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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Project Execution for Large, Multi-National Corporation

May 3rd, 2016 by Susan Smith

With all change in organizations, there are headaches, hiccups and some hairpulling, but definitely it is best to keep those activities to a minimum.


Asish Shah of Fluor Corporation spoke at SPAR3D in April on the topic, “Project Execution and Design Engineering Systems: Implementation Challenges and Best Practices in a Large, Multi-National Corporation.”

Fluor responds to the ever changing and demanding nature clients’ demands for shorter schedules, more deliverables in a larger scope of work, more studies/scenarios in the design process, and lower cost in project execution by deploying a large number of engineering systems across its global engineering execution offices. With over 45,000 employees across 25 countries and 6 continents executing 1000+ projects world-wide every year, the challenges are enormous and daunting.

This presentation focused on the successful methodologies used to engage IT in roll-out of new systems and how IT got involved in the best practices of the new total solution.

In a big organization like Fluor, what they found was that the critical success factors for project management came first. From the project management point of view, deliverables is key, but at the same time you could not forget about budget, schedule, scope, client requirements and expectations, HSE– zero incidents, value added services, and team management innovation.

“We had to focus on how we manage the team, and we try to innovate ourselves, with more efficient ways to work,” said Shah.

The different personalities among the different teams involved in the project also had to be taken into account.

The automation champion

  • Would like to use a tool on all projects
  • Focused on computer technology
  • Interest in direct effect of a tool’s results
  • Excited to talk about bits and bytes
  • A bit indifferent to the project execution
  • Passionate about tool
  • Interfaces rather than integration

With Integrated project execution the objective is to go from seed information through the entire lifecycle, deliver data to clients in some usable form, typically agreed upon beforehand.

“The director’s expectation of what an automation team can do for the project is slightly different. You’d like to see information flow across the team,” said Shah. “Project information must be flowing through entire lifecycle and refreshed as project phases move forward.”

The director of project management’s view on the project is as follows:

  • Support globally dispersed teams seamlessly
  • Tools should reliable, up 24/7
  • All systems should provide accurate results as we expect from automation tools.
  • Don’t upgrade during life of the project, no major upgrades
  • Should be secure systems for intellectual property
  • All systems should be easy to use
  • All users trained in use of tools
  • Must have open architecture

From the automation team’s point of view they want really complex and sophisticated software that

  • Can change its IP address of a client PC
  • Check validity of every data item as user enters it
  • Has many objects
  • Has many nice reports
  • Latest Microsoft architecture
  • Database based on data model using ISO 15926
  • They have no idea of implications on project.
  • Has nice GUI

Shah said they try to align the automation team with project management team with

  • Project requirements
  • Electronic deliverables
  • Client expectations
  • Schedule
  • Budget
  • Site requirements
  • Design software
  • Design lifecycle data flow

They go back to the approach the automation person takes and change it from the project management perspective, so that they can sell the systems to management.

  • Should be easy to use, robust software, users can be productive in hours
  • Can support any expert from any office
  • Easy user interface, no user training needed
  • Minimizes checking and eliminates error during data entry
  • Has much equipment
  • Many useful reports to manage
  • Works well with any applications with open architecture
  • The database will work with client’s tools though they may use different set.
  • Instead of talking about bits and bytes

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