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The Future of Project Controls: Expert Insight into the Biggest Opportunities of 2018

Last month, our annual conference Forum Safran 2017 gave Safran Project and Safran Risk software users the opportunity to learn, share and discover. At the heart of the conference were the ideas and experiences shared by the project controls and planning professionals that spoke at the event, such as Gunnar Myrebøe discussing his experience with Ocean Farming.

Our speakers were keen to share more information and insights, and we wanted to hear their thoughts on the future of project planning by asking them: What do you see as the biggest opportunity for project controls in 2018?

Proactive Project Controls

During Forum Safran, Santosh Bhat delivered the Perspectives on Schedule Risk from Infrastructure Projects keynote. Santosh is a Civil Engineering professional and principal consultant at Australasian Project Planning. He hopes the future of project controls holds more proactivity and scenario prediction, saying:

I would like to see an actual progress monitoring function and Project Controls being used increasingly as a proactive measure, rather than a reactive one. By offering “what if” scenarios project controls can become a vital part of any project decision-making process, rather than a simple data collection and reporting function.

Santosh Bhat, Australasian Project Planning

Project Control Visualisation

The chairman of Ocean Farming AS, Gunnar Myrebøe, presented another keynote: Applying oil and gas project experience in offshore fish farmingFor Gunnar Myrebøe, the key challenge many project managers are still facing is in getting the 'big picture'. He sees fixing this as the next big opportunity to improve project controls, saying:

Mega projects last for multiple years, normally with one central location for project management and control. Simultaneously, there could be 5 to 10 key supplier sites that are on the critical path for the project.

I would like to see a project control system that is able to integrate all activities and gives a clear picture of what is really on the critical path, and why. This “picture” should be visualized in a way that the teams really understand the situation and overall consequences. A “picture” is worth a thousand words and a simple activity line in a project schedule is not always a sufficient picture to wake up the whole team. I also want the opportunity to finally assess risks throughout the entire project life cycle: from initial concept through development to closeout.

‭Gunnar Myrebøe, Ocean Farming AS

Watch our capital project webinar to gain insight from Jonas Gran, project  planner on the Oslo Airport T2 project

Project Location Tagging

Manager of Resource Planning and Management at Neste, Mika Tepponen, delivered a talk on his Experiences from large refinery turnarounds using Safran Project. He hopes project controls will allow location and time data tagging to resolve location-based bottlenecks in the future, saying:

I would like to see the ability to add new types of data into project managements systems' basic data. For example, geographical location data/activity to see where and when the actual work is taking place.

This would help find location-based "bottlenecks" and "traffic jams" in a new way, by providing an easily approachable graphical view. This would require a map, where these items would be presented on a timeline so you can pause, fast-forward and backtrack if needed.

Mika Tepponen, Neste

Touch-screen Project Planning

Senior consultant, Bjørn Rosland, spoke on the Improved cooperation between owner/operators and contractors on large oil and gas capital projects. He hopes that project controls software will gain more functionality on touch-screen devices, saying:

I look forward to implementing Safran Project to Synchro (3D / 4D model). My hope is to use Synchro as a site tool to log actual progress on objects and then transfer the progress directly over to Safran Project.

I would also like Safran to develop a touch planning version making it possible to drag and drop activities on a big interactive wall, an iPad or any touchscreen device.

Bjørn Rosland, Safran

We hope that everyone at Forum Safran had a great time and gained plenty of insight into project management and risk analysis. Thank you so much to our speakers for their presentations and ideas.

If you want to learn more from project planning professionals, you can watch the Mega Project webinar on 30th November, where guest speaker Jonas Gran speaks of his experiences as project planner on the Oslo International Airport T2 project

Mega Project