Normally we associate the global positioning system (GPS) embedded in our cellular phones and car computers with absolute coordinates of a point on the Earth's surface. GPS-backed navigation gadgets are part of our everyday life today.

The GPS for the project execution journey addresses different landscapes where geometry does not work.

The project management (PM) theory failed to offer a coordinated system in which the project execution progress may be reliably tracked. Combinations of the PM core categories like time, cost, task, deliverable, or the work unit are not sufficient.

Some PM parameter is missing. calls it the abstraction lifecycle status.

The project execution may be viewed as a conversion of engineering abstractions into real equipment pieces, systems, and plants. Status is a milestone of the abstraction materialization process.

To describe the project execution location in a new coordinate system, introduced 11 generic abstractions, each one being linked to its own set of statuses. An abstraction is an analog of the GPS satellite.

For instance, the "procured element" abstraction includes 17 statuses beginning with "pending", "for information", "sized", "RFQ notification sent", etc. The procured element may be a P&ID, the P&ID items, any group of items forming a subsystem, or a plant.

The mentioned abstractions are interlinked. So statuses may overlap. For instance, the "procurement" abstraction statuses range from "request for quotation" to "order completed".

The desalination mega-project may contain over 3000 procured elements described by over 50000 combinations of statuses. That explains why conventional PM overlooked such a methodology. Figures don't matter anything in digital PM.

Statuses are just numbers; any Math operation may be applied to them. For instance, the sum of all the statuses at the project start equals zero, while at the project end, it reaches maximum.

The universal language of statuses is simple and may be quickly learned by any project manager hired for the project duration. Customers benefit from it too as they may track the project execution online without being boggled down with technicalities. The status metrics are the first component of the project web dashboard shown below. Its design principles are described elsewhere.

To maintain the status consistency across the project hierarchy the following rules are imposed on the status definition.

  1. The subsystem element with the lowest status defines the status of the subsystem
  2. If the subsystem status is raised, the status of any element of the system is raised as well
  3. If the subsystem status is decreased, the status of the system element is not changed
  4. Any change in the element status triggers the status validation up the hierarchy tree

Neither the engineer nor the project manager is allowed to change the status.

There are two classes of statuses - the planned and the actual one. The former is auto-generated from the project schedule included in the FEED package.

The actual status is an output of some action. For instance, approval of P&D changes its status and those of all its items to "sized". Other examples of status change triggers are issuing RFQ, selecting the bidder or a product, incoming goods inspection, etc.

All the statuses may be easily retrieved by the PlantDesigner software user.

© 2024