Last month in Part 1 of this paper we described assets and their development in detail, together with so-called benefits realization. In this Part 2, I want to explore ways in which Assets can and should deliver value.
Exploring the Asset Delivery Options
Assuming that everyone is willing to accept the argument that project management is nothing more (nor anything less) than "an asset delivery system. It is designed to do any of "create, acquire, update, expand, repair, maintain, or eventual disposal of organizational assets" during the asset life span, all as illustrated by Figure 3, in Part 1 of this paper). So now, let us continue to look at the fully integrated asset, portfolio, program and project management methodology from the perspective of the asset life span.
From the perspective of the Asset life span, there are three primary "delivery methods" and two secondary or transitional methods from which any organization can choose, often known (incorrectly) as "Hybrid". That is, to "acquire, create, produce, repair, update, maintain and eventually dispose of organizational assets". This way, it helps to provide clarity as to which method is appropriate and under which conditions or circumstances.
From an asset management perspective, (given that ISO 55000 is a validated, tested and proven to work) the five generic delivery options are as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7: Asset Delivery Methodology Options [click to enlarge]
As can be seen in Figure 7, the variables or attributes used to differentiate the primary and transitional delivery options are the degree of scope and/or objective definition combined with the methodology's tolerance for changes and ambiguity.
- Operations This is a well-tested and proven option, appropriate when the scope of work and objectives are very well defined and there is little, or no change expected or tolerated.
This option has been in use successfully since the Industrial Revolution and in more recent development is now being automated using robots and autonomous machines. Automobile manufacturing is a classic example, but this also applies to the food, pharmaceutical, downstream oil, gas and mining as well as telecom, electrical and other manufacturing applications. For those in the world of IT, this embraces "DevOps" and addresses how software, once developed is put into production and mass produced.
- Projectized Operations This is probably the most common of the Asset Delivery Options as it includes not only operations that are not necessarily purely repetitive but include any operating environments that rely on projects as part of the process.
This example coming from Freeport Indonesia is a classic example https://goo.gl/cm8tBT that resulted in documented savings of 6 million USD over a 4‑year period and resulted in the project manager being promoted to Vice President. This model is most prevalent in any professional services firm, where customers or clients either make an appointment or walk in randomly and choose from a set menu of services. Each of these services meet the definition of a project and in fact is the core competency.
Teachers, Lawyers, Doctors and Dentists, Electricians, Plumbers, Architects, and Engineers, as well as Auto Mechanics, along with Commercial Aircraft Pilots and Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers and Farmers, are but a few examples. All are part and parcel of the performing organization's ongoing business model. For our IT colleagues, it includes the individual programmer who designs and builds website or creates customized databases or creates mobile phone apps.
Figure 8: Project Management Processes Embedded into
All Professions and Trades [click to enlarge]
- Projects This is a well-tested and proven methodology, appropriate when the scope of work and objectives are fairly-well defined (70%+), and some percentage of change can be expected and tolerated.
As evidenced by the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China, the Cathedrals of Europe up to today's Burj Khalifa, this method or process has been around for 5,000 years. This is not as technically advanced as operations, but technology is starting to be used, including the use of drones, autonomous machines and facial recognition. As noted previously, there are many examples where operations have been projectized, particularly in the service industries, such as barbers, hairdressers, dentists, automobile mechanics, lawyers, adjunct professors, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. Their business model is built around "unique projects."
This is the essence of today's "gig economy."
- Integrated Project Management In construction, this has been around for at least 30 years. It evolved (and continues to evolve) because of the high rates of claims, disputes and litigation in construction.
This is caused by owners not being willing to take the time to define scope >70% or more. Yet they want to transfer the risk to the party best positioned to manage or control the risk and for those risks and opportunities that cannot be allocated, then to share them amongst or between the parties. To try to eliminate the inherent conflicts of interest, various experiments in alternate contracting methods have evolved. These are where the contractor and owner are working together to achieve the results the owner needs or wants while at the same time, yielding a fair and reasonable profit to the contractor. This approach has been called "partnering" or "collaborative contracting" and since 2007, has been known as the Integrated Project Delivery Method or IPD.
- "Trial and Error", "Scientific Method", or "Agile" These are all well-tested approaches, appropriate when the scope of work and/or the objectives are not well defined and in fact may not even be fully known or knowable when the project is initiated.
Trial and Error is by far the oldest of the asset delivery options, having been around since humans tamed fire over a million years ago and invented the wheel some 6,000 years ago. The best example of this is the story of how 3M ended up "inventing" or "discovering" Post It Notes, i.e., by accident. This is not a project delivery method and should not be confused with project management.
Having identified the three Primary and two Transitional, Intermediate or "Hybrid" Asset Delivery approaches, let us explore the three Primary methods in more detail, starting with the oldest and most mature.
12. Giammalvo, Paul D. (Feb 2019) Posting on a Linked In Discussion https://goo.gl/8omrQC last accessed 02/10/2019.