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Success Story: Project Support

Handling of a Hyper Fast Track Project during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Enormous time pressure, considerably higher risks, greater potential for conflict within the team, and greater susceptibility to errors than in a "normal" project lead time: If a plant construction project is to be handled as a hyper fast-track project, these are the circumstances that must be reckoned with throughout the course of the project. But what happens when a project of this type is additionally confronted with the unexpected, massive effects of a pandemic?

Lead times in comparison

In order to be able to deal with and understand this problem in more detail, it is important to know what Hyper Fast Tracking in project management actually means. In this method, processes that usually take place one after the other or slightly overlap (such as engineering and procurement processes) are strongly parallelized. This leads to a substantial compression and/or shortening of the time schedule. The planning, management and coordination effort is enormously high, even without unexpected external circumstances. In addition, fast tracking and its extreme variant, Hyper Fast Tracking, can be expected to lead to a sharp increase in the error rate.

Challenging Circumstances

In September 2020, centerline/ was commissioned to support a plant engineering company in handling a Hyper Fast Track project. Why?

The on-time completion of the plant was more than questionable due to the rapid spread of the Corona virus (1st and 2nd wave) and the associated measures: Mandatory wearing of a mouth-nose protection (FFP2 mask) reduced productivity by 25 - 30 % and led to necessary additional breaks on the construction site. In addition, project participants fell ill or came into contact with sick people, resulting in unplanned absences. Was it possible to meet the planned deadline for technical completion despite all these measures? In retrospect, this question can be answered with "yes".


How Could centerline/ Specifically Help in the Project?

After recording the current status quo, deviation analyses were prepared together with those involved in order to evaluate which project courses (depending on various measures) were possible at the time centerline/ was commissioned (scenario technique). Very close communication was agreed upon with the project team members involved, which is why two meetings per week were held. These served as a platform for the reporting of current processes as well as for the detailed planning of the remaining activities, which mainly concerned the areas of software programming, assembly and commissioning. Due to the very close arrangements, a very rigid hourly controlling was possible. Communication with the customer of the plant engineering company was also changed, for example, reporting was optimized.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, personnel measures also had to be implemented. In order to have sufficient personnel available on the construction site, high personnel provisions were made, i.e. significantly more workers were planned to take over the activities of those who had fallen ill.

Especially pleasing: Thanks to courageous decision-making and implementation of the steps outlined above, the contract deadline for technical completion of the plant could even be slightly undercut!

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