Project Controls contains a wide spectrum of disciplines to manage a project (e.g. budget management, schedule management, requisition management, procurement management, expediting, inspection, quality control, material management, acceptance testing, punch-list management, claim management, close-out management, etc.).

“At this page I will share the experience I gathered over the years and will simply start and see where it will end… We will make it readable and not a boring study-book… When successful it may become a book or web-site by itself.” 

Chapter-1: Prologue: What do you do?

This is the question you get many times at a party when people get more interested in what you do in daily life. It is a sign of interest by the questioner, that is not always easy to answer. Here the Babylonian language issue started

“ I am the Global Director Procurement of CAPEX” … Eyes get bigger and are looking at you if you just have said: “I am a chicken-egg fertiliser”.

“ I buy stuff… for projects… equipment and services”… Ahhh… Very fast the topic changes to the food or an offer for another drink.

Unless you get the question from a project expert. This will be your solvate for the evening to discuss about all the PMP topics, as CDP, BDP, FEED, EPCM, FAT’s, SAT’s, MC, LD’s… but also the PSR, PRS, ITB, RFI, RFP, T&C’s, SPC’s… Whether you refer to E&I, Mech, DCS, etc. Extremely boring for the people that surrounded you, that slowly leave the conversation.

In the next chapters I will explain in a structured way what are the aspects of CAPEX Procurement.

Chapter-2: It starts with an idea… a vision…

Before any project starts there is/are individual(s) that come with a good idea and express that idea to a group of trustees. The engagement process is an important one. An idea can be very good, but without engagement the idea will never get support to become executed. 

The most ideal is that you have developed a relationship with a high authorised person, so simply informally share that you have an idea and that you will work out a project charter and want to present that in # days.

Chapter-3: Project Charter

When I heard “ Project Charter” for the first time, I had no idea what it meant. It is the most vague deliverable of the project.

A Project Charter is not more than a high level strategy to onboard your stakeholders to spend time, resources and money on the idea. Such Project Charter typically is identifying the following items: problem statement or opportunity, objective, identified stakeholders, proposed sponsor, required resources and budget, schedule, milestones, gates, risks & mitigation.

Make sure that you prepare a slide and share this with the stakeholders and ask them for their input. They call this the buy-in phase. It is very unprofessional when you presenting your plan for the highest in rank and he find out that all your peers and stakeholders are asking questions that could have been tackled before. This is where most business cases get looped back and do not get support from the other stakeholders. Not rarely the stakeholders refuse to support; how could you present it to my leadership and expecting that I will provide my resources and budget and will never get the credits. The social and political aspects on buying-in stakeholders is a very important first step. Do not hesitate to ask straightly if the stakeholder will back-up the project (and the Project Charter presentation to leadership).

When you are prepared well, the stakeholders will not ask questions, but add arguments that it is feasible in the meeting with leadership. This provides the leadership three take aways: i) you were able to turn an idea into a realistic plan identifying needs, risks and mitigations, results; ii) you have shown real leadership by engaging stakeholders that support the plan; iii) you need approval to proceed.

Chapter-3: Stakeholders

When you make a plan, it is eminent to onboard people that are effected and influence the success of your plan(s). The word stakeholder defines the one that is effected by any decision and/or change. The onboarding process is very important. Stakeholders that are asked for an opinion will support to build the plan successfully and are usually great source for advise. Stakeholders that are not involved can grow as the biggest opponent of your plans, fustrated by the fact that they are not involved and had no chance to influence or give any input… they feel by-passed and are outside of the supporting team. Even when stakeholders are reluctant to change, give them a chance to provide input and use their input to counter their statements for the greater cause.


© Bart Schaminee 2018