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Walter A. Wawruck
Project Management and Engagement
Consulting and Seminars

Consulting Services in Project Management



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Consulting Services in Project Management


My consulting services in the field of project management are outlined below. Please contact me if you would like more information.

Contents

Overview: Variety of Project Experience
Management Planning Sessions
Organizational Strategy and Policy
Management Systems
Evaluations and Reviews
Management Support
Education and Training Services
Contact Walter Wawruck



Overview: Variety of Project Experience

My range of practice encompasses all types of projects. A project is any organized endeavour to achieve defined goals under conditions of limited resources and target completion dates. There are proven management principles and good practices common to all projects. I have had the opportunity to work with a large number of organizations on a vast variety of project types, which include the design, development, and implementation of:

  • Industrial, residential, and institutional facilities
  • Organizational policies, processes, and systems
  • Information and telecommunications infrastructure and systems
  • New products and programs

For my clients, I have provided specialised advice and recommendations on polices, management processes, and planning and control systems. I have directed projects, and I have served as a senior member of project teams. I have assisted project teams as an advisor and facilitator to deal with specific matters: preparing a plan, solving a problem, establishing working relationships, making a decision, or resolving a dispute, for example.

My professional practice encompasses the full range of project management issues:

  • organization
  • planning
  • implementation
  • control
  • evaluation

I provide training services in project management. Please see the descriptions of the in-house and public subscription seminars that I offer.

My qualifications include an engineering degree and an MBA. I am a Professional Engineer and I am internationally certified as a Project Management Professional. To stay abreast of current findings and the state of the art in my professional field, I participate actively in the technical affairs of professional organization in project management and cost engineering.

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Management Planning Sessions

A participatory planning session, or interactive workshop, is a powerful technique for making decisions in which many players have a legitimate interest or a contribution of knowledge to make. This form of group engagement can be used to make good decisions rapidly and, at the same time, to gain the commitment of those who have a role to play in the successful implementation of those decisions. The same fundamental set of knowledge-sharing and consensus-building techniques is utilised in a wide range of project management situations, even though the sessions may go by a variety of different names. These names include:

  • Stakeholder Consultation
  • Partnering
  • Team Building
  • Design Charrette
  • Start-up Meeting
  • Problem Solving
  • Decision Analysis
  • Plan of Execution Workshop

I have organized and facilitated numerous management planning sessions to assist client organizations in making complex decisions and in resolving contentious issues. These interactive decision-making and problem-solving sessions are typically conducted in a workshop setting. They have proven remarkably effective in creating a shared understanding, and a consensus on decisions, for issues ranging from strategic plans to the selection of engineering designs and hardware. A structured approach is utilized to establish an environment of shared perceptions and open communications. Client organizations have succeeded in resolving even long-standing inter-group conflicts and operational bottlenecks through these sessions.

A workshop is a highly effective devices for utilising the specialised knowledge and the experience of the team members and other stakeholders, and for the rapid communication and sharing of that knowledge. The technique has been successfully applied on a myriad of project types and for a wide variety of specific issues. It has produced good results for hydroelectric, pipeline, and communications and control projects; and for methods improvement, organizational change, marketing, and strategic planning initiatives, to cite a few examples.

A workshop session is the ideal vehicle for using formal decision making models, such as Kepner-Tregoe decision analysis, to make a choice which requires consensus support. I have been able to use this combination to good effect in numerous workshops. Some of the specific applications have included:

  • Identifying required competencies for project managers and developing a classification system for the managerial complexity of projects as part of establishing a project manager selection and training strategy for a major international consulting firm

  • Capturing lessons learned at the conclusion of major engineering and construction projects, obtaining consensus onn recommended changes in management processes

  • Choosing from two competing options an automated process control technology for a large scale smelting and refining facility

  • Centralized vs. decentralized geographic location of incarceration facilities for young offenders

  • Mainframe vs. PC based capital program management information system

  • Alternative strategies and scopes for seismic upgrading of critical utility plant.


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Organizational Strategy and Policy

There is a growing body of knowledge about the critical factors that make an organization effective in sponsoring a multitude of projects. Some of these elements can be implemented only at the organizational level, not by the sponsors and managers of individual projects. Such elements include:

  • An organizational policy, implemented and communicated at the executive level, that links effective project management to the strategic goals of the organization, and that spells out the roles and responsibilities of both project and departmental personnel in the conduct of a project.

