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Megaproject Management: Lessons on Risk and Project Management from the Big Dig by Virginia A. Greiman

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Chapter 6

Schedule

This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.

—Sir Winston Churchill

Introduction

In his famous quote “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else,” Peter F. Drucker defined the significance of time in managing projects. The triple constraint highlights the reality of all projects—that one side of the triangle cannot be changed without affecting the others. This chapter focuses on the impact of time on all aspects of managing large-scale projects, from the establishment of a timeline to the life cycle of complex projects and the problems encountered along the way. Solutions to these problems are discussed, along with recommendations for accelerated project delivery and the essential tools to control and mitigate delay. Simply stated, being on time requires an elaborate structure, an integrated system, and, most important, careful planning at the front end.

Schedule-driven projects

The Big Dig is known for cost and schedule delays, yet in the words of one project official, “The project was driven and controlled by meeting schedule mandates.” (Primack 2006). An extensive analysis of the project's cost and schedule in 2003 by an independent board of the National Academies noted the difficulty of ascertaining the true cost of schedule because of the constant interaction between the triple constraints of scope, schedule, and cost (Board 2003, 13).

Megaprojects are often of long duration—between 5 and 20 years, or longer for some oil ...

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