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Communicating Mega Project Status to Management

For decades project professionals have utilized various planning, scheduling and risk tools to manage their capital projects. The ideal outcome has always been to execute on-time and on budget. In reality, this is rarely achieved, thus creating the space in which executives and project managers seek for ways to improve performance.

More recently, the category of “mega projects” has come into being. These projects encompass a vast array of categories and require enormous resources to complete. Mega projects are extremely large-scale investment projects, typically costing more than $1 billion and involving extreme complexity. The issue of completing mega projects on-time and on budget becomes even more critical, and unfortunately, many mega-projects have a record of poor delivery.

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A key challenge in mega projects is capturing and communicating project status to management, partners and the broader community of project stakeholders. Often mega-projects involve a large number of modules and contractors, each with separate detailed plans. There are many dependencies, creating a complex picture. Consolidating this into a one-page format that management can utilize to absorb key points can be tricky.

“For the Johan Sverdrup project, management required a monthly consolidated view of project status as a basis for making decisions. We utilized Safran to design a one-pager showing the full remaining scope, aggregated from lower level activity schedules. This Project Master Schedule has been a key part of our organization’s ability to stay proactive on this mega project,” said Blake Fox, Project Planning Manager at Statoil.

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