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How much time should planning take?

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Marcio Sampaio
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Dear all,

I’d appreciate your opinion about this topic. If i have a team that works with planning and control but also with site fiscalization, how much time this team should take with planning and control?

Regards.

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Philip Jonker
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Hi James,
Figure it out for yourself

Regards

Philip
James Griffiths
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Agreed! Now what was I saying?
Philip Jonker
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Now lets get back to how long planning should take, as soon a posible, as a plan is needed.
Philip Jonker
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I had my wife read the whole posting, and she is so happy there is still some people who can walk on water, however, she still prefers the water to wine trick.
James Griffiths
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Peter,

WAGR isn’t yet at the greenfield stage.

You’re quite correct in that all this decommissioning stuff is being well-documented, and you are entitled to your views as to what is or isn’t special in terms of a project. However, there are certain fundamental issues that need to be resolved; issues that I would not be at liberty to reveal. These issues, in my mind, will have quite an impact upon the end-result.

James.
Peter Holroyd
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James,
Civil NPS’s - well obviously none in the UK as that’s the current life cycle stage of the facilities.

However quite a few piles/power reactors have been returned to a green field site as well as more difficult n facilities. (WAGR has been well documented for the last 25 years)

All were done to the standards of the day, as are all jobs.

You just have to accept the nature of the industry / client poses particular difficulties for which the project should have mitigation measures in its Risk Planning. I still don’t think it is any more special than any other business sector.
James Griffiths
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Peter,

I’m happy for you to enlighten me with regard to any NPS’ that have been fully decommissioned, dismantled and returned to a greenfield site, in accordance with current government requirements and safety standards.

James. :-)
PS. There are some things that are still secret. Problem is; if we knew what they were, they wouldn’t be secret. Am I paranoid?
Peter Holroyd
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James,

it suprising how much info is in the Public Domain and there are the people still around who did this the first time round
James Griffiths
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Philip,

Thank you for your background. There is nothing “unfortunate” about it, and it’s nice to read of other people’s experience. It helps the other readers understand from where you are coming.

Personally, I will disagree with most of what you say. Firstly, all projects begin in the mind and, if lucky, conclude in the physical entity of the original vision. How else do you think a project is conceptualised and then realised? It is the people, from start-to-finish.

How Project Management authors come to think of weddings as the most interesting and varied projects, is beyond me. Relatively speaking, they are so simple. Book the church/place of ceremony, then arrive on the day. In terms of project achievement, everything else is peripheral. You get up to a year’s notice, and if you can’t organise a dinner-party and a few friends within that time, then one has a serious organisational defect. Philip, I think that you have been watching too many comedy films and are overtly influenced by others’ thinking process.

With regard to my site experience etc; when I discuss situations with the engineer, I actually get a very good response and I have had absolutely no problems. This applies to both young and more senior persons. I have only had difficulty with “the management”, mainly, in my opinion, because they always want to look good and dislike it when we present the facts to them or ask them direct questions. None of this is deliberately designed to embarrass them. It is done to get the most accurate answers possible in order to assess the situation and determine the alternative solutions. However, some people just don’t want to be helped…and perhaps I’ve just had the misfortune to have worked with a number of people whom have suffered these delusions of megalomania. Therefore, why should I get stressed-out? Just leave them to it! As it turns-out, though, the most abusive SM’s were allegedly ripping-off the company. I wonder if that had anything to do with their attitude? There are, however, a number of PMs with whom I would happily go on-site and work for. Now these are the guys with whom I have been through the “design-phase” of the project, and are aware of the potential of the planning function, owing to the fact that, perhaps much to their chagrin, they realise that my programme analyses have proved correct. Ultimately, though, the site-work is probably best left to the more specialist personnel….and I’m happy for that to happen, because my specialism lies in the design elements and not the installation.

Philip, I also enjoy what I do so, if the opportunity allows me to do that which I enjoy, in conjunction with a good work-life balance, then you have no grounds on which to denigrate. Moreover, I am just happy that I have the ability to know when to kick-ass and when to shut-up.

Cheers.

