How To Successfully Deliver A Flash Track Project

Have you ever been involved in a fast track project where the project schedule has been accelerated for some reason and the project team has to scramble to meet the key milestones and deliverables? How did that go for your project?

Generally, it ends in one or more of the stakeholders being disappointed because the project drops the ball on cost or quality or scope management and still ends up missing the fast tracked schedule deadlines!

In a post a few weeks ago, I described a research project that I worked on with CII regarding the Successful Delivery of Mega-Projects. At the same conference we presented our findings on Mega-Projects, another research team, RT-311, delivered their research results and recommendations on the Successful Delivery of Flash Track Projects. Basically, a Flash Track project is a fast track project executed even faster but successfully by using the processes developed by this research team. The research team basically took the previously developed PEpC Project Execution processes and developed a cPEpC project execution process. The cPEpC approach involves much more collaboration up front with all parties to define expectations and requirements. This process requires a realistic overlapping of collaboration, procurement, engineering, fabrication and construction.

All of this information and these processes are valuable but what I liked the most was the checklist and the tool that the team developed to understand the readiness of the project for the Flash Track mode. I think this checklist and the tool can be used productively on most projects. Basically, the RT311 team identified 47 factors in 6 categories that are critical for executing Flash Track projects. I have listed these below for your reference.

Contract Considerations

  1. Setting clear, specific scoping requirements
  2. Establishing performance-based specifications
  3. Aligning project participants’ interests through contract
  4. Establishing contract strategies specifically tailored to project conditions
  5. Establishing clear change management procedures
  6. Establishing an effective claims resolution process
  7. Funding early critical efforts
  8. Reducing risks through the collective efforts of all stakeholders

Delivery Considerations

  1. Selecting team members and staff on the basis of their fast track experience or qualifications
  2. Focusing procurement decisions on construction priorities
  3. Selecting and awarding contracts to subcontractors in a timely manner
  4. Staffing with personnel with strong leadership capabilities
  5. Employing innovative procurement practices
  6. Using highly integrated 3-D modeling, with all major users updating a common database
  7. Involving contractors, trades, and vendors in the design phase
  8. Seeking out suppliers and specialty contractors as sources of time-saving innovations

Organizational Considerations

  1. Engaging operations and maintenance personnel in the development and design process
  2. Establishing a fully integrated project team, including design, construction, specialty contractors, commissioning and operations personnel
  3. Using team building and partnering practices
  4. Delegating authority to the project level (i.e., maximizing decision-making authority at the project level)
  5. Empowering the project team (ensuring that each organization is led by an empowered leader)
  6. Having an owner with sufficient depth of resources and organizational strength
  7. Selecting personnel with a can-do attitude and willingness to tackle challenging tasks
  8. Having an engaged and empowered owner’s engineer (owner’s representative)
  9. Staffing with multi-skilled personnel

Cultural Considerations

  1. Accepting a non-traditional paradigm or mindset
  2. Having an active, involved, and fully committed owner
  3. Establishing flexible project teams that avoid rigid hierarchy
  4. Maintaining a no-blame culture and a mutually supportive environment
  5. Having open communication and transparency
  6. Staffing with cooperative and collaborative personnel .
  7. Having an open-minded team
  8. Creating executive alignment among the contracted parties

Planning Considerations

  1. Emphasizing coordination planning during the design process
  2. Performing exhaustive front end planning
  3. Identifying and procuring long lead items
  4. Monitoring and driving corrective actions through the project controls process
  5. Providing enough resources for critical path items
  6. Considering speed of fabrication and construction during the selection of design alternatives
  7. Recognizing and managing the additional Flash Track risks

Execution Considerations

  1. Co-locating the project team (i.e., owner, designer, builder, and/or key vendors)
  2. Simplifying approval procedures
  3. Dedicating full-time personnel to the project
  4. Selecting appropriate construction methods
  5. Minimizing handoffs
  6. Employing innovative construction methods
  7. Conducting frequent and effective project review meetings

 

These factors are a great checklist for almost any project but a must if you want your Flash Track project to be delivered smoothly. I recommend going to the CII website and purchasing the RT311 documentation and the tool and implementing these into your organization’s standard processes for project execution.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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