Project Management Best Practices

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Learn key practices employed by the best performing project systems in the world to improve your project cost, schedule, and operability performance.

Course Summary

Improving the cost, schedule, and operability performance of capital projects is important for businesses to achieve and maintain success. As the IPA Institute’s flagship training course, Project Management Best Practices shares the processes and steps employed by the best performing project systems in the world, as identified through decades of research.

With instruction reinforced through case studies, active discussions, and breakout exercises, project professionals emerge from the course with an understanding of how these key practices can be implemented to improve the way their organizations plan and execute capital projects (between US$20 million and US$1 billion).

The best performing project systems in the world achieve an internal rate of return (IRR) that is up to 7.5 percentage points higher than those at the opposite end of the spectrum. Where does your organization fall?

Topics Covered

Business Stake

  • The importance of capital investment
  • Key elements of a capital project system
  • How the use of an effective project delivery system affects overall project system performance

Measuring Effectiveness

  • How Best Practices shared in this course are derived
  • IPA’s methodology for accurately measuring capital project effectiveness
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) for capital project success

Introduction to Front-End Loading (FEL)

  • The process of FEL and its primary objectives
  • The three phases of FEL, and the major objectives / activities for each phase
  • Advantages of implementing and adhering to a stage-gated process
  • IPA’s FEL Index and its importance

Team Effectiveness

  • IPA’s Team Development Index (TDI)
  • Best Practices for effective team development
  • Common barriers to successful team development

FEL Component: Site Factors

  • The aspects of project definition addressed by the Site Factors component, including: value, materials availability, equipment layout, soils data, environmental requirements, and health and safety requirements
  • How achieving a “Definitive” level of definition for Site Factors helps to reduce risk

FEL Component: Design Status

  • The aspects of project definition addressed by the Design Status component, including: engineering tasks, participation / buy-in of operations, maintenance, and business – How achieving a “Definitive” level of definition for Design Status helps to reduce risk

FEL Component: Project Execution Planning

  • Aspects of project definition addressed by the Project Execution Planning component, including: contracting strategy, project environment, regulatory environment, project organization / resources, team participants and roles, critical-path items, plans, and cost / schedule controls
  • How achieving “Best Practical” definition for the Project Execution Planning component helps to reduce risk
  • Scheduling practices that significantly improve both predictability and competitiveness for projects

Value Improving Practices (VIPs)

  • Ten VIPs that correlate with better project outcomes
  • The optimal range for VIPs use
  • Key practices for successful VIPs implementation

Contracting Strategies

  • Four key dimensions of contracting from an owner’s perspective
  • Different types of contracting strategies, their performance, and advantages and disadvantages
  • Key factors to consider when developing a contracting strategy

Risk Analysis & Mitigation

  • The purpose of project risk management
  • Risk analysis techniques / tools
  • Key elements of risk analysis that are considered Best Practice

Project Controls

  • Project controls and fundamental control activities
  • Project control Best Practices that correlate with improved project outcomes
  • IPA’s Project Control Index (PCI)

Construction Safety

  • How safety performance is measured
  • Factors, project characteristics, and project practices that drive safety performance

Key Benefits

  • Increase your overall ability to contribute to the process of planning and executing capital projects (between US$20 million and US$1 billion)
  • Learn proven Best Practices that directly correlate with better project outcome performance
  • Understand how practices can be implemented to overcome barriers to success
  • Gain a unique and holistic view of developing capital projects from a global leader in project benchmarking and research

Course Background

All course instruction, presentations, and supplementary course materials are rooted in IPA’s decades of experience evaluating project and project systems, and conducting quantitative research into capital project issues and trends. IPA maintains a proprietary database with information on thousands of projects on which to base its analyses and studies.

Target Audience

Project Management Best Practices is intended for those with an interest in increased project value and efficiencies through disciplined project management. This includes the following job functions:

  • Project managers
  • Project engineers
  • Process engineers
  • Design managers
  • Engineering and business managers responsible for project portfolios
  • Project controls specialists
  • Operations and maintenance personnel
  • Contractor personnel

IPA Training Programs

Any standard IPA Institute training program can be delivered privately to your organization at your preferred location and held at a time that best meets your company’s requirements.

  • Topics from different courses can be combined to create a semi-customized seminar
  • Course durations can be altered to fit a client organization’s schedule requirements
  • Convenient location, delivery dates, and delivery format (traditional classroom, webinar, etc.)
  • More cost-effective than public seminars when training larger groups of people

Program Benefits

  • Earn PDUs
  • Interactive
  • Engaging
  • Focused

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