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Process Improvement Advice & Best Practices


Government Funded & Public Works Programs Adopt Critical Chain Project Management to Counter Impact of Budget Cuts

Submitted By: Brian MacClaren

Large scale infrastructure projects focused on building or repairing mass transportation systems, communication networks, power grids and public utilities require vast resources, community-wide support and disciplined management. Without consensus, focus and commitment, these multi-year, multi-million dollar initiatives can quickly stretch out of scope, over budget and off schedule. Local, state and federal government agencies are exploring critical chain project management methodologies (also known as CCPM) as a way of reducing infrastructure investment costs, shortening construction and repair times and maintaining quality and safety standards, while meeting community needs with less available funding. As a result, many public works programs are demonstrating cost and time savings of as much as 30%.

What are Common Public Works Projects?

Some of the most common and visible public works projects include the construction and repair of highways, roads, bridges, ports and tunnels as well as the installation and maintenance of water and sewage treatment plants, landfills, power stations, natural gas pipelines and telecommunication lines. These are vital, yet expensive investments for the communities they support. Most of these projects stretch out over multiple years, cost millions of dollars and many necessitate tax increases or public bonds to raise the required funding.

How Does CCPM Relate to Public Works Projects?

As far as project management goes, major public works projects can be difficult to manage due to the sheer volume of the players, the multiple stages and the complexity of the issues involved. If not managed properly, these expensive, lengthy initiatives can run over budget and off schedule very quickly. Over the last 5 years, CCPM has proven to be an effective management tool for overseeing public works projects. These initiatives require perfect coordination between many different publically-funded agencies, private enterprises and individuals, oftentimes with competing agendas. Infrastructure projects also demand careful management and documentation of the steady stream of decisions and purchases made throughout the course of a project. In addition, public projects require ongoing issue management and resolution to juggle budget constraints, weather conditions, environmental challenges, politics and labor issues. Because most infrastructure initiatives involve natural resources, time needs to be spent addressing the ecological impact of the materials, equipment and processes utilized as part of the project. Plus, public projects involve carefully navigating the intricacies and paperwork of zoning, ordinances, permits and local, state and federal laws. Delays at any juncture cost taxpayers time and money. CCPM enables project administrators to foresee, control, manage and avoid many of the common pitfalls.

Critical Chain Project Management Consultants, like NOVACES, specialize in the government sectors – specifically in public works projects. If you are involved in a publically-funded infrastructure project and would like help keeping it in-scope, on-time and in-budget, please use the form on this page to Schedule a Consultation with one of our CCPM Experts.

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