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Project Manager : Project Manager June July 2013
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 25 Process NBN Co has chosen to implement a regional model for the rollout. In NSW, for example, there is a PM is each of four regions, with all four PMs based in the one PMO. Each PM has a team of specialists, and the inter-regional PMO allows for a shared pool of specialists. Regional o ces are provided with general guidance from a national team. is model allows PMs to bene t from experiences in other regions, updating costs and timelines accordingly. Regional PMs are quickly discovering that exible work planes and real-time communication are key to organising multiple projects on various timelines. Greg ornton is NBN Co's East Region PM in NSW. He has been tasked with the manual roll out of the bre network past all premises in his region, with more than 30 Fibre Ser ving Areas (FSAs) currently at di erent stages in the project management process. or nton is optimistic about the feasibility of the process. " e sheer scale of the NBN rollout sometimes scares people, but when you break it dow n into sizable chunks, it is possible," he says. For each FSA, or nton works through an 11-month process. e design phase entails scoping, detailed design and commercial costing, and contracting. is is followed by a construction phase, a practical completion stage and an acceptance period. Multiply this process 30 times in a region, with each FSA beginning the process at di erent times, and the complicated nature of the project is revealed. Balancing long-term planning with the exibility to capitalise on the skills and expertise of certain people or teams when they are available is a ne art that regional PMs must master. "It requires a good resource plan to get a feel for what's coming up in the long term in order to move your workforce accordingly," says or nton. Another challenge for regional PMs is stakeholder management. Consistent community engagement is essential for such a large-scale project with diverse stakeholders, so or nton's team includes a stakeholder manager who meets with councils and communities on a regular basis. NBN Co uses its webpage and council meetings to keep the public informed and engaged, and an NBN Discovery Truck travels to communities in the weeks leading up to local roll out, giving access to roll out maps and the chance to see equipment rst-hand. ••• OUTCOME Coincidentally, in the process of laying down a fibre internet network, Thornton has discovered the usefulness of mobile IT tools. His team's use of iPad applications, such as Primavera and the GIS package, has cut timelines by improving site-to-office communication, with teams in the field tagging, updating, commenting on and uploading photos to project folders. "The technology has been around a long time, but the integration of the latest apps into a major scale project is making things a lot easier and reducing the timeframes. The quicker people integrate these tools into their day-to-day practice, the better." The regional structure of NBN Co, with inter- regional PMOs, is also enabling PMs to constantly improve their processes. Regional PMs meet weekly, along with subject matter experts, and draw on each other's experiences to adjust their project plans and practices in their own region. For example, the Northern Regional PM in NSW was the first to trial rolling out fibre using existing above-ground power poles. The process was quicker than expected and enabled the other NSW PMs to update their timelines and costings for similar areas. NBN Co's initial experiences in Australia's largest telecommunication project highlight the importance of flexibility when using traditional project management processes. PMs on the project are not solely focused on learning about the technology and techniques specific to their task; they are also tasked with using lessons learnt in previous and disparate parts of the project to constantly improve their processes and update their timelines and costings, an aspect of the job that is only possible because of their shared PMO.
Project Manager Apr May 2013
Project Manager Aug Sept 2013