Document Detail

Title: SP12-2 - Organizing for Project Success
Publication Date: 2/1/1991
Product Type: Special Publication
Status: Tool
Pages: 44
Addresses different organizational teams and the importance of teamwork. An uncertainty matrix is used to show the importance of project definition.
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In studying and evaluating what makes some projects successful, the CII Project Organization Task Force concludes that the following key factors contribute to the success of a project.

First is a recognition by all participants in the project that although the owner is ultimately buying a facility, the process and the people who are responsible for designing, procuring, and constructing the facility also are part of what the client is buying. Recognizing this, the owner must create an atmosphere which fosters a close-knit team working toward a common goal, i.e., completion of a quality facility on time and within budget. The concept of the owner’s buying a process/team aligns well with the CII concept of partnering.

The team, structured hierarchically with the owner providing overall direction, consists of engineering and construction organizations. Because of the high degree of interaction between various organizational entities, successful projects generally involve a complex communications network at all levels within the organization.

One of the most important concepts presented is the uncertainty matrix described in more detail in Chapter 6. The matrix consists of two elements of uncertainty/certainty—what and how. “What” relates to the ultimate definition of the physical facility, and “how” relates to the process of completing the facility from the initial idea through facility completion. In order to complete a project successfully, the total project team must reach agreement relative to the level of project uncertainty at the onset and at various milestones throughout the project. After agreeing, the entire team then is working with a common understanding of the project definition, which enhances the correct major actions and decisions necessary to complete the project.

The task force also studied tools and mechanisms available to project teams to ensure project success. The primary tools during the initial phase of the project are establishing overall project objectives, completing the design basis for the facility, and preparing an execution plan to accomplish the work. Using these tools, the traditional planning, scheduling, and budget tools promoted by CII can be used to monitor and control the efforts of the project team during detailed implementation of the design, procurement, construction, and startup process. These tools provide the mechanism to reduce uncertainty, from both a what and how perspective during the course of the project.

Finally, as important as the above considerations are to the success of a project, the final and most important factor to success is selecting appropriate management and supervisory personnel at all levels of the project organization. These personnel should be leaders, with a strong “close out” drive and an ability to work as integrated members of a team with a common goal.