Risk Management – Lessons Learned from Major Programs (#51 in the series Foundations, Frameworks and Lessons Learned in Program Management)
By Robert Prieto
The lessons learned on several major programs have been characterized in the context of the program management framework elements previously described. These lessons learned are reflected below.
The programs reflected range from $ 1 to over $ 30 billion in size and from 4 to 30 years in duration and include both US and non-US program management delivery. Over $ 125 billion of program cost is represented by these major programs. Program management lessons learned have been “sanitized” to protect the identity of specific programs. Input derives from program managers or other senior executives and in select instances from lessons learned documents prepared as part of the post mortem process.
Lessons Learned in Risk Management – #22 in Organizational Foundation & Integrated Framework Processes
Program 1: Risk management methods are not to be static and are to be integrated and linked to program budget estimates and the master schedules. Mitigation strategies are to include contingency modeling for cost and time impacts; use deterministic and probabilistic methods.
Program 2: Critical program element is the decision process.
Program 3: Risk management from a programmatic basis needs to accurately consider risks created through changed sequencing and timelines for individual projects created by varied stakeholder groups.
Program 4: Risk management processes must ensure that propagation of deficient practices, processes and oversight mechanisms is not enabled through a programmatic approach.
Program 5 – 7: No lessons learned.
Program 8: Comprehensive general Outreach program is also a risk mitigator. Establish an approved Communications Plan initially. Elements include:
- program website kept up to date and easy for lay audience to understand
- use simple graphics/visualizations to illustrate more complex aspects
- secure section of website to facilitate internal management information and decision-making
- periodic program newsletters to broad audience of interested and affected parties
- establish personal media relationships for the program and develop a proactive media relationship plan (get in front of any bad news and stress good news in advance)
- establish a Crisis Communications Plan with appropriate parties for the unexpected, particularly during construction
- some programs will require Security Plan provisions for high risk facilities (design, construction and operations)
Program 9 – 10: No lessons learned.
Program 11: Comprehensively identify program uncertainties, provide for them and identify and implement mitigating strategies before adverse events materialize and impact overall program progress.
Robert Prieto, Senior Vice President
Robert Prieto is senior vice president for Fluor, where he leads strategy for Fluor’s Industrial and Infrastructure group. Mr. Prieto focuses on the development and delivery of large, complex projects worldwide.
Prior to joining Fluor, Bob served as chairman of Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. As head of PB’s board of directors, he was responsible for overseeing management performance, establishing top-level policies, and ensuring the firm’s continued long term success.
He is a member of the executive committee of the National Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a member of the board of directors of the Business Council on International Understanding, a member of the board of the Civil Engineering Forum for Innovation, and co-founder and member of the board of the Disaster Resource Network. He currently serves on the National Research Council’s committee framing the challenges on Critical Infrastructure Systems. Until 2006 he served as one of three U.S. presidential appointees to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and served as chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of The World Economic Forum and co-chair of the infrastructure task force formed after September 11th by the New York City Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the board of trustees of Polytechnic University of New York, and was previously selected as alumni of the year by its New York Chapter.
He has had an executive sponsorship role in the World Trade Center Transportation Hub; West Coast Rail Modernization; Train Protection and Warning System; Level 3 Communications Long Haul Network and Superconducting Super Collider.
Prieto holds a master of science in nuclear engineering from Polytechnic University of New York and a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from New York University.
Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) provides services on a global basis in the fields of engineering, procurement, construction, operations, maintenance and project management. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor is a FORTUNE 500 company with revenues of $14.1 billion in 2006. For more information, visit www.fluor.com.
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