – replacement of modules by updated modules; – deletion of modules; – production of cross-reference listings to show which modules refer to which; – storage of the transaction history; – all the above features for both source (i.e. text) and object (i.e. binary) files.
  • Provide facilities for building executable software from designated sources. This implies the capability to create a command file of build instructions with a text editor.
  • Provide security features so that access to CIs can be restricted to authorized personnel. This means that the operating system should allow the owner of a file to control access to it.
  • Provide facilities for comparing source modules so that changes can be identified. Most operating systems provide a tool for differencing ASCII files.
  • Include tools for the systematic backup of CIs. Specifically: – automatic electronic labelling of media; – complete system backup; – incremental backup; – restore; – production of backup logs. Most operating systems have commands for backing-up and restoring files

Item 2 – Advanced Configuration Management (GPCCAR Module 10.5.3.2)

As a supplement to the basic toolsets, advanced toolkits are sometimes required.

Advanced toolsets should:

  • Supplement the basic toolset with standalone tools such as source code control systems and module management systems. The extra capability requirements for an advanced toolset are listed below.
  • Provide a locking system with the library to ensure that only one person can work on a module at a time. Most operating system librarians do not provide this feature; it is a characteristic of dedicated software configuration management librarian tools.
  • Minimize the storage space needed. One way to do this is store the latest version and the changes, usually called ‘deltas’, required to generate earlier versions.
  • Allow long names to be used in identifiers. Some operating systems force the use of shorter names than the compiler or programming language standard allows, and this can make it impossible to make the configuration identifiers contain the names used in design.
  • Permit rollback, so that software configuration management operations can be undone. A simple but highly desirable type of backtracking operation is the ‘undelete’. Some tools can reverse deletion operations.
  • Provide facilities for rebuilding executable software from up-to-date versions of designated sources. This capability requires the build tool to examine the dependencies between the modules in the build and recompile those modules that have been changed since the last build.
  • Record the version of each module that was used to build a product baseline, so that product baselines can always be reproduced.
  • Provide facilities for the handling of configuration status accounts, specifically:
    • insertion of new RID, SPR, SCR and SMR status records;
    • modification of RID, SPR, SCR and SMR status records;
    • deletion of RID, SPR, SCR and SMR status records;
    • search of RID, SPR, SCR and SMR records on any field;
    • differencing of configuration status accounts, so that changes can be identified; – report generation.

Item 3 – Online Configuration Management (GPCCAR Module 10.5.3.3)

Online toolsets supplement the capabilities of advanced toolsets by providing facilities for interactive entry of change control information. The extra capability requirements for an online toolset are listed below:

Online Toolsets should:

  • Provide facilities for the direct entry of RID, SPR, SCR and SMR information into the database;
  • Provide an authentication system that permits online approval of changes.

Item 4 – Integrated Configuration Management (GPCCAR Module 10.5.3.4)

Integrated toolsets supplement the capabilities of online toolsets by extending the change control system to documentation. Integrated Toolsets form part of so-called ‘Integrated Project Support Environments’ (IPSEs), ‘Project Support Environments’ (PSEs) and ‘Software Development Environments’ (SDEs). The extra capabilities of an integrated toolset are listed below:

  • Recognize all the dependencies between CIs, so that consistency can be controlled. This capability requires a super-library called a ‘repository’. The Online Toolset has to be integrated with the CASE tools used for design. This facility permits the system to be automatically rebuilt from a design change, not just a code change.
  • Have standard interfaces to other tools (e.g. project management tools). Standards for interfacing software tools have been proposed, such as the Portable Common Tools Environment (PCTE) and the Common APSE Interface Set (CAIS)

The outputs that are expected based on the above Inputs are:

  • Scope Definition Down to Level 3 Or Preferably Level 4 Before Execution Starts
  • Approved Performance Measurement Baseline in-Place
  • Approved or Rejected Change Orders
  • Minimized Change Orders, Disputes and Claims

Selection of Preferred Alternative

There are no preferred alternatives in this case, all 4 items listed above are needed to enhance current knowledgebase ahead of the GPC ELPC Examination.