  • Common methodologies and procedures for the conduct of individual projects.

  • Management information and control systems, and information structures which serve the needs of individual project managers, and at the same time provide consistent information for making comparisons among projects.

  • Establishing project management as a recognised professional function, and maintaining qualified personnel to play this specialised role.

I have designed comprehensive frameworks and authored manuals for the management of entire programs, including the specification of interfaces with corporate information systems. These frameworks have incorporated:

  • Life-cycle based methodologies for the evolution of the end result, from needs analysis through requirements specification, design, implementation, and start-up to final acceptance and transfer.

  • Model organization designs, incorporating roles for sponsors, users, functional departments, and external stakeholders, as well as individual roles within the project team..

  • Information structures and procedures for establishing baseline standards and for the subsequent management control of project scope and quality, cost, and schedule at each life cycle stage.

The organizations for which I have developed these comprehensive management frameworks have included telephone and electrical utilities, government ministries, and pipeline transportation companies. I have developed frameworks for capital facilities programs, and for marketing initiatives.

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Management Systems

My experience on information and control systems development projects has focused on the crucial initial stages - need identification, feasibility evaluation, requirements documentation, and system design.

I have developed organizational designs for systems project teams, incorporating roles for users and the sponsoring executives as well as for data processing and management systems specialists. These project team organizations have facilitated the process of gaining broad organizational support for systems projects in client organizations by providing for participation, by the stakeholders, in the development process.

I have contributed to the definition of requirements for project information and control systems from the viewpoint of incorporating good management practices in critical areas such as:

  • Scope management, particularly the adoption of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) as the uniform information structure

  • Cost management, incorporating regular re-forecasting which takes account of potential risk events and uses committed costs as a base

  • Schedule management, including the judicious use of critical path calculations for status reporting and completion forecasting

Scope and Quality Management

Sound scope and quality management is the starting point I adopt for project control system designs. The emphases are on thoroughly specified requirements, a deliverables-oriented work breakdown structure, and clear acceptance criteria. I have developed work breakdown structures (WBS), as comprehensive information frameworks for managing projects, and have prepared manuals to guide their application. Some examples:

  • For demand-side-management programs in an electrical utility, I developed a life-cycle based program development method and WBS.

  • For a large scale hydroelectric facility, I prepared a manual for the creation and use of a facility-oriented WBS during the design stage of the project.

Cost management

Estimating and cost control go hand in hand on projects; cost control starts with the preparation of estimates, and estimates must be structured to reflect cost information in categories suited to cost management. The traditional accounting approach to cost management has relied on reporting costs after the fact - once they are commitments or expenditures. In my work, I have developed management systems which anticipate and influence the magnitude of project costs well before commitments are made. These estimating and contingency management techniques place the burden for preparing cost forecasts with those members of the project team who can influence the outcome - the designers and contract managers who assemble procurement packages

As the manager of development projects, I have put these methods into practice to deliver complex funding/design packages on time and on budget.

Schedule Management

In my work I have designed hierarchical schemes for developing project schedules that establish the clear linkage between client objectives for completion dates and the detailed schedules which are adopted to guide the day-to-day performance of project tasks. The use of the critical path method, or the use of other techniques such as crew based methods, are recommended where they are appropriate. I have developed, and used, automated planning and scheduling systems on large-scale design and construction undertakings.

My experience with project scheduling techniques includes the introduction of critical path methods on the Arctic Gas pipeline project in 1971-72. I have prepared working schedules for a wide variety of construction, systems, and administrative projects.

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Evaluations and Reviews

I provide independent professional opinions on matters falling within my areas of specialisation and knowledge. In addition to my work in providing recommendations and designs for organizational policies, processes, and management systems, I carry out assignments such as these:

  • Re-evaluation of the position of Project Manager in a government organization. This was part of a comprehensive brief challenging the classification of the Project Manager role by the Public Service Commission. The brief introduced project responsibilities and reporting relationships, rather than departmental position, as a legitimate basis for applying the formal rating system to obtain a substantial increase in rating for the role

  • Expert advisor to the Public Accounts Committee of the Yukon Legislative Assembly in its 1988 inquiry into the management of building development projects. In this role, I reviewed the conduct of several individual projects and examined the overall process for the funding authorization, the initiation, and the delivery of building projects.

