Pushpendra (Pat) Patel takes on the role of PM Solution Pro Senior Project Controls Advisor

The newest addition to PM Solution Pro’s remarkable pool of consulting resources is Pushpendra Patel. With more than 13 remarkable years of experience on project management and controls, his client will surely be satisfied with the quality and timeliness when it comes to work deliverables. Pat, as he is fondly called by friends and colleagues, is a graduate of BS Civil Engineering with reinforced continuing education in Construction Management. He exudes confidence in his knowledge of project controls as he demonstrates his competence and accomplishments working in complex mega-Projects ranging from $100M-$2Billion.

Continue Reading →

Digital Transformation for Utilities

Digital transformation is all around us, whether it is depositing a cheque by phone, asking Alexa to turn down lights in a room, or smart kitchen devices sending cooking progress via Bluetooth. Using remote sensors and analytics to capture data and discover valuable insights about customers, assets and suppliers has opened a frontier for new innovative services and approaches to doing business.

Broadly placed under the term digitalization, this development gives an organization better visibility into their operations and more control over outcomes, saving much time and effort while reducing human error and improving the overall customer experience and service quality. Is there a business case for digital transformation of utilities that operate vast system of assets and deliver vital services to many customers?

As digital applications become mainstream, it is getting vital for the utilities to have a digital strategy to effectively manage the increasingly complex nature of their networks and services.

Continue Reading →

Typical Attributes of a Phantom Schedule

Some of the typical attributes of a Phantom Schedule are as follow:

1) Secret (unknown to the other contracting party)

2) It is a simplified version of the contract schedule

3) Considered more reliable and accurate

4) Viewed as a validation schedule that provides better forecasts5.

5) Updated in the background by sponsoring party

6) Decision-making tool by sponsoring party. Management decisions are no longer based on the forecast of the current contract schedule.

Read more… know more!

Continue Reading →

What is the Purpose of a Phantom Schedule?

A client or contractor may develop it individually with each one, believing that it is more reliable than the current official schedule and/or the existing baseline.

Construction contractor can come up with a more aggressive version of the contractual schedule to create some form of relief time zones. It creates some form of time buffer zones by using earlier schedule plan dates. The sub-contractor then sign on a more optimistic schedule with the contractor.

The contractor hides the already optimistic phantom schedule for background update. At this point, and just on the contractor-subcontractor side alone, there are already four schedules at play and being maintained separately; i.e. 1) subcontract schedule, 2) subcontract phantom schedule, 3) contractor phantom schedule, and 4) contract schedule.

A recent technical article rightly stated the same thing, that one of the reasons why a phantom schedule is developed is “when the client no longer has any faith that the contractor’s contract schedule submittals are realistic (Beisler, S. & Zack, J., 2016.Cost Engineering. May\Jun 2016. p21).

Continue Reading →

The Phantom Schedule

A phantom schedule (ghost schedule) is a non-official schedule prepared behind the official scheduling scene. The timing of its creation can be anywhere between project start date to completion. The urgency governing its creation depends largely on the specific purpose and necessity to which it was created.

Continue Reading →

The Three Blind Project Managers and the Elephant

Oftentimes, the discussion on subjects such as risk has a tendency to turn into something more esoteric. When that happens, as a Risk Manager, we should appreciate the brilliance of some people’s individual premises, suppositions, commentaries, and conclusions, for they can add value and substance to what we already know.

There is an old tale about the three blind men who encountered an elephant for the first time and attempt to learn about it by touch alone. Somehow, I am now tempted to change the story to the three blind project managers who encountered risk for the first time and attempted to learn about it.

The story about the three project managers and a project is like the story of Jain’s parable of The Blind Men and the Elephant. The parable is quite relevant to what we are discussing here.

Continue Reading →

What about Boxing and Risk-based Management?

Boxing is a risky event for all involved, most especially the boxers. Yes, the protagonists themselves. Monitoring risk can be like watching boxing. Two competitors, both with the intention to strike whenever there is opportunity. They execute the plan, psyche each other, try to prevent and mitigate the threats of getting KO’ed, strive to make the right response, and to make the right decision through keen observation, at a flinch of a muscle (risk indicator).

As a risk-based management practitioner, the bloody sport of boxing is so exciting and fascinating. In my view, it relates so well, … so very close with the concept and philosophies of risk management. “No pain, no gain,” as the old saying goes!

Boxers, their coaches, and cornermen have to come up with a response plan to prevent or mitigate the punches. They put together a strategy prior to the bout similar to a project preparing the risk management plan. They know that boxing judges have a decision to make and it has to be the right one, that is of course, one in their favour! They have only one end goal in mind, to be the winner!

In risk management, as in boxing, playing and losing can still be an Opportunity! Amazing Statistics!

Continue Reading →

How about understanding your Project’s Schedule Critical Path better?

Critical Path is a measure of schedule flexibility, discernable through each activity total float. On any network path, flexibility is the positive difference between early and late dates (PMI, Project Risk Management, 2013). It is the shortest time possible for a project to finish.

“Be careful of relative critical path. This is the critical path relative to some select points of constraint only.”

“The path it generates does not represent the overall project’s critical path. The real overall critical path of the schedule is one generated by the calculation of a schedule that has no constraint, a schedule that flows freely.

Continue Reading →

Happy Canada Day to all Freedom-loving people out there!

Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada. A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of July 1, 1867, the effective date of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.[1][2] Originally called Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed.[3] Canada Day celebrations take place throughout the country, as well as in various locations around the world, attended by Canadians living abroad.[4]

Continue Reading →

PM Solution Pro travel log : BSU aiming to be one of the leading Universities in the Philippines and Asia

Rufran’s recent trip to the Philippines brought him back to his alma mater, Batangas State University (BSU). It’s been almost twenty years since he last set foot in the University Main Campus.

His purpose was to see the University and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) President Dr. Tirso A. Ronquillo. It was a privilege to be given the chance to talk with him considering that whole week was extremely busy with graduation rites he needed to attend to.

It was a “short-notice request” for an appointment made through Dr. Jessie Montalbo, Vice President for Administration and External Affairs, the final arrangement of which was subsequently coursed through the University Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs and concurrent University Librarian Dr. Agnes D. Arellano.

He walked through the concrete roads, walkways, stairs and corridors leading to the Office of the President with pride and yearning in his every step. The place was vastly improved with new buildings, modern infrastructures, state-of-the art facilities, and a well-balanced façade more pleasing to the eyes. The amazing growth BSU has undergone through the years was truly a sight to behold. The President proudly intimated during our discussion one of his favourite philosophies, “To appreciate the content, one has to develop a good container.”

Continue Reading →