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Key questions to increase project owner’s oversight in mega projects

STUDENT PAPER

By Tariq Hussain, M.Eng., PMP

Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Abstract

Project organizations utilize a phase gate process for execution of mega projects and successful completion of all phases indicates that the project has been completed and has achieved its objectives set by project owner. This increases project owner’s responsibility for oversight, project owners can accomplish this by asking some key questions about deliverables of each project phase which will increase their visibility and control, help keep track of progress of the phase deliverables, enable them to make informed decisions, help identify risks and address them proactively and ensures that the project teams attain the benefits of the phase gate process.

Background and Need

“Projects and programs are the vehicles for delivery of corporate strategies, effective project governance, within the corporate governance framework, has become a serious concern for organizations, offering company directors clear visibility and control of non-routine corporate operations and delivery capability” (Crawford, Cooke-Davies, 2005). “Effective management and oversight of complex construction projects is a critical challenge for project owners in the public sector” (Deloitte, 2007).

Project organizations utilize a phase gate process for execution of mega projects and by meeting the requirements of each phase they complete the projects successfully. The project owner’s team reviews the phase gate requirements to pass the gate, which ensures that the project achieves its objectives for that phase and can move to the next phase. Successful completion of all phases indicates that the project has been completed and has achieved its objectives set by project owner.

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Table 1.1: Phase gate process by Dr. Lavingia (2006).

This increases project owner’s responsibility for oversight through all phases of the project in order to keep track of progress and make informed decisions. This paper recommends senior executives or project sponsors in project owner organizations to ask some key questions for each project phase to increase their oversight. These questions are focused on goals for each phase and must be answered by the project teams in addition to completing the checklist for each phase gate. These questions will help project owners to identify key deliverables for each phase, track progress of the key phase deliverables, move onto the next phase with confidence, make timely and informed decisions, identify risks and address them proactively, use archived data and lessons learned, and ensure that the project teams benefit from the phase gate process.

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To read entire paper (click here)

 


 

About the Author

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Tariq Hussain

Calgary, AB, Canada

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Tariq Hussain
holds a Master’s of Engineering degree in Project Management from the University of Calgary and a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. He received his BSc in Pakistan.  Tariq has over 20 years of experience working in planning & scheduling and project management fields, in oil and gas, power transmission, telecommunication and pharmaceutical industries. His current research interests include PMO, project governance and the governance of mega projects in the oil and gas industry.  Mr. Hussain can be contacted at [email protected]