Management Systems

Service Focus Areas

Management Systems

Well planned and integrated management systems are necessary for large, complex infrastructure and underground programs, with demanding management, procurement, engineering and construction requirements.

    "It is managers and management that make
    institutions perform …"

    – Drucker, "Management", 1973, Preface p x.

We specialize in management of complex technical and infrastructure projects – by integrating management, human resources and technical requirements to best address the specific needs of each project through organization, alignment to key goals and objectives, contracting systems and supporting systems such as partnering and team building.

We understand that roles and responsibilities of pesonnel must be addressed sensitively. Personnel must be well "aligned" with key goals and objectives if we are to expect performance and outstanding achievement. See also "Partnering and Teambuilding"

Each project is unique in its purpose, requirements, location, environment – and the particular precedents that have shaped its creation.

For details of management systems and our management approach, covering the following, click on one of the following topics; which are expanded below:

Management approach
Strategic management principles
Key management elements
Values, operating principles
Total process approach
Key project requirements
Leaders, teamwork, equity and paradigms
Change and management of change

Management approach – basic elements for excellence/success

  • Focus on key goals and objectives
  • Logical, efficient, strategic management plan
  • Clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  • High degree of delegated authority
  • Organizational philosophy of fairness and equity
  • Individual and mutual accountability
  • Defined conflict resolution procedures
  • Effective management reporting and process control
  • Commitment and involvement by all personnel
  • Use risk analysis and mitigation
  • Use partnering, teambuilding and dispute resolution

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Strategic management principles

Strategy and tactics are required for a comprehensive, competitive approach. We use a long-term strategic management approach to achieve key goals and objectives. To develop a successful strategy we must define and communicate the project’s core purpose and core values – "what do we have to do and how should we do it."

Consistency and clarity of purpose, aligned with integration of appropriate values, leads to better performance, effectiveness, value, opportunity and creates a climate for innovation.

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Key management elements that must be addressed include:

  • Strategic program management plans and tactical alternatives
  • Performance requirements – critical activities/key result areas
  • Management oversight, project controls, audits and compliance
  • Procurement requirements, legislative compliance
  • Engineering management plans, policies and procedures
  • Engineering management control systems
  • Engineering design criteria
  • Contractual approach, changed condition provisions
  • Construction management plans, policies and procedures
  • Construction management control systems
  • Value engineering / cost reduction strategies
  • Configuration Management
  • Quality assurance / quality control processes
  • Innovation, use of advanced technologies
  • Risk identification and mitigation
  • Partnering, teambuilding and "team alignment" processes

We integrate these management elements with personnel and teambuilding processes to best meet project requirements and to address all valid "stakeholder" needs.

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Values, operating principles

Beyond the classical requirements of management policy, goals, objectives, procedures and organization there are – sometimes subtle – factors that are essential for project success – or to change performance from "just satisfactory" to "excellent".

These factors relate to personal values and beliefs. They are sometimes difficult to define and categorize but they must be successfully recognized for good team performance. They may be subtle, but personnel have a clear sense about them – even if they cannot clearly classify or describe them.

The ability to clearly and quickly "align" an organization, or project, for performance is directly related to these factors – in addition to "hard" management theory and conventional practice.

We use processes that build on personal values and motivation in a project team setting. This allows people to put their work responsibilities in context with, and parallel to, their fundamental beliefs. This leads directly to improved clarity of roles and responsibilities with better communication, teamwork and performance. See also Partnering and Teambuilding.

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Total process approach

Our management and technical approach is "total process" not "task discrete".
We look at the work process as an integrated stream from conception to finalization, directed to producing the required "products and deliverables". We follow this production based sequence:

  1. Define the Products and Deliverables
  2. Develop Process to efficiently achieve this
  3. Secure required resources and their availability
  4. Create Best Organization and "benchmark"
  5. Build Leadership
  6. Measure Performance
  7. Implement Lessons-learned and Continuous Improvement

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Key project requirements

We understand that public infrastructure and underground construction projects are highly complex and sometimes unpredictable. We need to address many issues and requirements simultaneously to be successful. These include but are not limited to:

  • Basic objectives of the procurement
  • Valid needs of constituents and "stakeholders"
  • Formal parties to agreements
  • Legal regulations and restrictions
  • Legal liability – corresponding considerations
  • Major constraints – known and potential (see also risk mitigation)
  • Openness of the procurement process
  • Specifics of the procurement process
  • Procurement alternatives and strategies
  • Prequalification process / restrictions on better technologies
  • Equal access to information
  • Prescriptive or performance approach
  • Fair and reasonable price
  • Schedule for planning, design, construction and operation
  • Budget for planning, design, construction and operation
  • Opportunities and incentives for improvement, value engineering
  • Technical trade-offs and alternatives
  • Value engineering and innovation
  • Risk identification, evaluation and mitigation

Such lists must be defined and addressed specifically for each individual project.

We need to be careful that a standard approach – which has worked before – may not be successful for a specific project at a given time. Each project has unique characteristics which must be addressed.

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Leaders, paradigms and teamwork

Leadership and knowledge are keys to success. Knowledgeable leaders create teams that are inclusive, fair, technically able, with vision and purpose – and which operate with high ethical standards and principles.

Paradigms are the way that we understand our environment and are "rules for success." Managers manage within the existing paradigm but – leaders constantly challenge it and want to move beyond it – they seek a better way.

Teamwork – leaders are critically dependent on their team and the quality of its "alignment" to key project goals and objectives. See also Partnering and Teambuilding, which are essential tools for effective management and preventing problems dealing with change in complex environments.

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Change and management of change

"Change can be a force to be feared or an opportunity for improvement
– the choice is up to us."

We must deal with change in all complex programs. There are at least three stages in understanding complex issues:

  1. Simplistic (when everything seems obvious – but our knowledge is limited)

  2. Complex (as we know more – we begin to understand the complexity)

  3. Finally simple again (when we develop a new paradigm)

Moving through these phases requires vision, wisdom and understanding – as well as good management of change and change processes. This is an opportunity because people will respond to difficult challenges and accept change – but only if they think the challenge can be met and the changes are beneficial.

For specifics about management, improved performance, to resolve difficult issues – or if you have a project that would benefit from our work – please click here to contact John Reilly.