Monitoring Post Evaluation Performance

Post evaluation monitoring will be to see if what has been provided above has been fully understood and useful to assist successful passing of the examination, and then used on future projects to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of what a Project Control Practitioner provides to the project team, and decision-making process.

References

  • Guild of Project Controls. (October 3, 2015). M10-5 – Configuration Management – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet). Retrieved November 01, 2017 from http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/managing-change-configuration-management
  • Davis, G. (2009, May 8). Software configuration management. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/guy_davis/software-configuration-management-1405640
  • Eaton, D. (2007, February 22). Configuration management tools summary [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.daveeaton.com/scm/CMTools.html

 

W23_SJP_Knowledge Enhancement for GPC ELPC Examinations (Part 2)

 

Issue Identification and Appraisal

As mentioned in the Blog 22, the final few blogs will look at areas where my knowledge is lacking and needs to be enhanced in order to increase my opportunities for be in good standing for doing the final examination.

The GPC’s self-assessment questionnaire uncovered a few deficient knowledgeable areas that need addressing. In order to better understand the subject areas development of blogs to assist learning about the areas is a way to better absorb the content. The final few blogs will all have the same problem statement, “What subject areas need knowledge advancement prior to undertaking the GPC Expert Level Project Controls examination?”

Feasible Alternatives

The deficient subject areas can be termed feasible alternatives, and these are:

  • Monte Carlo Simulation
  • Configuration Management
  • BIM Modelling
  • Project Forensics
  • Stakeholder Engagement – covered in Blog 22
  • Contract Selection
  • Management Competencies

The above list is based on the results from the GPC’s self-assessment which was performed in May’2017 and is a summary of seven areas that need enhancement in the coming weeks. Hopefully a blog can be developed for each item during the remaining weeks the course runs. For Blog 23, the subject will be “Monte Carlo simulation’, a subject the author is familiar with regarding the process and inputs required but not the setting-up and running of a full simulation for either Cost or Schedule. Initially the course provided a demo copy of “Palisade’s @Risk” software, but this has since expired, and the purchase cost of a package is very expensive, therefor this blog will use RiskAMP as the software to develop the model(s) and produce the result(s). RiakAMP can be downloaded from the internet at https://www.riskamp.com/download with a 30-day trial available in order to decide to purchase or not, with a single-user license costing around $130 for the “Personal & Learning Edition”.

Develop the Outcomes for each

Each remaining blog will develop an outcome for each ‘Feasible alternative’ (FA) subject as the subject gets reviewed, it will not identify an outcome for the other FA’s in that blog.

The use of Monte-Carlo simulation is defined in several modules within the GPCCAR, M04-4 “Assess, Categorize, Prioritize and Quantify Risks or Opportunities”, M07-10 “Conducting a Schedule Risk Analysis”, M08-7 “Validate the Time & Cost Trade-Offs” and M08-9 “Conducting A Cost Risk Analysis”. Each module provides a brief overview of what is required, but is short in assisting the Project Control Professional (PCP) in development of a model. This is probably the best approach as these types of simulations tend to be specialized and interpretation of the results need to be carefully transmitted to the project team and stakeholders.

Review of the GPC self-assessment items shows that there are four items to be addressed, see table 1 below.

Table 1 – Monte-Carlo items in GPCCAR Self-assessment

Selection Criteria

The criteria for this blog is going to use the conceptual project that was used during the development of the authors Paper 5, and blogs 18, 19 and 20.

Figure 1 – Conceptual Project Estimate & Schedule

Analysis and Comparison of the Alternatives

As mentioned above, there are four items requiring answers so they will be dealt with individually in order to satisfy what maybe be requested in the pending examinations.

Item 1 – Set-up and Run a Schedule Risk Assessment

As this is a summary schedule as opposed to a level 4 detailed schedule, results will vary, the more detailed the schedule the better results that can be obtained, however it also takes time to set-up, but for blog purposes, this level of detail is great and demonstrates the process that will be performed to get the results. One area that the author has not included here is the use of a risk register whereby specific risks are identified against specific schedule activities. In this example estimates for ‘Best’ and ‘Worst’ durations have been assumed (see below).

