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10 Recognizing Project Management Successes INTRODUCTION The Office of Engineering and Construction Management (OECM) initiated an annual project management workshop and awards program in October 2000 (DOE, 2000~. The second workshop was conducted in March 2002, having been postponed from October 2001. The first important event planned for each work- shop was the presentation of awards by the deputy secretary. The project teams being recognized for their achievements presented a brief synopsis of their projects, including factors contributing to their success and lessons learned. Each recognized project team received a plaque, and team leaders received award certificates. There is no monetary award to individuals. Recognizing merit and demonstrating that senior management is interested in achieving results through effective project management procedures and principles encourage exemplary behavior. The following summary of the 2002 awards emphasizes features of the recognized projects believed by the committee to illustrate the lessons learned that should be transferred to future project management efforts. 2002 PROJECT AWARDS Any DOE employee or DOE contractor employee can make nominations, and a panel assembled by OECM evaluates projects. For the 2002 awards the evaluation panel comprised representatives of the OECM and one member of the committee. Sixteen nominations were submitted in 2002, which included eight nominations from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and 67
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68 PROGRESS IN IMPROVING PROJECT MANAGEMENT AT THE DOE eight from the Office of Environmental Management (EM). The Office of Sci- ence (SC); Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management; Office of Nuclear Energy, Science, and Technology; and other offices that execute projects submit- ted no nominations. Two of the three awards went to NNSA projects, and the third went to an EM project (DOE, 2002~. All of the nominated projects were initiated prior to implementation of DOE Order O 413.3, but they all used the principles and procedures that are now required by the Order. Half of the nomination packages specifically mentioned conformance to the requirements of the Order. Deputy Secretary's Excellence in Acquisition Award The top award for 2002 went to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Facilities Upgrades Project (DOE, 2002~. This $106 million NNSA project upgraded utility and safety systems in a 550,000- square-foot,50-year-old nuclear facility during continuous operations. Complexi- ties of the project included extensive radiological and other hazardous material contamination, including some contamination without existing standards for miti- gation; system components well beyond their design lives; rigorous quality assur- ance standards for nuclear-grade components; and a 6- to 12-week delay caused by the Cerro Grande wildfire. The project was completed 6 months ahead of schedule and about $12 million under budget, with no recordable worker injuries in more than 120,000 work hours. Several factors were identified by the com- mittee as being important to success: (1) effective teamwork and trust between DOE and the University of California; (2) extensive involvement of the LANL maintenance and operations contractor; and (3) work packages that subdivided the project into 19 manageable subprojects, each with its own scope, budget, design, risk assessment, hazard analysis, and construction schedule. Significant cost reductions were realized by employing rigorous preproject planning to char- acterize systems and to permit the negotiation of fixed-price agreements. Progress was closely controlled by the use of an earned value management system (EVMS) on each of the subprojects to track execution on a real-time basis. Deputy Secretary's Award of Achievement The second award for 2002 went to the Strategic Computing Complex, also at LANL (DOE, 2002~. This $106 million NNSA project constructed a 291,000- square-foot facility, which includes an immense, integrated system of computer processors capable of ultimately performing more than 100 trillion floating point operations per second. The facility will provide the capability to perform highly complex, three-dimensional computer simulations and will provide laboratory space for 300 scientists and engineers to certify the readiness of the nuclear weapons stockpile without physical testing. To meet the schedule, an early
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RECOGNIZING PROJECT MANAGEMENT SUCCESSES 69 decision was made to execute the project under a design-build contract awarded through a competitive best-value, fixed-price selection process. However, other significant benefits were also realized from the design-build process. For example, the project was completed $13 million under budget, and every schedule mile- stone was met or bettered, including completion of the computer floor 105 days early. The project had a good safety record, logging just one lost workday in more than 600,000 work hours. Thorough preproject planning resulted in a mission statement, functional and operational requirements, and roles and responsi- bilities that remained stable throughout the project. A co-located project team and a formal partnering process were fundamental to successful communication. Independent risk assessment, weekly progress reporting, a tight change control process, and EVMS enabled the project to overcome setbacks, including a 15-day delay caused by the Cerro Grande wildfire, and to remain ahead of budget and schedule. Acquisition Improvement Award The award for innovation in the acquisition process went to the Savannah River Site (SRS) sitewide CFC HVAC/Chiller Retrofit project (DOE, 2002~. The objective of this $55 million EM project was to eliminate the use of ozone- depleting substances at the SRS. It involved replacing 48 chilled water units in 31 facilities extending over 5 million square feet and having 16,000 tons capacity; the units had been leaking refrigerant at 43,000 pounds per year, at a replacement cost of $500,000 annually. The challenges included replacing chiller systems that had accrued more than 50 years of operations and working with 10 different DOE line organizations, each having a distinct operating philosophy. The appli- cation of lessons learned from similar work resulted in the development of a multidisciplinary project team that divided the work into subprojects, each tailored to the requirements of the organization operating a particular section of the facility. The team developed a design-build ordering agreement with three lead- ing chiller manufacturers. Installations were competitively bid among the three manufacturers using best life-cycle cost as the basis for awarding fixed-price subcontracts. The project was completed $6 million under budget, and 22 major mile- stones were completed on or ahead of schedule. No recordable injuries occurred in more than 330,000 work hours. Front-end planning for each subproject dealt with the technical requirements, risk and hazard management, scope definition, and cost and schedule baselines. Buy-in and approval by subproject customers became a contract among all parties and contributed greatly to the success of the project.
