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Project Manager : Project Manager June July 2013
22 Project Manager The tyranny of distance How do you plan and manage the upgrade of essential military training areas on 26 sites in seven different states and territories? You stick to the tenets of project management. BENJAMIN MILLER PROJECT: National Training Areas and Ranges Improvement Program (NTARIP) PROJECT OWNER: Defence Estate and Facilities Program Office (DEFPO) COMPANY: Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) Pty Ltd SCOPE: Remediate outstanding maintenance and engineering issues in Defence training areas and ranges across Australia COMPLETION: September 2012 KEY CHALLENGE Delivery was always going to be difficult given the 26 sites were situated in seven different legal jurisdictions, and sites varied from tropical flood lands to drought-ridden deserts. SKM developed an Environmental Regulatory Framework (ERF) to help identify cultural heritage and flora/fauna values, risks and impacts. The ERF helped identify projects that were unachievable within the time and scope of the program. Early in the upgrade at the Lancelin Defence Training Area (LDTA) in WA, for example, the team identified potential risks and spent more than three months gaining approvals from Commonwealth, State and Local Governments to clear vegetation from essential roads and fences. Later, another aspect of the LDTA upgrade was abandoned after environmental risks were identified. The ERF was used to predict the time delay, re-prioritise the project and subsequently re-direct funds to another project. •CASE STUDY BACKGROUND BRIEFING The Australian Defence Force relies on more than 60 major training areas throughout Australia for the preparation and upkeep of the nation's Army, Navy and Air Force. At the end of 2010, the office in charge of the ADF's training areas, DEFPO, was facing a crisis: maintenance had fallen behind demand to the point that OH&S risks were on the rise and some training facilities were in danger of closing. The NTARIP, with a budget of $65 million, was initiated as a response to these challenges. In contrast to typical project management processes, DEFPO engaged a consultant, SKM, before the scope was clearly defined. At that point, the objectives of the NTARIP were clear, if a little broad: reduce ongoing maintenance costs and address OH&S issues through targeted infrastructure repairs and upgrades. Sceptics might describe a brief without clear objectives as 'spend $65 million in 18 months', but optimists could see the open scope as recognition of the need for an innovative solution to a complex problem. Surprisingly, the solution was a return to the traditional tenets of project management with an emphasis on several core values: communication, consistent monitoring and flexible responses to project challenges.
Project Manager Apr May 2013
Project Manager Aug Sept 2013