than likely, all companies in a megaproject alliance
will be ISO 9000 registered. It's unlikely that the
project itself will be ISO registered, however, as
the project eventually will end, so participating
companies should consider whether work falls within
the scope of their registration
it does, how will participants internally audit their
own work? And which quality system will they use:
the megaproject's, their own, a combination?
the quality system selected is a combination. Use
a reference matrix or "roadmap" defining
which organization's procedures to follow in which
situations. This is useful for employees and auditors
operating in a multiple quality system environment
of the number of quality organizations with a stake
in the project's success, the central quality group
should maintain a responsibility matrix
matrix should plot which organization or group is
to perform each of the various quality management,
assurance and control tasks. For example, will the
central quality organization perform supplier audits
or will the quality organization within the procurement
group? Will there be a central non-conformance reporting
system managed by the central quality group or will
each quality organization, representing various disciplines,
maintain its own?
avoid duplicate audits and unnecessary disruption,
it is imperative that the central quality organization
maintain a master audit schedule, showing internal
and external audit requirements
shared resource pool of quality auditors can be drawn
from all the quality organizations represented in
the megaproject. Audit results and a closed-loop corrective
action system can also be managed by the central group
navigate the maze of policies, procedures, work instructions
and standards, it is extremely useful to have each
discipline or work group on the project equipped with
a documentation roadmap. It defines which policies,
procedures and standards are to be followed and which
ones may be used for guidance or information only
regulations, as well as the policies and standards
of the client, the parent company and the project,
have to be considered. Which policy or standard takes
priority or supercedes another?
will sometimes arise over which method, policy, procedure
or standard best applies to carry out the work
dispute resolution mechanism is often stipulated contractually
among alliance partners
mechanism will not have to be used, however, if good
business practices and goodwill are guiding principles
among the alliance partners and the client
- The client has a huge vested
interest in a megaproject's success and wants a safe,
high quality job, completed on budget and on schedule.
Therefore, working closely with the client's quality
organization during the lifecycle of the project is
crucial to smooth project closeout and acceptance
of the expected quality deliverable
the client to conduct reviews, assessments and audits
to gauge performance of the megaproject team
not underestimate the client's interest in how quality
is managed. The client has to live with the results
after megaproject managers have moved on
prepared to hand over to the client, during intermediate
or final project closeouts, all audit, inspection
and test records.
BY RON CLARKIN, P.ENG.
Their costs are large, usually greater than $1 billion US.
The public, industry, the government - it seems that everyone
has a stake in how they turn out.
They're called megaprojects, and no matter how you define
them, they're complex from both a project and a financial
management perspective. In order to make them happen, a number
of different corporate and government cultures bring money,
people and expertise to the table and field. Yet very often
megaprojects seem beyond anyone's control. And they usually
come in behind schedule and over budget.
The reasons for this are many and have been the subject of
a raft of research papers. But one key element of project
management that should never be overlooked is quality management.
Lessons have been learned on megaprojects, however, and they
point to some common QM pitfalls. Avoid them, and you and
your project are more likely to succeed where others have
Organizing Quality Management
A consortium or alliance of companies manages most megaprojects.
The client may be the government, or a large private utility
or industrial organization. Quite often the client doesn't
have the expertise or the resources to manage the megaproject
but is actively involved as its sponsor.
The alliance often sets up its own project management structure
composed of key personnel from within it or its parent companies.
Within this structure there's usually a centralized quality
management organization, responsible for quality on the entire
This is the organization that usually decides which quality
management system to use. Will it be the quality management
system of the largest alliance partner? Is a new system going
to be put in place? Is it going to be a combination of all
In addition to a centralized quality group, various other
quality groups are stakeholders in successfully managing a
megaproject's quality. These include the clients' quality
organization, the quality organizations associated with the
individual companies involved, and the quality organizations
of key suppliers.
Quality Can be Managed
To successfully manage quality on a megaproject, the central
quality organization must consider certain criteria that normally
aren't issues on smaller projects. See inset.
Megaprojects are inherently more complex and necessitate a
different set of success factors. What people often don't
ask is, Did we deliver a quality project? There is better
chance of answering in the affirmative if the megaproject
understands the criteria for success in managing the quality
Ron Clarkin, P.Eng., is with Honeywell Limited in Calgary.
He's currently working on a megaproject in the Alberta resource
sector. He earned an engineering degree from the University
of Waterloo, and a master's degree from Loyola University
in New Orleans. Mr. Clarkin is an APEGGA member and a Professional
Engineers Ontario member.