As already mentioned, the use of RiskAMP to assist in the Monte-Carlo analysis will be the software of choice. Setting up the sheet was not such an arduous task as expected.

Figure 2 – Schedule Inputs for Simulation

Inputs; Expected = Current Schedule Duration / Best = used a 1 to 3 month saving depending on the EPC / Worst = 3 to 6 month delay depending on the EPC. The Best & Worst cases were purely estimates for the purposes of the blog and had no scientific approach behind them.

Once the model is set-up, and the inputs are complete, all that remains is to run the simulation. In this case the option to use 2,500 iterations was chosen to provide a larger exposure to results obtained for better accuracy. Figure 3 below shows the final report provided by the software.

Figure 3 – Schedule Simulation Report

Based on the above, the simulation is telling us that there is a 42% chance of completing the project in the current schedule duration, and the 90% probability of completing the project is 86 days later. This occurs largely due to using ‘most likely’ (or average) durations as the basis of the schedule activities. This is the type of information that would be provided to the stakeholders for them to determine whether or not they acted on this or determine that more detailed analysis is required before finalizing the schedule. In certain instances, the results can be used to determine the amount of schedule reserve that should be allocated to back-end of the schedule for reporting to shareholders

Item 2 – Set-up and Run a Cost Risk Assessment

Performing a Cost Risk Assessment is a very similar process to that of the Schedule Risk Assessment, only difference that it is costs that are being evaluated, and the Best/Worst (Minimum/Maximum) are evaluations of the Cost Estimate values. Again, for the blog example it has been kept simplistic, and in real life this model would require a great deal of time in which to build an accurate model for evaluation. Building the model correctly is key to determining whether the cost (or schedule for that matter) risk assessment is going to provide valuable results. Figure 4 below provides a view of the Cost Estimate evaluation when run through Monte Carlo simulation.

Figure 4 – Cost Simulation Report

The above cost simulation shows that there is a 65% probability of overrunning the base estimate, with only a 35% chance of meeting the base estimate. The use of this information allows estimators and management to understand the risks and determine contingency levels for the final estimate package.

Selection of Preferred Alternative

There are no preferred alternatives in this case, all 4 items listed above are needed to enhance current knowledgebase ahead of the GPC ELPC Examination.

Monitoring Post Evaluation Performance

Post evaluation monitoring will be to see if what has been provided above has been fully understood and useful to assist successful passing of the examination, and then used on future projects to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of what a Project Control Practitioner provides to the project team, and decision-making process.

References

W22_SJP_Knowledge Enhancement for GPC ELPC Examinations (Part 1)

 

Issue Identification and Appraisal

As mentioned in the previous Blog, the final few blogs will look at areas where my knowledge is lacking and needs to be enhanced in order to increase my opportunities for be in good standing for doing the final examination.

Just prior to commencing the mentoring course, a knowledge/experience evaluation was performed using both the AACE’s 11R-88 and the GPC’s self-assessment questionnaires. These uncovered a few deficient areas that need addressing, and over the remaining weeks posting blogs on these will be the goal. This week’s problem statement, “What subject areas need knowledge advancement prior to undertaking the GPC Expert Level Project Controls examination?”

Feasible Alternatives

The deficient subject areas can be termed feasible alternatives, and these are:

  • Monte Carlo Simulation
  • Configuration Management
  • BIM Modelling
  • Project Forensics
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Contract Selection
  • Management Competencies

The above list is based on the results from the GPC’s self-assessment which was performed in May’2017 and is a summary of seven areas that need enhancement in the coming weeks. Hopefully a blog can be developed for each item during the remaining weeks the course runs. For this week, the ‘Stakeholder Engagement’ subject will be used for the blog.

Develop the Outcomes for each

Each remaining blog will develop an outcome for each ‘Feasible alternative’ (FA) subject as the subject gets reviewed, it will not identify an outcome for the other FA’s in that blog.

Stakeholder Engagement is defined in Module 02-6 Identifying and Engaging Stakeholders in the GPCCAR, see figure 1 below.

