Most discussion on this topic that I've heard wanders around matters related to requirements, definition and budget.
But there's more. Sure those topics are important, and neglected will frustrate success, but they are not sufficient.
Others discuss project processes: particularly relying on the setting of acceptance criteria at relevant points in a project: for deliverables, but also for completion of capability elements.
Again, neglect here will frustrate success, while attention itself is insufficient.
My talk covered three topics, some absorb the matters above, but I took a more global project view:
Project Success Baseline
- Objective and requirements set out in sufficient detail.
- Contract distributes risk on basis of control and avoids risk switchback during construction and concession phases. Risk allocation adjusted for phase based role changes between the parties.
- Contract sets out governance between parties, performance monitoring and control provisions.
- Principal recourses include step-in rights, performance bonds, contracted dispute procedure, termination.
- Suitably experienced contractor and management for type and size of project.
- Suitable and adequate financing structure for contracts used (such as construction finance and operational payments).
- Cooperative contracting approach with regular project ‘conferences’ to maintain tempo and performance.
- Project Board (senior reps of primary parties, Principal is chair) to overview performance and approve ‘stage gate’ progress. Meets at and between stage gates.
- Project Control Group (reps of delivery parties, Project Director is chair) meets at least monthly to review progress, risk rolling wave (risk retirement, treatment, and emergence) satisfaction of milestone and phase acceptance criteria.
- Constant review of project performance climate: risk events, communication and cooperation between parties, critical stakeholder and participant views against project conduct criteria.
- Earned value reporting on pre-concession phases, with forecast of milestone achieved dates (to identify slippage) and corrective actions to be taken.
- Tracking of sub-contacting commitments and performance
- Review of progress and performance by Principal, SPV and financiers, reported to Principal.
- Value reviews to ensure appropriate investment in performance of product and implications for concession period operations.
- Principal retains visibility of sub-contractor procurement methodology and performance.
- Periodic reviews of deliver project management performance.
- Project level relationship between Principal and providers maintained through formal and informal reviews of performance.