  • Historical re-constructions and analyses of causes of additional costs and delays for construction projects. Prepared statements of claim, including establishment of entitlement and quantification of damages.

  • A survey study of job satisfaction in a major utility.

  • Various facilities planning and feasibility studies, ranging from process plants to corporate computing centres. Investigated the feasibility of an industrial development company for commercialising the research findings of a university department.

  • A report on corridor and route selection choices made by multi-disciplinary panels for a Mackenzie Valley oil pipeline project.

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Management Support

I work as a member of project teams. My roles on projects have included Project Manager, Director, Administrator, Controls Manager, and Scheduler. My assignments typically are in the early stages of the project. I might, for example, assist in developing the project plan, in setting up the control and reporting mechanisms, in setting up the project office, and in recruiting a person to fill the role of Controls Manager for the duration of the project.

Here are some representative assignments:

  • Scheduler: Prepared critical path plans and schedules, status reports, and budgets for the engineering work on an Arctic pipeline project. Monitored the preparation of technical regulatory submissions and directed the work of consultants on corrosion studies and design.

  • Scheduler: Prepared critical path plans and work schedules for the study phase of a MacKenzie valley oil pipeline.

  • Project Services Manager: on the Sundance Thermal Generating Plant construction project, was responsible for material procurement, scheduling, and cost forecasting on the fifth and sixth 375 Mw. additions to the Calgary Power Ltd. plant.

  • Planner: Participated in a team which prepared a management plan and baseline description for a multi-billion dollar pipeline project.

  • Project Manager: Directed a 79 acre industrial subdivision development, including securing the funding and establishing the operating organization.

  • Project Manager and Controller: Directed and administered development projects for large-scale corporate accounting and management information systems.

  • Project Director: Had full management responsibility for development projects in a portfolio which included: facilities for high technology industry - office parks and speciality buildings; waterfront and marine developments - industrial and commercial land and facilities; marketing of land holdings.

  • Controls Manager: Installed basic control mechanisms for the permitting stage of a major pipeline project.

  • Scheduler: Prepared contract strategy and fast-track schedule for large scale module construction facility.

  • Project Director: Directed planning phase for creation of young offenders program and facility, including plans for staffing and start-up.

  • Controls Manager: Prepared management control practices; directed development of automated estimating and bid preparation system; and negotiated contract terms for design, supply, and installation of high technology equipment on a major defence contract.

  • Planner: Prepared strategy and plans for major upgrade of the computer communications infrastructure in a major health care facility.

  • Project Manager: Directed the planning phase for a green-field grain fractionation plant and ethanol distillery.

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Education and Training Services

For a major international engineering and environmental consulting firm, I conducted a study of training needs for project managers. It included a survey of current qualifications and career ambitions. It recommended a classification system for levels of competence required for projects of varying degrees of managerial challenge, and a strategy for developing individual capabilities to meet those requirements.

A large part of my professional practice is devoted to preparing and presenting management training sessions . These sessions range from classroom lectures to participative workshops. During 1980 and 1981 I lectured on project management in the Executive Programs Seminars at the University of British Columbia and have since presented guest lectures to graduate students. I have presented courses at the University of Piura in Peru, at the B.C. Institute of Technology, and through Simon Fraser University's Continuing Studies Division. I provide training in all aspects of project and program management, including seminars specifically designed to assist those preparing to write the examination for certification as Project Management Professionals.

I have acted as the leader for numerous in-house seminars on project management for clients in the petroleum, electronics, telecommunications, construction, aerospace, utilities, financial services, and other industries, as well as for institutions and government organizations. The participants have come from supervisory, managerial, and executive ranks and from disciplines as diverse as social service, marketing, personnel, accounting, biological sciences, and health care - in addition to such traditional project practitioners as analysts, programmers, engineers, and builders.

The training sessions on project management are based on a universal model of a management process for any unique undertaking aimed at producing a defined result. The model features a life-cycle framework, baseline standards for control, the assignment of roles and responsibilities in a project organization, and the influences on human behavior in the project setting.

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Contact Walter Wawruck at:
16 West 19th Avenue
Vancouver B.C.
V5Y 2B2
Phone (604) 879-8752 Or E-mail me now!
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This page was last updated on December 12, 2016