When You Cannot Do!


By Anil Seth

Fluor India

Gurgaon, India

I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.

~Larry Bird

Project Management looks difficult when you cannot deliver!

In one of my projects, our team was recommended to take up the job from an engineering consultant company which was not able to recover (in schedule) and hence required antiquated, skilled and thick skinned guys as finishers. Sounds complicated.. NO.

The simple rule of any mid-way management project is to take current stock of situation. This does not mean start questioning the handing over team “why certain activities are not done or   why documents are of bad quality.

As a minimum for such scenario always follow SIX RULE FUNDAMENTALS. These are :

Rule 1

Check the “To be completed and Remaining Project work Commitment. This needs to be checked with overall Project schedule and not with Engineering/Procurement /Construction stand-alone schedule. [Here there is a possibility that the handover may include some of the critical work under etcetera clause]

Rule 2

Check who is the main defaulter in arranging the required Input. At times this may not be the team painted as “defaulter”.

Rule 3

Make a clear scope of responsibility list. This list has to only cover “to go activity” and yes most important part is to correctly include the interface scope (i.e. battery limit demarcations/design basis scope/material management scope etc.).The Interface scope should also require revisiting the battery limit already defined. In Schedule crash projects, the handover team may not have adequate time to verify during handover…then? It is recommended to take (or seek) the buy-in in handover Kick-off Meeting (from client and not from “defaulter”).

Rule 4

Markup “to be developed area” on Plot plan or any other primary document (could be P&IDs) and distribute in the team.

For short term recovery, the factors governing the failure dominates .This means in all such RED Projects there is no reliability that the schedule negotiated at the time of handover will be good to go. Now this is the difficult part, HOW TO AVOID FALLING IN THE SAME TRAP OF EARLIER TEAM.


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About the Author

Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India



Mr. Anil Seth
is working as Project Manager in Fluor’s Indian office at Gurgaon. Fluor Daniel India Private Limited (Fluor India) provides a full range of engineering, design, procurement, and construction management services to Indian and overseas clients. Fluor India is an established quality provider of engineering, procurement, construction management (EPC) and project management services for Fluor’s energy and chemicals, power, mining, and industrial projects, and is a key support office for Fluor facilities located in North America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia Pacific

Earlier to Fluor, was in Larsen & Toubro Ltd. at Faridabad, India and managing the Project Engineering Manager Portfolio for hydrocarbon projects. Before joining Larsen & Toubro Engineering and construction division he has worked for Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited. He holds B.E. degree with Honors in CHEMICAL Engineering from Panjab University Chandigarh India and has also done Diploma in Environmental Management. He is certified for Harvard Manage Mentor and specializes in Building High Performance cross functional Task Force as well as Converting Breakeven Projects to Profitable scenario. He can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

To see other works by Anil Seth, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/mr-anil-seth/