James :-)
Philip Jonker
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James,

Unfortunately my answers to your questions are yes, to most of them. I spent my time on the drawing board, then went out and got a bursary, I studied engineering, and did some serious design, did some time under some brilliant engineers, and probably one of the best geotechnical people in the world, the author of multiple books. I worked on technology, and figured out simple solutions for difficult problems, have written technical papers, I speak to artisans and the rest of the people on sites, and never get abuse. The projects I have worked on has been varied, and some of them unique in terms, but the experince I had on other smaller projects, helped me to understand, some of the greater problems. I spent over 20 years of my working life, before I became a planner. I was not preaching, but projects, does not begin in one man’s mind, and end up in a planning schedule. No project is unique anymore, as you claim every project you work on, as they are all just bigger varieries of previous projects.
The most varied and interesting projects, as proclaimed by project management authors, are in fact weddings, this is after the Lunar landings by NASA. We all have families, and like to spend time with them, and if this was the criteria, I should have become an accountant. My suggestion is that there is good scope for planning weddings, and in fact, there is a movie about it.

M y problem is I enjoy what I do, don’t complain about my fate, and help to get he job done.

Regards

Philip
James Griffiths
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Peter,

The big secret is what’s in them. Nobody really knows. It’s not just the reactor, young bean, it’s everything surrounding it as well. Almost every one is unique...with 50 years of people just dumping stuff, moving kit around, leaving it there for no reason etc.

Can’t say anymore. Official Secrets Act and all that, you know ;-)

James.
Peter Holroyd
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James,
I know we may have to self destruct for saying this but I didn’t know we had any secret NPS - most NPS in the UK are pretty well recorded and quite a few Zero Power Reactors have been removed safely already. Apart from the Client any thing else special?
Nigel Winkley
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Quote - "it’s the bloody client that makes it complicated."

Oh sooooo true!

For those of a neervous disposition the above "b" word is NOT swearing, it is actually blasphemy! See, the trivial info you get on this site!

Nige ;-)
James Griffiths
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We’d just bury the whole damned station under 10 billion tons of concrete. But they want to have sheep walking all over it.
James Griffiths
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Nah, the job’s easy......it’s the bloody client that makes it complicated. Probably the same as all projects. If it wasn’t for the customers we could all do our jobs so well.
Nigel Winkley
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James - you make it sound complicated :-))
James Griffiths
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Peter,

How about ripping-apart a secret Nuclear Power Station....safely!
Peter Holroyd
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James,
sorry to go on about it but what is it that you are doing that’s so special ?

exotic materials with ultra long lead times in a busy market place are common across many industries

we all have to deal with old drawings / non existent records / incorrect as built info

Clients changing the ground rules is also a fact of life as well as their demanding nature

James Griffiths
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Peter,

Essentially, it’s never been done before...and certainly not on the scale that we’re currently doing it.

Of course, the basic principles of Project Management apply, but when you get the client changing safety categories and definitions, materials that are ultra-specialised and drawings that are 50 years old...and don’t contain all the subsequent changes of the structure, then you can understand our situation. This is but to name a few.

In comparison, the "conventional work" should be soooo simple.

James :-)
Peter Holroyd
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Are you allowed to say whats "never been done before" or is that just the limits of knowledge of the project team.
Most projects are unique in some sense but should follow basic good practice project management rules.
James Griffiths
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Hi Philip,

Thank you for your words-of-wisdom. I agree with almost everything you said in post 27, with regard to the Designers, Draughtsmen etc. However, I think you ought to choose some of your words more carefully and be more forgiving. Firstly though, you keep harking-back to this word “allowed”. I hadn’t even used that word, yet your whole post seems to be geared around it.

It is not my “mistake” by not going to site. I have been on site, I have seen how it is done, I have had the hassle, the rantings and ravings of the client, the PM, the SM, the massive overload of incorrect and missing detail that has been conveniently forgotten. I have had them completely ignore the fundamentals, thus pay the penalty, despite everything I have told them. As I am not a martyr, I have, therefore, chosen to avoid going to site. They just don’t pay me enough to undergo such purgatory and drag me away from my family for months-on-end.

Obviously I cannot speak for your experience, but before you go espousing and criticising, you must bear in mind that you do not know exactly what we do. To help clarify; almost every project we undertake is unique; a one-off. Almost nothing like it has ever been done before. We are helping to rectify the legacy of 50 years of nonchalance and indifference. We are not just “building new”; we are simultaneously “dismantling the old”. There is no historical experience upon which anyone can call. There is no-one who can say “this is the way that we did it before” because it has NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. Is this not a very good excuse to take longer than anticipated. Add this to the fact of Money & Politics and you have a situation where you are running-around in a barrel of molasses. However, people have been building towers, railways, bridges, pipelines for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It’s all been done hundreds of times before…..so what’s their excuse? If “conventional” work still costs more and takes longer, there must be some reason for it.

