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Tunelling Management by Design 9-11

Tunelling Management by Design 9-11

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Published by Hakan_KURU

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Published by: Hakan_KURU on Mar 31, 2011
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Chapter 7
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will becontent to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
Advancement of Learning, Francis Bacon.
It is remarkable that, with so great a recent emphasis on management, withmuch purveyance of courses, books and seminars, so little wisdom appearsto emerge on the essence of the successful management of large complexengineering projects. Major tunnels clearly figure in this category, occupyinga special place on account of the dominance of the construction options andthe constant vigilance demanded in respect of geological uncertainty. Theprincipal defect of so many tracts on management is that the subject isdiscussed as administration, the manipulation of the tools of management,understanding the bureaucratic machine, in preference to management asthe art of blending and synthesis across the diverse contributions to thesuccessful project. There is a great deal of jargon relating to projectmanagement. This language needs to be understood, in order to penetratethe surrounding mystique, but not to be used. Management-speak is nosubstitute for good leadership and clear thinking.Management as administration supposes that the engineering iscontrolled by directives and undertaken in individual cells, each cellconcerned with a particular aspect which is defined and recorded.Administration endeavours to police each aspect to prevent change whichmight otherwise interfere with other aspects of the project. Administration isremote, avoids technical debate, being incompetent, on account of inadequate technical understanding and an inappropriate structure, toengage in interactive leadership, reacting ineffectually to the consequences of change without active engagement in their anticipation.Management as administration is practised by some of the best knownmanagement consultants, who rely upon a formal set of procedures to ensurerigorous compliance with each aspect of a project to avoid interference with
© 2000 Alan Muir Wood
any other aspect. Superficially, the consequence appears to be that of successful management, but achieved at great cost in denying theopportunity for change as advantageous options come to light as a projectdevelops. In this way, the effective operation of the process of 
isdenied(seeChapter 2). This widespread set of errors in project management springs essentiallyfrom a legalistic approach to project management which derives from thethesis that interests of participants are only guarded by precise definitions of each transaction or undertaking treated separately from any other. Inessence, this approach endeavours to impose certainty in an inherentlyuncertain environment. In the terms of games theory, a zero-sum game isimposed, whereby the gains of one party can only occur at the expense of another. On the contrary, as described in Section 7.2, the essence of thesuccessful project is the recognition that the parties must share to somedegree the benefits of a successful project implicit in the process of optimisation, rather than reliance on scoring only by diminishing thebenefits of other parties of the project, to the detriment of the project overall.Successful project management hinges upon the application of theprofessional element of engineering. While engineering is a market-ledoccupation, the professional mark of an engineer’s training should ensurethat the interests of his (or her) Client, (i.e. the rewarder of his contribution)and of the public interest (the ‘stakeholders’, the social and environmentalconsequences) should predominate over the reliance on short-term marketvalues of so many politicians and accountants. Such an attitude should alsopreclude totally the advancement of the interests of the engineer at theexpense of his Client.As the environment of underground construction has becomeincreasingly exposed to commercial pressures so has it become increasinglydifficult to retain professional standards—but not impossible. Excessivecommercial pressures, failing to appreciate the merits of a
orholistic approach (i.e. the perception of the project as a whole) are boundto achieve sub-optimal results. In the distant past, there was a presumptionthat the engineer concerned with the conceptual design of the project (inmany countries, the Consulting Engineer) had virtually a monopoly of professional virtue. This never was the case and a present boost toprofessionalism results from the present sheer complexity of engineering,so that professional engineers are now fairly evenly spread across the moreenlightened Owners, Engineers, Contractors and Specialists in plant andspecial processes. Many need, however, to relearn the demands upon aprofessional to perform effectively. The professional understands that hisown expertise and know-how need, to be effective, to inter-relate withthose corresponding features of others with whom he works. This, asindicated by Section 2.1, is an essential element of 
and, inconsequence, of the effective manager.
© 2000 Alan Muir Wood
This chapter is concerned with establishing the criteria for goodpractice. There is much to learn from multitudinous examples of badpractice but these are best explored against their consequential effects andtypical examples are therefore examined predominantly in Chapter 8.Not all—but most—project disasters derive essentially from managementdeficiencies, often of structural rather than personal nature. Too often,immediately evident and practical causes are discussed withoutappreciation, possibly even with deliberate obscuration, of the way inwhich the management philosophy or structure has encouraged or evenestablished the deficiencies in practice, the project ‘climate’ (Pugsley 1966).Comparable to the way in which, as described by Pugsley, features of aproject contribute to a ‘climate’ for physical failure, so also is there a lesstangible ‘social climate’ of relationships, competencies and responsibilitiesthat contribute to the broader features for success of a project, dependent,as is a tunnel, on a degree of inherent uncertainty. The wider concern istherefore with contract practices which give poor value for money, denydevelopment of engineering responsibility and fail to exploit the potentialcapabilities for success.
Project procurement
The first step in the assembly of the component parts for the execution of a successful major project is to establish the means of procurement, i.e.the assembly of the contributory elements. It should be evident—but toooften set to one side in favour of established procedures without merit foran underground project or for any project with a scope for change oruncertainty—that the purpose should be that of harnessing mosteffectively the special skills of those upon whom success must depend. Avital element is that such parties should be engaged in a professionalmanner, so that the success of the project dominates the shared purpose,with this success reflected in the contribution to the profitability of eachparticipant.For the Øresund Link between Copenhagen and Malmo, a deliberateattempt has been made (Reed 1999) by the Owner, Øresundskonsortiet(ØSK), to demonstrate the functions of an exemplary Employer (or‘Enlightened Purchaser’ in the terminology of the UK Treasury), withprocurement rightly seen as the first step, an essential basis for supportingthe subsequent phases of a potentially successful project, of a size andcomplexity comparable to that of the Channel Tunnel.Apart from the rigour with which the prequalification of tenderers andthe award of Contracts was undertaken, to a preconceived plan for objectiveassessment of resources, competence and the degree of conformity to thestandards of requirements, other particular features merit mention: 
© 2000 Alan Muir Wood

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