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70 PROGRESS IN IMPROVING PROJECT MANAGEMENT AT THE DOE OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS The awards program did not recognize honorable mentions; however, 5 of the remaining 13 projects nominated were considered by the awards panel to be close contenders for awards. Of these, three were NNSA projects and two were EM projects. The workshop included one more case study presentation on a successful SC project, the B Factory Project at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, which was not nominated for an award because it had been completed in 1998. At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Contained Firing Facility project is a 33,370-square-foot addition to an existing bunker that is designed to contain blast overpressure and fragments from the detonation of up to 60 kg of high-energy explosives. This NNSA project required 3,100 cubic meters of concrete and more than 2,000 metric tons of steel, which is enough to frame a 60- story office building with the same footprint. This $53 million project was completed on schedule and under budget, and it experienced no lost-time acci- dents and no construction claims. Success is attributed to early establishment of an integrated project team, partnering during the construction process, and value engineering to mitigate risks from unusually high building costs in the area, unknown site conditions, skilled labor shortages, and structural steel fabrication delays. At the Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), the Rapid Reactivation Project was a $16 million project to upgrade the capability to produce components to support the nuclear weapons stockpile. This NNSA project included constructing an additional 18,000 square feet of laboratory space, reconfiguring existing build- ings, and increasing the number of neutron generators by 225 percent. The use of innovative analytical tools permitted linking the project and production schedules in order to maintain production while performing facility upgrades in the shortest possible time. Extensive preproject planning; effective teamwork and communi- cation among the project management team, contractors, and production person- nel; and real-time review and analysis of schedules enabled this difficult project to be executed on time and on budget. A series of four infrastructure line-item construction projects at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) were executed to upgrade two electrical distribution systems, rehabilitate 45 miles of roads, and provide new security facilities, systems, and equipment. These four EM projects cost $110 million, met all technical and performance requirements, and were completed at $27 million under preliminary estimates. Effective integrated project teams, extensive up-front planning, establishment of clear roles and responsibilities, and active risk management and mitigation were key factors in the successful completion of these projects. At the Savannah River Site, an excess powerhouse was dismantled and removed at a cost of $755,000 ($2.3 million under the preliminary demolition
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RECOGNIZING PROJECT MANAGEMENT SUCCESSES 71 estimate) through an assets-for-services contract that credited the value of dis- mantled equipment to the project. Through extensive front-end planning and close coordination with all involved parties, this EM project was completed 3 months ahead of schedule and with no recordable or lost-time accidents. A processing and environmental technology laboratory at SNL was com- pleted on time and for less than the budgeted $49 million. This 151,000-square- foot facility provides laboratory space for research and analytical support for the production, maintenance, and dismantlement of nuclear weapons. Front-end planning, tight scope control, and customer involvement contributed significantly to the success of this NNSA project. COMMON FACTORS Several factors contributed to the success of the projects discussed above. Most notable among these is front-end planning and a well-functioning project team that demonstrated teamwork and excellent communication. Active risk management and mitigation and tight schedule and scope control were in place for each of the successful projects. Extensive acquisition planning and the use of innovative acquisition strategies were also common factors. It was evident that lessons learned in the early phases of the projects were incorporated into planning and were used in dealing with issues that emerged during execution of the project. Finally, a clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of the project team and close coordination with the end user throughout the project were frequently cited as critical to project success. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Finding: DOE has executed several recent projects successfully and on or ahead of budget and schedule, as indicated by its 2002 project management award program. Finding: While all projects considered for 2002 awards were initiated prior to the publication of DOE Order O 413.3, the principles and procedures required by the Order and outlined in this and prior committee reports were important factors in successful completion. Finding: Lessons learned from briefings by award recipients have application to project personnel who did not attend the Project Management Workshop. Recommendation: Copies of briefings by the 2002 award recipients should be distributed to all field offices that have project personnel.
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72 PROGRESS IN IMPROVING PROJECT MANAGEMENT AT THE DOE Finding. NNSA and EM were the only program offices that participated in the 2002 project management awards program. Other DOE offices that execute projects had no nominations. Recommendation: DOE should determine why the other program components did not participate in the awards program. DOE should encourage full participa- tion in the future. Finding: The Project Management Workshop is a step forward in recognizing exemplary projects and project managers and in building a sense of professional- ism among project personnel. Recommendation: DOE should continue and even expand this workshop in future years. REFERENCES DOE (Department of Energy). 2000. Proceedings, Program and Project Management Workshop 2000, October 17-19, 2000. Washington, D.C.; Department of Energy. DOE. 2002. Proceedings, Program and Project Management Workshop 2002, March 19. Washing- ton, D.C.; Department of Energy.
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