Philip: Before you go slagging-off the various resources involved in a project (although we all do it) try to put yourself in their position. You should have done their jobs, literally. Have you yourself ever actually designed something completely unique, from scratch; manufactured it yourself (or commissioned a company to do it for you), installed it, commissioned it and written the Ops/Maintenance manuals for a readership that has never even heard of the equipment. I mean, literally, yourself…..not watched someone else do it, or “planned” for someone else to do it. Moreover, if you have done ALL OF IT, did you have a plan for it, and did you compare your plan to that of actual? Then and only then, will you be able to speak from authority as opposed to sciolism. I HAVE DONE IT ALL, literally. Only when you have done it yourself, including comparing your plan to actual, can you begin to wonder where all the time and effort went….and I bet you’ll never be able to account for it all. The REAL knowledge of planning, therefore, is knowing WHY things take so long.…….and you’ll probably discover that this is activity and miniscule detail that can never be incorporated into a programme. If you did, no-one would ever believe you.

In conclusion: You will rarely get the opportunity to lead the same horse to the same water on more than one or two occasions and be in a position to make them drink. However, when you get some egotistical, contract PM or SM that wants to make his mark, you have little choice but to defer to them. Kicking the horse will rarely get him to drink and, if you make too much fuss, all you will serve to do is bug it. Remember; the horse is a damned-site bigger than you, and if it feels so inclined, it’ll teach you a lesson that you’ll never forget. It will soon learn, though, that not drinking is fatal. Then, and only then, will it understand and appreciate what you do, and maybe they will take that lesson with them on their next mission. But why should you worry…..you’ll be gone by then! Either that or you will get the opportunity to remind them of what happened last time…...and what better reward than watching someone having learned…finally!

Cheers.

James :-)
Philip Jonker
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By the way James,

The last guy the used the F-word in the context that you described earlier was a project manager rather than a site manager, and he fell on his backside as he back pedalled and tripped over a step out of the office, he took of and ran away, I have witnesses, we all killed ourself laughting. Work on you site skills.
Philip Jonker
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Hi James,

Your first mistake is not going on site, the second, is I work in all phases, from conceptual design, through to commissioning. If designers, and draughtsmen were allowed 2 years, I would readily go back to design.

The point is that the designers, normally exceed their allocated design duration by 100%, the draughtsmen exceed their durations by 50%, mainly as a result of designers changing their minds. Then comes procurement, who procrastinate, and when the action starts, is when the drawings hit the fabricators shop floor. Between them and the erection tem, they have already lost 50% of their time to the designers and the draughtsman, then comes the revisions. The amazing field of document controls then kicks into gear, trying to keep up with the revisions. Then comes the material controllers who have to hope the document controllers are doing their job properly. And then the poor erection guys, who make the best of it, and fix the errors, with no hotwork permits, and only a cutting torch at hand. I would suggest, get up of your pony, and go and see life from the other perspective, maybe then you would train your pony to kick some ass, and the designers might wake up.
I spent my last four weeks mainly ondesign programs, and the designers cannot remember what they said yesterday.
Been there, have got the T-shirt

Regards,

Philip
James Griffiths
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Hi Philip,

You might have mis-read that which I wrote. I stated that the programmes "....are generally about two years in duration..."; not that we "allow" two years. This seems to be about the usual duration of the "design" elements of our projects. It is the design phase on which I usually work. The site stuff can last as long as 18 months, depending on exactly what is being installed and the interfaces. However, I try to avoid going on site.

Because you and I work in different environments, our understanding as to what’s involved, during different phases, will also be different. Moreover, our levels of detail will be different, as will our processes. All of this will determine how much time the planning/project administration will take. One of the biggest challenges, during the design phase, is that there is not necessarily any distinctive logical order in which the design elements will occur....but that’s a different story.

Hope this clarifies.

James
Philip Jonker
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Hi james,
I am referring to your first posting, where you allow designers two years, Pleases explain this process, as I have a problem with this issue.
Gwen Blair
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James,
In total agreement. I think the smart money is to pick a good exit point for both your own personal gain/credit and no that does not mean increased day rate but professional reputation and a good exit point for the project e.g end of a phase/milestone.
Even in times of feast as today, it would bode well to leave on good terms ensuring a good handover bladeblah.
Thats the theory but all too often other factors such as disagreement in HSE or rather lack of it, seeing you are about to be made the scapegoat, personal circumstances and yes an offer too good to refuse can pull you in an other direction leaving only minimal contractual obligations to fulfil in your notice.
Many a Site Manager treats the Planner as a Corporate millstone round his neck only to awaken to reality as all goes Jolie Pitts up when he realises what he is being told my "his" men is only what he wants to hear.
Jerry Alivio
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Hi! Ronald,

I certainly drink to that...agree.