Figure 1 – Stakeholder Process Map from the GPCCAR

As the subject covers a broad range of topics, further review of the May’2017 Self-assessment determined the following areas were shown as being unclear back then; The Types/Categories of Stakeholders, Code of Ethics, Use of the Logical framework approach, and validation vs. verification. All of which can be found in the GPCCAR, but for the purposes of better understanding them, will be reviewed and documented in this blog, along with further comparisons from on-line research if necessary.

Selection Criteria

The criteria for this blog is found in several areas in the GPCCAR;

  1. Module 02-6 – Identifying and Engaging Stakeholders
  2. Module 03-3 – Validate Stakeholder Expectations

To assist in the four areas identified in “Stakeholder Engagement” and the above two Modules, Table 1 below shows the four items to be addressed in the analysis section.

Table 1 – Stakeholder items in GPCCAR Self-assessment

Analysis and Comparison of the Alternatives

As mentioned above, there are four items attributed to four topics, the following clarifies the question stem.

Item 1 – Stakeholder Categories

Stakeholder – the dictionary definition advises “Any party that has an interest in an enterprise or project. The primary stakeholders in a typical corporation are its investors, employees, customers, contractors and suppliers. However, modern theory goes beyond this conventional notion to embrace additional stakeholders such as the community, government and trade associations.” So, it covers many different groups. The GPCCAR advises there are six types/categories of stakeholder these are; Beneficiaries, Negative Beneficiaries, Implementers, Decision Makers, Financiers and Regulators.

Online research for Project Management stakeholders provided a more detailed listing of 16, which are; Project Sponsor, Customer/Client, Program Management, Project Management, Business analysts, Project Team, Project Management Office, Project Management Board, Executive Team, Functional Managers, Architects & Designers, Internal stakeholders, External stakeholders, End Customers, Local communities, and Regulators. Review of the detailed list shows that these can be allocated against the six advised in the GPCCAR.

Item 2 – Ethics

The GPCCAR advises that ethical behaviour is a key underpinning of leadership built on several layers of understanding; values, morals and ethics. Furthermore, it lists six key ethical obligations by which a project control professional should practise:

  • Only accept assignments consistent with the PC Professional’s capabilities
  • Protecting proprietary or confidential information
  • Upholding the policies, rules, regulations and laws that govern the work.
  • Actively seeking to understand the truth.
  • Provision of complete and accurate information in a timely manner.
  • Truthful communications, with a similar approach to conduct.

The above points indicate that PC Professionals should not participate in or condone any behaviour that could deceive, mislead or be seen to provide false status of what is/has occurred to fellow professionals/stakeholders.

One of the issues faced by a PC professional is advising stakeholders regarding their expectations and how to be honest with the stakeholders about unrealistic expectations..

Currently the GPC are in the process of benchmarking “Best in Class” ethics for the organisation, but have indicated that at present the best benchmark is from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Organisation (SCCE)

Item 3 – Logical Framework Approach

The Logical Framework Approach (LFA) is a 6-step process which is a tested and proven “Best Practice” which has been in use since the 1970’s.

Figure 2 – Logical Framework Approach Process Flow Diagram

Once the process has been followed it creates a LogFrame document, see figure 3.

Figure 3 – LogFrame Document

Using the Logical Framework approach can produce a one or two page document which summarizes the entire project into a format senior managers love as it not only identifies the level 2 WBS and Activities, but produces a Class 3 or Class 4 cost estimate but it shows on one or two pages what the key deliverables are from the project, what the business case for the project is and most importantly, what strategic objects the project is designed to support or deliver. It also provides KPI‘s for each of the above, what metrics we will use to measure how successful both the project and the product of the project was, but also summarizes the project risks, business risks and strategic risks should the project not do what it was undertaken to achieve

Item 4 – Validation (vs. Verification)

Validation – is the process of reviewing that the information provided by management or other key stakeholders via the LogFrame or Decision Support Documents is “reasonable and proper”

while,

Verification – is the process which is used to measure and assess whether the project did or did not deliver what was expected, in the time frame required and to the quality specified or required? Given the fact that the project “success” rates are less than most organisations would wish for, one of the first responsibilities of the project controls practitioner is to validate that:

  • Time frames are “reasonable”
  • Cost budgets are “reasonable”
  • Risks are not “outrageous” and have been identified and addressed appropriately
  • Quality requirements are “consistent with the budget”.

