Project Management Solutions for Complex Construction and Plant Engineering Projects

Large civil engineering, building construction or engineering projects consist of many sub-projects, phases and disciplines and each stage must be completed within a previously agreed timetable. Delays in construction projects are usually subject to high extra costs and penalties. A lead contractor often looks after day-to-day project management for the building owner, while the lead consultant may also handle planning and financing tasks. However, the building owner is still involved in the overall completion of the project. 

High Demands Placed on the Project Management Solution

Complex schedules, current budget and cost overviews, detailed contract management, and risk management are just a few of the challenges for companies managing large construction projects. In this environment, a powerful IT solution is essential. By integrating different systems, such as ERP and document management, with the project management system, decision-makers can manage the challenges more easily.

TPG The Project Group has more than 20 years of experience in providing project management solutions for companies working on large construction projects.

Expand the following text modules and read about the proven components of solutions for the construction sector based on Microsoft technologies.

Microsoft Project Server / Project Online (Microsoft PPM) is a very powerful and easy-to-use tool for centralized project management. Construction management, project managers and contractors all use a single work and information platform.
 

Benefits of Microsoft PPM

  • Easy-to-use and powerful role-based tool for all stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Central data storage of structured information on all projects
  • Multiple options for reports and evaluations on all projects
  • Centralized and standardized document storage in SharePoint
  • Project plans can be edited in the browser
  • Also available as a cloud solution (Project Online)

More information on Microsoft Project Server or Project Online.

Microsoft Project Server / Project Online can be extended for program and multi-project management functions enabling managers to aggregate multiple sub-projects into an easy-to-read overall plan of key milestones or tasks.
 

Method and Benefits of Status Boards

    • The decision-making committee has a clear basis for decisions on all projects by simply generating a milestone overview of several projects
    • The status of each project can be visualized by traffic light symbols in a chart. Other status information is available to the decision-making committee when needed

    More information on TPG ProjectLink or TPG MultiProject(QS).

    Microsoft Project Server / Project Online is a powerful tool for centralized, enterprise-wide project management. Used in conjunction with an add-on tool designed especially for program management, it enables managers to make top-down plans at the program level and mirror them into sub-projects.

    Bottom-up planning is also available, as project participants can report current plan data from their sub-projects to program management for further control.
     

    Benefits of Top-Down Planning

        • Top-down planning: The program manager creates a plan at the program level with target milestones and important key data. These are automatically displayed in the operative sub-projects
        • The project managers of the sub-projects now align their planning to the set target
        • Bottom-up planning: Important milestones in the operative sub-projects can be transferred back to the program level for the next plan 

        More information on TPG ProjectLink or TPG MultProject(QS).

        Microsoft Project Server / Project Online can be extended with “soft links” to show project managers important tasks in other projects. This enables users to easily share important information between individual Microsoft Project plans. If required, these links can also be implemented across several companies, without having to show users complete external schedules (such as those of suppliers or customers).
         

        Transparency and Benefits of “Soft Links”

        • Project managers can easily select important tasks from other projects to mirror or link them in their schedule
        • The selected tasks are displayed for information in their own project plan
        • Project managers can select the tasks to be mirrored without having to see entire external projects
        • Links across companies are easy to implement using “soft links” as well

        More information on TPG ProjectLink or TPG MultiProject(QS).

        Project managers plan best in a PM system (e.g. Microsoft Project), while financial controllers prefer to work with the ERP system (e.g. SAP). The integration of both systems streamlines processes and makes things a lot easier for everyone. They can easily share many types of information, such as  delivery dates and cost or budget data.
         

        Data Sharing and Benefits of Integrated Environments

        • Managers can import detailed budgets, actual costs, actual work and commitments from SAP enabling them to check the projects’ costs and time against the plan and the budget
        • Project managers are always well informed on the spent, assigned and available budget at the level of work packages
        • The need for double data entry is eliminated, leading to a lower error rate
        • Improved data quality for project managers, controllers and management underpins better decisions
        • Project managers and controllers each work with the tool that is right for them, increasing acceptance of the overall solution

        More information on TPG PSLink®.

        Microsoft Project Server provides important reports on individual projects or project portfolios at your fingertips. A role-based concept and access rights ensure that project members and managers only see the reports that are intended for them.

        Individually adapted to the needs, the automated reporting system brings a wealth of benefits to the entire organization.
         

        Benefits of a Centralized Reporting System

        • Current reports at your fingertips: elimination of manual work
        • Standardization of reports: better comparisons
        • Current data of all projects: strict compliance with reporting periods
        • Better decision-making ability: immediate availability of important data
        • Overview of all projects and statuses: consolidated project information (traffic lights, amounts and more)
        • Focus on key projects: project selection criteria
        • Details for deep-diving into individual projects: status report, cost report, risk analysis etc.
        • Output of the reports on demand: Excel, PowerPoint, PDF or other formats in the corporate design

        More information on TPG Business Intelligence / Reporting or Microsoft Power BI.

        Multi-projects and programs are managed on the basis of important milestones within the sub-projects that can be rolled up from all sub-projects into a central overview. Managers find it useful to see how the milestones have changed over time.

        However, Microsoft Project Server / Project Online only includes 10 base plans.

        TPG helps by providing an integrated Milestone Trend Analysis (MTA) chart to support analysis and ensure timely detection of bottlenecks.
         

        Benefits of MTA for Project Server / Project Online

        • Regular automatic snapshots of project schedules
        • The graphical visualization shows deadline changes to important milestones
        • Trends can be derived from delays, providing an early indication of the potential risk to the project end date
        • The automatic snapshots of schedules give project team members a better awareness of milestones and deadlines

        More information on TPG MTA Chart App.

        CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

        “We now have an extended Microsoft Project Server System that enables us to plan and monitor the XFEL project in a way that corresponds with our requirements. TPG’s design and system expertise was particularly helpful, especially during the definition and implementation phases.”

        Dr. Riko Wichmann, Director XFEL Project Office, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)