Cheers!

Jerry
Ronaldo Quilao
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Hello there!

I think my opinion is there is no such permanent position when it comes to the nature of our work. After the project everybody must go and look for another, its just that everyone will go one at a time depending on the requirements of the finishing works. Although sometimes you have a "regular position" in a certain firm but then again you can’t be sure that you will have a permanent work or continous work when suddenly the management decided to change their Organizational Chart just to found out that your position is redundant, or they have changed their strategies, or simply the project is completed,whatever. Construction is a time basis work...although it is a cycle and continous line of work...but everybody including those Project Managers, Construction Managers, all managers and most specially those technical and professional staff are all dispensable after the project or when the project is nearly completed.

My friendly advise is we must diversified...a jack of all trade ...in our engineering profession..you can be a planner, sometimes a project engineer, a field engineer, a design engineer, a surveyor, a construction manager, sometimes just to survive you will need to be a coordinator, an office engineer or so...just for a living...its that okay?

Regards,

Ronald
Charleston-Joseph...
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Possibly,

half / half

Anyway, the working time will also be:

Half/ Half

so the salary will also be

half / half

cheers,

Charlie
James Griffiths
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Maybe I’ve just worked on Projects that, once they’ve reached the last few weeks of Inactive Commissioning /snagging-list point, they just chuck all plans out of the window (therefore all Planners get chucked-out also). The work gets summarised into one or two bars with the Site Manager’s best guess, using experience, wet-fingers and XL lists. Maybe you lot work to the bitter-end but I can find far more interesting things to do than bang my head against a brick wall. Have you ever had a Site Manager literally turn around and tell you to F**K Off? If the Site Manager has the highest authority, and he doesn’t want any "planners", what choice does one have...boooHooo:-(

Seriously though: There comes a point in any project where the dynamics are such that the cost of employing the "planning effort" is just not warranted. Where that point lies will vary according to the project. However, you will soon get the idea where it is, because people will listen to you even less than usual and tell you to go somewhere and fornicate. Maybe I work for a company whose planning philosophy is still in the dark-ages. In fact I KNOW it is!! But I also know that, if they think you’re useless, they’ll soon get rid of you (in fact they’ll get rid of you even if you’re very-good, but don’t like what you have to say). So, sometimes ’tis better to keep quiet and go find something-else to do.

James :-)
Jerry Alivio
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H1! Guys,

It seems that every body is worried about the existence of the Planners, can any project that worth Millions will have a Planner for a couple of months only, the answer is "no" planning and Project Control are one of the most important Department of a Management Team in every project.

They are the unique, a multi discipline Engineers who knows most of the Functions and activities in every project, and Managers are relying on them.

I agree for somebody saying that planners can be a project Manager, sure! this happens to me, before I reach to this level i was once a planner too. And it makes a difference for those Managers that doesn’t have experienced in Planning. I think there are more planners now a Managers.

Cheers!

Jerry

Edgar Ariete
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Hi James,

Perhaps for the past two scores of existence, I’ve never been too serious. And given this opportunity to express oneself on the lighter side, I hope nobody here would take what they read too seriously. Thanks to this website! Who said that life is’nt fair on this planet??!!

Going back to the topic (serious this time), I understand that Planning goes with time & budget, & taking the example in my previous post, is there a norm on this? Wherein you can probably say that a certain project that was planned to last for 10 years will involved planning works measured to terminate in seven or eight years? And the rest would be monitoring & updating works which can be done by a clerk or a secretary?

Anything goes wrong blame the Planner!! Oh, where are the Claims Consultants??? (the Client is willing to pay more!)..

Poor Planner!!...if lucky, he will become a project manager!

cheers,

Edgar
Charleston-Joseph...
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Hi guys (no gals involve with this post),

The time for planning is the working time you spent for that project. It will be for as long as you are assigned in the project, until completion.