In the event that it is found that the stakeholder expectations are conflicting or otherwise unrealistic, this needs to be made known to the relevant stakeholders.

Two ways practitioners can/should be testing any assumptions made/imposed are:

  • Acceptable “Range Estimates for Costs” at each given stage of a project’s scope definition.
  • Has the scope been optimized as evidenced by the cost and duration estimates?

Finally, the PC Practitioner needs to be cognizant of the stakeholder’s risk profile. The Business Dictionary defines “Risk Profile” as being “Threats” to which a company or organization are exposed. The risk profile will outline the number of risks, type of risk and potential effects of risks. This outline allows a business to anticipate additional costs or disruption to operations. Also describes the willingness of a company to take risks and how those risks will affect the operational strategy of the company. Thus another validation tool / technique we need to know and understand is the concept of Risk Profiling.

The reason this is important for the project control practitioner to know and understand is:

  • if your stakeholders are risk AVERSE, then they may be reluctant or unwilling to accept your time or cost calculations unless you are using P90 values meaning cost or duration estimates which contain high amounts of CONTINGENCY.
  • if your stakeholders are risk SEEKING, then you may find them pushing you to use P40 values meaning where not only is there no contingency but there is less than a 50/50 probability of the project finishing on or before the target duration and/or coming in at or under the allocated budget.

Explained another way, the risk profile becomes an input into many follow-on processes, which is why it should be done as early as possible, before the WBS has been developed. Knowing and understanding the risk tolerances / expectations of your key stakeholders becomes of critical importance when calculating CONTINGENCY both in terms of time and cost.

Selection of Preferred Alternative

There are no preferred alternatives in this case, all 4 items listed above are needed to enhance current knowledgebase ahead of the GPC ELPC Examination.

Monitoring Post Evaluation Performance

Post evaluation monitoring will be to see if what has been provided above has been fully understood and useful to assist successful passing of the examination, and then used on future projects to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of what a Project Control Practitioner provides to the project team, and decision-making process.

References

  • Guild of Project Controls. (October 3, 2015). Module 02-6 – Identifying and engaging stakeholders – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet). Retrieved October 25, 2017 from http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/identifying-engaging-stakeholders
  • Guild of Project Controls. (October 3, 2015). Module 03-3 – Validate stakeholder expectations – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet). Retrieved October 25, 2017 from http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/validating-stakeholder-expectations
  • Spacey, J. (2015, November 25). 16 types of project stakeholder. Retrieved from https://simplicable.com/new/project-stakeholder
  • Practical Concepts Incorporated (PCI). (1979).The logical framework – A manager’s guide. Retrieved from http://usaidprojectstarter.org/sites/default/files/resources/pdfs/The-Logical-Framework-A-Managers-Guide.pdf

 

W21_SJP_In the market for new vehicle – the options

 

Issue Identification and Appraisal

Having moved into the final stages of the mentoring course, the task of reviewing the Engineering Economy book has arrived. And have to admit that this has never been a favourite subject, and so the final four blogs (21 thru’ 24) will be dedicated to knowledge advancement in this learning process.

As a starting point, the first blog will look at options available when in the market for a new piece of equipment. This applies to all types of equipment and in some circumstances also applies to business and personal circumstances. So, for the blog, let’s assume a Company, “ABC” is in the market for a new vehicle.

This week’s problem statement, “What is the most economical option for obtaining ABC’s new vehicle?”

Feasible Alternatives

As this will be a new vehicle, Company ABC have already decided that the use of a second-hand vehicle is not an option, there are three feasible alternatives, which are:

  • Purchase
  • Lease
  • Rent

Develop the Outcomes for each

Purchase – Determined by the negotiated sale price of the vehicle, amount of down-payment/trade-in, interest rate being charged.

