Mareel on time, on budget and on track

Posted by on November 24th, 2009 No Comments

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The building is now rapidly taking shape. I walked into one of the downstairs rooms today, through a doorway and looked out to sea through a window. Well almost, the block work is only about 1m high. I did however for the first time really get a sense of one of the many spaces in the building.

Having attended the monthly Site Progress Meeting today I can confirm that the building is currently on budget and on time. I guess you may have heard about the construction being eight weeks behind and the need for it to get back on track.

There is some truth in the eight weeks part of this statement but it doesn’t give the full picture. All it means is that there is a number of things that haven’t been completed to a proposed date that all added up together total eight weeks. The important thing is that DITT have said that the current status of the project is that it will be completed to the programmed construction end date. In other words – on time. It’s not as simple as just adding eight weeks to the end of the contract. The key point being there is plenty of opportunity to make up time and the amount of time needing to be made up is unlikely to be eight weeks anyway.

I am confident given the very robust project management structure and the highly professional team that is in place who are all acutely aware of the total budget available that: the best possible building will be built; in the best possible time and at the best possible price. That confidence is greatly enhanced in the knowledge that members of this same team got us to the point that we had a building that we could build within the budget we had. It’s not unusual for large capital projects in Shetland and beyond to go over budget on the day the contract is signed with the builder!

Having read through some of my previous posts I see that I haven’t to date explained how we are managing this project – some of you maybe interested so in summary, here it goes:

The management structure includes monthly Project Board meetings with representatives of key funders, Shetland Arts Trustees, key Shetland Arts staff, our Quantity Surveyor and our Project Manager. Cost and progress reports are scrutinised at this meeting along with reviews of Risk Logs and Issue Logs.

Feeding into the above is a monthly Project Team Meeting attended by our Project Manager, Myself (as representative of the Client), Contract Administrator, Architects, Quantity Surveyor, Clark of Works and our CDM Coordinator when he’s needed. Here we review and discuss Architect Instructions, issue Change Requests, consider cost reports and explore potential savings/ additional costs as and when they arise and make recommendations as required to the Project Board.

There is also a monthly Site Progress Meetings in which DITT update members of the Project Team on how things are going, seek clarification on aspects of the construction and highlight urgent decisions required to support good progress.

Feeding into all the above is a raft of other coordination meetings with consultants and subcontractors.

The whole process of managing the project is governed by a detailed document called the ‘Project Execution Plan’ that sets out roles, responsibilities and communication routes from the ‘Client’ to the ‘Contractor’.

The Board of Trustees of Shetland Arts Development Agency get a 6 weekly update and will make decisions on major departures from design and cost should that be required.  The aim of the project management structure is to ensure that decisions are made timelessly to reduce risk of delays and to maintain a very tight hold of our finite budget.

As with any major project there are always unknowns that appear from time to time. So I can’t be a 100% sure that in 6 months time I will still be able to say that we are still on time and on budget but I do have a great team all determined to ensure just that and who are doing all that is possible to keep us on track – and for that I am hugely grateful.

I will keep you all posted as things progress. If you have any questions regards Mareel do let us know.

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