In P5, you can assign one planner to a particular scope and his time allocated will be to ensure he carry on with the job. In the event that some team member are doing relax because he happen to got high IQ, efficient very senior, etc., then give him more work to ensure the time spen (generally, 8hrs per day) will be useful.

regards,

Charlie
James Griffiths
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Hi Edgar,

Dunno if your comment was meant to be Tongue-in-Cheek but in essence it is probably true. A Contract Planner, as opposed to a permanent member of staff, will cost you equally as much as the Site manager/PM. If, however, you only need about 1-hour of work to get an 85% level of accuracy, you will still have to pay the planner for a full day. Spending an additional 9 hours on the "planning" will probably get you to only a 90% level of accuracy because all you are doing is just generating more data that has to be input. The accuracy of that data is not necessarily going to be better....so why not get the PM to update the programme to an 85% accuracy and spend only 1 hour? [all figures are approximate only and your statutory rights are affected...so there!] :-)

Aint got not no advice about staying on a project. I tend to be bored-stiff after about 3 years, unless I can see the entrance of a new Phase of the project.

Cheers.

James.
Edgar Ariete
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Hi James,

So, what can you advise to Planners to stay longer in the project? Apply as Project Manager or Site Manager instead? The Client can save more..

cheers..
James Griffiths
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Hi Edgar,

You are probably right in that the project will reach a point whereby a planner, as such, will no-longer be required....or at least only on a minimal basis. We reached this point several years ago during an Inactive Commissioning phase. There were just so many jobs to be done, in no particularly logical order, that any attempt to formally plan them was just a waste of time. Things were changing on an hour-by-hour basis such that you could really only summarise the task groups. This is where the formal plan has to give-way to "punch-lists". If the Site Manager/Team Leader has a basic ability with the software, he could update the progress as a general guide, and that would be almost as accurate as an army of planners/administrators, but at 1/10th of the cost.

As a planner, the trick is to know when the time is right to jump ship.

James.
Edgar Ariete
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Hi All,

I believe that planning should go throughout the lifespan of a project if you consider planning as the soul of a project. But for a certain responsibility, is there a stage in a project wherein you can reasonably say that planning or a planner is not anymore necessary?

For example:

A single project was originally planned for 10 years (total duration) with an X budget for planning.

1. If a planner works for a Client..
2. If a planner works for an Engineer..
3. If a planner works for a Contractor..

What are the vital considerations & the limits to which Planning can be undertaken by each party? How far Planners should stay in the project?

cheers..

Jerry Alivio
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Hi! Mirgol,

In your case, I think you need somebody to assist you. Well, if you need one just ring my bell..

Cheers!

Jerry
Ronaldo Quilao
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Dear Fellow Planner,

I would suggest to apply also what we called a Time Planning (Time Management actually). No matter how big our project is or large number of activities in it. We need to have a separate programme in our planning and control (set our tracking and monitoring tools, freeze the format and frequency of submission of raw data from the field and or from different diciplines to be used in up-dating or planning, etc)activities, set our priorities, determine the level of reporting required by the client, the project and the team.

Then you will see and will find out that you still have much time to do some other things aside from planning and control.

Ronald Quilao
James Griffiths
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Marcio,

From my own recent experience, which is actually in the Design of Nuclear Handling equipment, I would not expect a team of that size, on a full-time basis, to administer a 3000 line, 1-year programme. If your programme is fully resource-loaded and cost-loaded, the software should be able to generate reports automatically. Of course, you will receive lots of input from engineers, departmental managers and site people, but it sounds as though a few people will be doing very little for most of the time. As an exact record; my hours and our financial people booked an average of a total of 133 hours per month. This excludes the input of the PM himself, who might spend 20% of his time. However, we only produced formal reports once-a-month, although we could get pretty-good interim reports at any time.

The scheduler would be very busy, and I’d expect him to have to spend 45+ hours per week inputting the data and outputting the reports.

The essence of minimising the cost of administering a project is based on getting the correct programme structure originally. Thereafter, the amount of change, the level of reporting and frequency of reporting are the next determinants of time. On my latest project, the 4000 line one, the basic structure has hardly changed, so I’ve been very lucky. However, I’ve had to perform an awful lot of re-sequencing, owing to the fact that the engineers have been chopping-and-changing the packages on which they have been working. If I were to exclude the time spent doing that, then I could have cut down my own administration time to an average of about 20 hours-per-week.

To me, it sounds as if your "team" is rather too big. However, other PEs might have different experiences.

Hope this helps.

James.
Marcio Sampaio
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James;

I’m intending to do something like this:

Our team has 5 members.

1 for Financial and Cost
1 Scheduler (Primavera user)
1 for Reports (Monthly and Weekly)
2 for site fiscalyze.