Lease – Usually built around several factor’s; the vehicles sales price, the residual value of the vehicle when returned, the interest rate being charged. Usually there is an upfront payment made at the time of signing the lease which will also affect the total monthly lease cost.

Rent – Very similar to leasing but usually over shorter time period with options to extend. Depending on equipment required, is a good option for construction equipment whereby it may only be required for a short time in the project duration, and no need to have protracted costs for duration of project. This is probably a more costlier option for a vehicle purchase.

Selection Criteria

The criteria selection for evaluation of the feasible alternatives is:

  • Truck for construction business, to be used for hauling tools, equipment and staff (4/6 people).
  • The negotiated sales price of the vehicle is $ 50,000.
  • The ownership term is to be 5 years (60 months).
  • Purchase option down-payment is $17,500 (includes $12,500 trade-in of existing vehicle, plus $5,000).
  • Lease up-front payment is $17,500 (again it includes the above trade-in/additional payment).
  • APR interest rate is 12%
  • Residual value of vehicle after 5 years will be 37% of the negotiated sales price.
  • This exercise does not include for any applicable state taxes that are charged on new vehicle purchases.
  • Assumption; All maintenance, insurances, road taxes are equivalent across all three options.

Analysis and Comparison of the Alternatives

Purchase

Sales Price = $50,000 – Down-payment $17,500 = Loan requirement $32,500. Therefore, the amount payable for a loan of $32,500 over 5 years would be 32,500 x 5 x 12% = $19,500. Total Cost: $50,000 + $19,500 = $69,500. Monthly cost = $1,158.33

Lease

Sales Price = $50,000 – Down-payment $17,500 = $32,500 / Residual value after 5 years = $50,000 x 45% = $18,500. Lease amount = $32,500(A/P,1%,60) – $18,500(A/F,1%,60) = $32,500(0.0222) – $18,500(0.0122) = $721.50 – $225.70 = $495.80 per month (Total cost over the 5 years = $17,500 + 60 x $495.80 = $47,248)

Rent

There is very little in the way of formulas available to develop vehicle rental rates, so the principle applied here is: Determine the overall cost of the vehicle (purchase, loan funding) and divide the total by the number of months required. It is assumed that the Rental Company would secure better finance deals and even better negotiated sales price for the vehicle, so this is where they would make their money.

Value of Rental $50,000. Therefore, the amount payable for a loan of $50,000 over 5 years would be 50,000 x 5 x 12% = $30,000. Total Cost: $50,000 + $30,000 = $80,000. Monthly cost = $1,333.33 (depending on the Company renting the vehicle these costs could be higher)

As expected, the Rental cost is highest option, with the outright purchase being next, and the lease costs being somewhat attractive.

 

Selection of Preferred Alternative

The preferred alternative in this instance is for Company ABC to take the Lease option to secure their new vehicle.

Monitoring Post Evaluation Performance

Post decision making for the purchase of a vehicle would be a difficult decision to undo, but I’d expect that Company ABC periodically check the leasing market to determine if the deal they received is indeed the best available deal.

References

  • Mortgage Choice. (2017). How to calculate rental yield. Retrieved October 20, 2017, from https://www.mortgagechoice.com.au/home-loans/home-buying-advice/tips-and-tools/what-is-rental-yield.aspx
  • Rent, buy or lease? the crucial answer to your next equipment purchase | equipment world | construction equipment, news and information | heavy construction equipment. (2013, May 1). Retrieved from https://www.equipmentworld.com/rent-buy-or-lease/
  • Sullivan, W. G., Wicks, E. M., & Koelling, C. P. (2012).Engineering economy (international edition) (15th ed.). Harlow, England: Pearson.

W20_SJP_Cost & Time Trade-off Part 3

 

Issue Identification and Appraisal

Blogs 18 and 19 discussed development of the curves for both the Contractors EPC costs and the Owner’s overheads and lost opportunity cost curves, as shown in figure 1 below. As previous advised this excellent graphic comes from the GPCCAR Module 08-7 and as is based on the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Agency’s document “Work Zone Road User Costs Concepts and Applications” figure 15. This blog will develop the final curve the Total Cumulative cost and finalise the chart of the conceptual project. Once completed, the EPC Project curve will be used to determine the ‘Bonus/Incentive’ or ‘Penalty/Disincentive’ against the criteria selection. This week’s problem statement is: How fair is a Bonus/Penalty system and when should it be developed?

