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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Improving Project Management in the Department of Energy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9627.
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Improving Project Management in the Department of Energy

Committee to Assess the Policies and Practices of the Department of Energy to Design, Manage, and Procure Environmental Restoration, Waste Management, and Other Construction Projects

Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Improving Project Management in the Department of Energy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9627.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the author according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies, and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

This work was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Contract Number DE-AC01-98FD00037. All opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed herein are those of the National Research Council and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Energy.

A limited number of copies of this report are available from the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment, National Research Council, 2001 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., HA-274, Washington, D.C. 20007, 202-334-3376.

Additional copies of this report are available from:
National Academy Press,
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Box 285, Washington, D.C. 20055 800-624-06242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu
International Standard Book Number: 0-309-06626-3

Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Improving Project Management in the Department of Energy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9627.
×

COMMITTEE TO ASSESS THE POLICIES AND PRACTICES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY TO DESIGN, MANAGE, AND PROCURE ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION, WASTE MANAGEMENT, AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

KENNETH F. REINSCHMIDT, chair,

Stone and Webster, Inc. (retired), Littleton, Massachusetts

PHILIP R. CLARK,

GPU Nuclear Corporation (retired), Boonton, New Jersey

FRANK P. CRIMI,

Lockheed Martin Advanced Environmental Systems Company (retired), Saratoga, California

LLOYD A. DUSCHA,

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (retired), Reston, Virginia

G. BRIAN ESTES,

U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps (RADM, CEC, U.S. Navy, retired), Williamsburg, Virginia

PAUL H. GILBERT,

Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas, Inc., Seattle, Washington

ALVIN H. MUSHKATEL,

Arizona State University, Tempe

RAY O. SANDBERG,

Bechtel Inc. (retired), Moraga, California

ALAN SCHRIESHEIM,

Argonne National Laboratory (Director Emeritus), Chicago, Illinois

MARK N. SILVERMAN,

U.S. Department of Energy Rocky Flats Field Office (retired), Highlands Ranch, Colorado

RICHARD I. SMITH,

Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories (retired), Kennewick, Washington

REBECCA SNOW,

Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C.

CLYDE B. TATUM,

Stanford University, Stanford, California

Staff

RICHARD G. LITTLE, Study Director

JOHN A. WALEWSKI, Program Officer

LORI J. DUPREE, Administrative Assistant

AMANDA PICHA, Administrative Assistant

DUNCAN BROWN, Consultant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Improving Project Management in the Department of Energy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9627.
×

BOARD ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE CONSTRUCTED ENVIRONMENT

JAMES O. JIRSA, chair,

University of Texas, Austin

BRENDA MYERS BOHLKE,

Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., Herndon, Virginia

JACK E. BUFFINGTON,

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

RICHARD DATTNER,

Richard Dattner Architect, P.C., New York, New York

CLAIRE FELBINGER,

American University, Washington, D.C.

AMY GLASMEIER,

Pennsylvania State University, University Park

CHRISTOPHER M. GORDON,

Massachusetts Port Authority, Boston

NEIL GRIGG,

Colorado State University, Fort Collins

DELON HAMPTON,

Delon Hampton & Associates, Washington, D.C.

GEORGE D. LEAL,

Dames & Moore, Inc., Los Angeles, California

VIVIAN LOFTNESS,

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

MARTHA A. ROZELLE,

The Rozelle Group, Ltd., Phoenix, Arizona

SARAH SLAUGHTER,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

RAE ZIMMERMAN,

New York University, New York

Staff

RICHARD G. LITTLE, Director,

Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment

LYNDA L. STANLEY, Director,

Federal Facilities Council

JOHN A. WALEWSKI, Program Officer

LORI DUPREE, Administrative Associate

AMANDA PICHA, Administrative Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Improving Project Management in the Department of Energy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9627.
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Preface

The 105th Congressional Committee of Conference on Energy and Water Development directed the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to undertake a review and assessment of its overall management structure and processes for identifying, managing, designing and constructing facilities (House Report 105-271). The language directed that this review be done by an impartial, independent organization with expertise in the evaluation of government management and administrative functions. Consequently, DOE requested that the National Research Council (NRC) conduct a study to review the policies, procedures, and practices used by DOE to identify, plan, design, and manage its portfolio of projects. The goal of the study was to develop recommendations to improve DOE's oversight and management of projects.

