Restarting Troubled Projects

Jeff Okeson
One day this crisis will be over. When the dust starts to settle, and the world starts to slowly return to normal, projects will inevitably restart, and we may find ourselves facing new realities in the world of project delivery.

Restarting projects will be a daunting task, with clients asking questions: Where did we leave off? What’s the risk look like now? And the inevitable big questions: How much will all this cost? And what is the schedule impact?

Projects have stopped and restarted before, but not to this scale. Some of Faithful+Gould’s thought leaders have collected data and mapped out an approach to tackle these questions and more.

Our overall approach is forward-looking, using the best project delivery consulting services to bring real, relevant and pragmatic methods to help clients understand the true potential impacts of a crisis on their projects. We merge elements of project measurement at the time of stoppage as a baseline and elements of risk management and readiness assessment modeling to determine the cost and schedule impacts to the project. Risk can take many forms including:

  • The inevitable wave of claims that will swamp clients
  • Lack of resources to complete scopes of work
  • Unknown, but assumed, extensive cost and schedule overruns
  • Confusion around contracts and navigating
  • Continued supply chain disruption

Our forward-looking, pragmatic approach is unique. We incorporate elements of physical and forensic analysis to form a baseline and then weave in lead-indicating elements of real-time industry impacts as part of our Construction Data Intelligence services.

Depending on the nature, size and complexity of your project, we integrate the following five elements to help restart your project.

  • A detailed assessment of the project’s state at the time of stoppage, including such items as:
    • Physical completion of engineering and construction
    • Contractor performance at time of stoppage to reduce risk of contractors using the crisis to mask poor performance
    • Forensic reviews of schedules and other contemporaneous information to determine a baseline for restart measurement
    • Contract analysis and gaps, specifically to basis of force majeure
  • A qualitative and quantitative cost and schedule risk assessment to more accurately determine more accurate forward-looking impacts to the project restart
  • A formal project restart readiness review using our world-class proprietary processes and tools:
    • Inclusive of all readiness elements including (but not limited to) team alignment, engineering, planning, HSSE, execution, quality, procurement, resource management and other important factors such as lean construction opportunities
  • Engaging a Time on Tools® study program to quantify increases in non-working (non-wrench) time affected by this crisis regarding PPE, safety, stand-by, permitting, logistics, waiting and coordination delays for construction projects
  • Implement project management and project controls processes, systems, reporting and metrics to monitor the project execution through commissioning and start-up

We are also an active member of the Construction Industry Institute (CII), which has developed a series of webinars and blogs dedicated to navigating the waters of disruption caused by COVID-19, including a series specific to project start-up. Aligned with CII and their approach, we are prepared to help you restart your project successfully.


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