Setting a Project up for Success

September 2, 2020

Bluefield was recently engaged by a Client to assist with the project management of an overhaul of their fleet of ultra-class haul trucks.

The overhaul project was being managed and executed by a third-party contractor at an off-site facility. The client was concerned about the effectiveness of the contractor’s project management and compliance to both schedule and scope. Bluefield was tasked with auditing the effectiveness of the contractor’s project management system and looking for opportunities to increase efficiency and effectiveness to reduce delivery time and cost.

Problem Identification

Bluefield’s investigation identified several opportunities for improvement in the contractor’s Project Management System and organizational hierarchy, many of which were counterproductive to both the client’s and contractor’s goal of increasing efficiency, shortening the project timeline, or lowering the project expenditure. Some of the key problems identified include:

  1. Absence of a dedicated Project Manager or clearly defined roles within the contractor’s hierarchy creating a lack of ownership.
  2. Extreme focus on the day-to-day activities, leading to reactive execution of the overhaul project rather than proactive planning.
  3. Inefficient and convoluted variation process creating delays.

Building a Solution

Upon consultation with the client, it was determined Bluefield could offer the most value to both the client and the contractor by assisting with the implementation of an overarching project management structure and some fundamental project management processes. Bluefield worked closely with the contractor to target the following key areas:

  1. Facilitation of a detailed project risk assessment critical to the identification and management of project risks.
  2. Clear definition of roles and responsibilities within the contractor’s organizational hierarchy, critical to the delegation of responsibility and accountability for key project tasks and actions identified in the formal project risk assessment.
  3. Reestablish an overarching project schedule to provide visibility of the long-term progress of the project.
  4. Development of a Communication Plan between the client and contractor to set clear expectations for communication protocols and minimize delays.
  5. Defining a clear, efficient, and flexible variation process to ensure appropriate approvals are in place and works to continue with minimal delay.


Bluefield’s focus on establishing the project management system has allowed the contractor to develop an execution plan to deliver the overhaul program within an agreed deadline whilst having the ability to identify and capitalize on improvement opportunities as they arise. Translating these opportunities into time-saving and expedited completion of each overhaul creates significant value for the client, with an estimated 120 hours of available operating time, equating to an extra 0.2% annual availability, after the Project.

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