A committee formed under the auspices of the NRC's Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment was chartered to review and assess the procurement and management of DOE's major construction projects, as well as its environmental restoration and waste management projects. The Committee to Assess the Policies and Practices of the Department of Energy to Design, Manage, and Procure Environmental Restoration, Waste Management, and Other Construction Projects comprised 13 experts with backgrounds in project management, contracting, budgeting and estimating costs; environmental remediation and waste management; civil, environmental, and nuclear engineering; government management and administration; and systems and performance analysis. The committee had extensive collective experience with DOE policies, procedures, and practices for identifying project requirements, developing scopes of work, executing and managing design, preparing cost estimates and schedules,

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Improving Project Management in the Department of Energy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9627.
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selecting contract types, and executing and managing environmental restoration, waste management, and construction projects.

The committee as a whole met four times over a six-month period, and a subgroup convened for one writing session. The committee also visited various DOE field and operating offices, laboratories, and construction sites and met with representatives from many program and operating offices in Washington, D.C. Invitations were extended to DOE's senior-level management, program managers, and project managers, as well as contractors and various stakeholders with an interest in DOE's projects. The committee thus was given presentations by representatives of the diverse elements involved with projects and project management.

Despite the daunting task of reviewing and assessing DOE's policies and practices to design, manage, and procure environmental restoration, waste management, and other construction projects in just six months, the committee was able to reach a clear consensus on the findings and recommendations.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank DOE headquarters, field offices, sites, and laboratory staffs, as well as the contractors and the many other individuals who provided information for this study for their time, patience, and openness in discussing these complex issues. The committee found many knowledgeable, informed, concerned, thoughtful, and, unfortunately, frustrated people in DOE and among its contractors; many of their ideas and suggestions are reflected in the findings and recommendations of the committee.

Many aspects of DOE's development, delivery, and management of projects could be improved significantly. Congress has expressed its interest in improving the process by requesting this study, and many DOE employees and contractors expressed a similar interest during the course of this study. The committee found no single reason why DOE projects often fail to meet their anticipated costs and schedules. Rather, the committee found that many factors, sometimes called the DOE culture, contribute to the high failure rate. The issues are not insurmountable however; other federal agencies and private-sector organizations do successfully deliver capital facilities, as well as environmental remediation and wastes management services, in similarly complex settings.

The committee recognizes that many DOE projects, although they are desirable and valuable, are essentially part of the discretionary budget and that DOE's total budgets have been under pressure. The perception that project acquisition funds are not being spent wisely generates even more pressure to reduce them. In the final analysis, Congress may not be able to manage projects directly, but it can control losses by reducing the funding for them. Consequently, if DOE does not make program-wide improvements, funding for all of its projects will be jeopardized. Excessive costs and unmet schedules attributable to project mismanagement have delayed the essential cleanup of contaminated sites, increased the potential exposure of the public to contamination, increased costs to taxpayers, and reduced the number of essential projects that can be funded. Current and

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Improving Project Management in the Department of Energy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9627.
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future projects in DOE's portfolio include both conventional construction projects and projects of enormous scope, complexity, and cost, including the cleanup of by-products of the Cold War and facilities critical to scientific discovery for the next century. These important projects, and the people of the United States, deserve excellent project management, and the goal of this committee has been to provide recommendations that can be used by DOE to improve project delivery and performance.

KENNETH F. REINSCHMIDT, CHAIR

COMMITTEE TO ASSESS THE POLICIES AND PRACTICES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY TO DESIGN, MANAGE, AND PROCURE ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION, WASTE MANAGEMENT, AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Improving Project Management in the Department of Energy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9627.
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Acknowledgment

This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council (NRC) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The following individuals participated in the review of this report:

Donald Brand, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (retired)

Sol Burstein, Wisconsin Electric Power (retired)

James Diekmann, University of Colorado

Harold Forsen, National Academy of Engineering

William Friend, Bechtel Group, Inc.

George Jasny, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. (retired)

Milton Levenson, Bechtel International (retired)

Richard Meserve, Covington & Burling

Don Pearman, Bechtel Group, Inc.

Gail Pesyna, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Henry Schwartz, Sverdrup Civil, Inc.

Theodore Stern, Westinghouse Electric Corporation (retired)

While the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

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