Figure 1 – Relationship between project cost and duration

Feasible Alternatives

As this is a three-blog posting, each one is examining a different curve on the chart, and finalising with an incentive/disincentive proposal.

  • Total Contractor’s Construction Costs
  • Cumulative Owners Engineering, Project Overhead and Lost Opportunity Costs
  • Total Cumulative Project Costs

There are two alternatives; a) Bonus, or b) Penalty, and these depend on the Contractor’s performance in achieving targets.

Develop the Outcomes for each

The final step in development of the chart is to generate the Total Project costs curve, and is not a difficult task as it is the sum of; 1) the Contractor EPC curve and 2) the Owner’s Cost line, however remember the conceptual project that is being tested;

An Oil and Gas facility Project consisting of 200,000 barrels per day processing plant, a fifty-kilometre pipeline, a near-shore storage tank to hold twenty days’ inventory along with a tanker loading facility. The project is based on a tie-in at the ‘fence-line’ where the feed-stock for the processing facility is delivered, therefor the cost estimate excludes any well-pad facility and transit flowlines. Each project facility is based on an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) philosophy for design, procure and construct of each portion. Also, included in the estimate along with the EPC portion, are costs for land purchase for the facilities, and all the associated owner’s costs for the Project Management Team (PMT) and offices. Overall Cost Estimate is $2.5B (Billion) with $1.8B being the Contractors portion.

Using the same spreadsheet sum the monthly values of both to provide a total cumulative cost range of values. Figure 2 shows the curve.

Figure 2 – Total Cumulative Project Costs Curve

In summary, the three curves have been developed so all that is required to complete the chart is to put them all on the one chart and then determine the Bonus/Penalty zones.

Determining the Contractor’s optimum cost and duration is based on the agreed schedule and cost in the Contract, there for this case it would be a) $1.8B and b) 42-months.

The Owner’s optimum costs are where the cost curve is the lowest and at what point it occurs, in the model this is a) $3.1B and b) 38-months.

To determine the maximum duration overrun the author felt that it would only be fair to use the normal process of allowing one month for every year of the project, therefore with a 42-month baseline duration the maximum over-run duration should occur between month-45/46, the basis of the analysis is using month-45.

Figure 3 – Schedule vs Time Optimization Model

  1. Bonus – The determination the ‘Incentive Zone’ is found by trending the data-points from the Contractor’s optimum duration, and the Owner’s optimum duration on the Total Cumulative Cost curve across to the ‘Y-axis’.
  2. Penalty – The ‘Disincentive Zone’ is determined by using the difference in the other two points on figure 3, the Contractor’s optimum cost vs the higher data-point of the Duration overrun (the lost opportunity costs),

 

Selection Criteria

The criteria to be used comes from reviewing the information in figure 3.

The Bonus: The upper value being $3.5B and the lower value being $3.1B, therefor the incentive is $0.4B which needs to be broken down into a $/day basis. To be clear here the incentive would be 100% to the contractor to cover the expenses/inefficiencies associated with acceleration to complete the project quicker, the benefit to the contractor is the shortening of the project duration which in turn would reduce their overheads. The Daily Incentive Cost = Total Incentive value / Number of days, In this case there are 4 months at 30.4375 days per month (the amount of days in a month) which equals 121.75days. Using the $0.4B or $400,000,000 divide the figure by the total amount of days to give a daily figure of $3.285M/day. This is the incentive figure that would be included in the Contract.

The Penalty: In this case is on month-45 intersection with the ‘Owner’s overhead and opportunity’ line equal to $2.4B, and the Contractors optimum cost which is the bid value of $1.8B. The disincentive zone value is equal to $0.6B which also needs to be converted into a daily rate, this time the number of days is 3 months multiplied by 30.4375days/month which equals 91.3125days, giving a daily disincentive rate of $6.571M/day for any delivery after the end of the 42nd month.