Better then everybody doing everything.

Hope it works.

Thanks again for your help and response.

Regards.

Marcio Eduardo
Edgar Ariete
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it is endless...
James Griffiths
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Hi Marcio,

In all our projects we have a section called "Project Management". This will comprise tasks such as Planning, Project Manager, Technical Consulting, Engineering Co-ordination, Financial Control, Legal Consulting etc. These tasks will not normally contain any more detail, owing to the fact that it would be impossible to break them down any further nor would you gain any real advantage by doing so (unless you really, really, really want to be that detailed). They would have a duration that stretches from day 1 right to the end of the project. You would then apply an estimated average quantity of hours per week or cost against each one. You can then monitor your Actual Cost in order to determine your rate of spend per month. You can informally monitor the type of work that they are doing ie. producing reports, discussing progress with the engineers, inputting data, chasing people for other information, checking the integrity of data etc. If what you are doing is costing more than the average cost per week, and seems "normal" and is likely to continue throughout the project duration, then you know that you have under-budgeted.

Although I do all the planning and programme administration, we have another person who does the Financial Control...and they spend about 6 hours per week. In addition, our Project Manager probably spends about 1 day per week just on senior-level financial data management and client reporting.

From what you describe, your project would need one full-time planner...and that planner would be working quite hard just to administer the basic project data, excluding any major changes. Would your tasks be generally short-duration (up to 1-2 weeks), medium duration (up to 1 month) or long duration. This will determine how many "live" tasks are running at the same time.....more live tasks usually means more time spent on collecting progress data and more time just inputting data. Moreover, if your reporting cycle is short, ie. every week, then you will probably be spending most of your time just inputting data...unless you have an automated system. Ultimately you have to be careful as to the amount of information that you generate, otherwise you could be spending all your time just chasing your tail.

If I’ve completely mis-interpreted your question, and given you a load of nonsensical waffle, please beat me with a tree :-)

Cheers.

James.


Marcio Sampaio
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Hello James;

First of all, thanks a lot for your response.

I’m talking about both: "construct the plan or administer the plan during the project".

Our manager think that it’s possible to use same team to plan, control and fiscalyze. I’m agree, but still don’t know how to stipulate time for this activities.

We have a project with 3000 activities in about 1 year.

And your answer is going to be very helpfull.

Thanks again.

Marcio Eduardo

James Griffiths
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Marcio,

Please give more details about your project, as it is a little unclear as to your question. Are you asking about how long it should take to construct the plan or administer the plan during the project?

Initially, the length of time taken to construct the plan is dependent upon how big the project is and how much detail you wish to put into it. The more detail you have, the more time you will spend on updating the data. You must also consider what the reporting requirements are going to be, because a plan can only be analysed according to the level of detail that has been input. Moreover, you must also account for the likelihood of "change" (lots of change, on a programme with lots of detail means a real pain-in-the-bum). Essentially, a whole series of questions need to be answered first. The answer to those questions will determine the amount of time required, thus resulting in the total number of people required to execute the work.

I work mainly with "Design" programmes that are generally about two years in duration (already having done the basic concept design). My current programme took about 8-10 weeks of intensive work, by myself, to input the programme structure, logic linking and resourcing - for a total of about 4000 lines, spread across 12 different work-packages, using 5 engineers. However, I had an extremely good understanding of what I wanted to achieve, having already worked on the previous phase of the project. Moreover, we are using Project Central/Server to have the engineers book their time directly onto programme activities (saves enormous amounts of time...thus leaving me to do the analysis). Ultimately there was quite a lot of "change", but that is more do to with changing the sequence of the work-packages, as opposed to any of the detail that lies under each of the packages. All this, on average takes about 28 hours per week (I’ve literally just looked at my timesheet bookings for the project). We now have 17 engineers (we crashed the project) and, although the team is significantly bigger, the amount of administration time is actually less. This is due to the fact that the resources are now allocated exclusively to one package....thus incurring less "change".

In summary: There will be a massive effort, up-front, to construct the initial programme....and it is this bit that you really need to get right, so don’t be afraid to spend the time on it....and it really will pay dividends later-on. Once the project reaches a steady-state operation, the amount of time spent will be determined by how much "change" there is, by the amount of analysis you are obliged to perform, how many "what-if" scenarios you undertake and how much arguing and faffing-around you have to indulge.

All of the above is based only in my environment. I’m sure that other people who work in an environment more like yours are likely to have more realistic figures.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

Cheers.

James.