 

Analysis and Comparison of the Alternatives

The problem statement is “How fair is a Bonus/Penalty system and when should it be developed?”

It’s a two-part problem statement – a) How fair is a Bonus/Penalty system? And b) when should it be developed?

To answer point a), there are no hard and fast rules for development of incentives in any contract, but any top tier performing Contractor would always consider options to complete a project ahead of schedule for some form of bonus, while keeping in mind failure to achieve could result in penalties from the Owner. Looking at the conceptual project used to develop and test the above curve, the $0.4B incentive value is to purely cover the expenses and inefficiencies associated with the acceleration, likewise the $0.6B penalty is to cover the lost opportunity costs. Any gains to the contractor would be as a result of saving of overheads. The wording for this type of inclusion in a contract needs the full focus from both Owner and Contractors legal teams to ensure there are no ambiguities and the intent clear, instead of attempting to provide legal clauses for inclusion in a contract, some points for consideration;

  • Both ‘Incentive’ and ‘Disincentive’ day rates need inclusion in the appropriate compensation section of the contract, along with any calculation formula to compute the incentive / disincentive costs.
  • The scope of work associated with any ‘Incentive’ or ‘Disincentive’ are clearly identified, to ensure that the full intent of the acceleration or lost opportunity is not ambiguous and left to future interpretation.
  • Careful attention needs to be given to ensure the contractor completes the full scope of the contract to achieve the full incentive amount and not a partial scope.

The WZ RUC document provides formulas to calculate the incentives based on contractor cost per day but relies on having actual data to compute the values, this is not feasible on large O&G projects due to the large amounts of revenue involved.

Response to point b) it should be as soon as viably possible. Based on the information above, it is clear that this type of Bonus/Penalty scheme could be determined at time of developing the contract. In the Oil and Gas sector many larger projects are usually partnerships between several multi-national companies, therefor any incentive scheme needs the full agreement between all parties prior to implementation. Using the model developed above and adapting it to be project specific, allows an incentive scheme to be developed at the same time as the main contract with or without caveats for its implementation based on a particular set of guidelines. This obtains all Partner/Stakeholder buy-ins ahead of the project commencement and allowing the Project’s managing partner to implement any pre-agreed format at the time the option is exercised, as opposed to waiting internal commercials to delay implementation.

Selection of Preferred Alternative

It’s difficult to pick a preferred alternative here, but believe given the choice, the option of earning a bonus is very attractive alternative, while the distinct probability that the Contractor might have penalties to pay for failure to meet the optimum duration would certainly get the Contractor’s attention from the very first day on the project.

Monitoring Post Evaluation Performance

As could be seen in the first blog in the series, there are many curve options that can be tested, each one provides slightly different answer. There is no “One curve fit’s all approach” here, each project has got slightly different conditions and development of a curve/model to suit those should be paramount if there is any possibility that acceleration of the project is an aspect that all parties embrace – a win win situation with both owner and contractor pleased with the favourable outcome.

References

  • Mallela, J., & Sadasivam, S. (2011). Figure 15 –Work zone road user costs: Concepts and applications : final report. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration Office of Operations (HOP).
  • Guild of Project Controls. (n.d.). 08.7.3 – Cost vs Time Trade Offs (Optimization) – Guild of project controls compendium and reference (CaR) | Project controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis (Planning Planet). Retrieved September 5, 2017 from http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/validate-the-time-and-cost-trade-offs
  • Paterson, S. J. (2017, September 24). W18_SJP_Cost & Time Trade-off Part 1 – Achieving Guild of Project Controls / AACE Certification BLOG [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://js-pag-cert-2017.com/w18_sjp_cost-time-trade-off-part-1/
  • Paterson, S. J. (2017, October 1). W19_SJP_Cost & Time Trade-off Part 2 – Achieving Guild of Project Controls / AACE Certification BLOG [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://js-pag-cert-2017.com/w19_sjp_cost-time-trade-off-part-2/