Woodsdale Generating Station
Project Management in Action
The Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. (CG&E) is completing the construction and startup of the first block of generating units at the new Woodsdale Generating Station in Butler County, Ohio. The first block consists of six simple cycle combustion turbine generators and all support facilities, such as natural gas system, propane system, water supply and treatment system, compressed air system, black start emergency turbine-generator unit, distributed control system, auxiliary electrical systems, communication systems, office building, warehouse, laboratory, and maintenance shops. These units will enable CG&E to better meet the needs of electric customers during times of peak electric demand or when fast response generation is required due to unplanned shutdowns or malfunctions at other generating stations.
The licensing, engineering, procurement, construction, and startup of the plant were accomplished by a project team, working with consultants, contractors, and various departments within CG&E. The project management principles covered in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and in my Project Management Professional (PMP) training were all applicable; this case study highlights some of the principles which had new or unusual impacts on the Woodsdale project.
Communications Management was enhanced by the methods and culture of the project team. Weekly meetings, monthly meetings, action item assignments and follow-up, and generous distribution of copies of correspondence and other documents ensured that all interested parties were fully informed of developments and opened up opportunities for participation by all. Team members were given wide responsibilities and generous authority to enhance their spirit of ownership and pride in their work. Team members signed their own correspondence. Accountability remained with each person until completion. Once company management personnel provided the basic criteria for the plant, all subsequent decisions were made by the team, using participative culture and consensus closure of each issue. A Lessons Learned Report was published near the end of the construction phase, with contributions from the team members.
Human Resources Management reflected the team culture, and added to the excellent morale and pride of team members. Formal and informal recognition of tasks well done were emphasized. Achievement of big and small milestones of the project were celebrated in team activities, even if it was just a group lunch at the nearest eatery. The construction field office was a permanent building, with most of the conveniences of the headquarters office building. Tours of the project were conducted for headquarters employees who had any degree of participation in the project. Temporary technical and clerical helpers were added to the team as the team determined they were necessary, and the termination of those people was timed by the team.
Quality Management had a major impact on the project. Team members took the initiative to delve into contractors' construction quality, and if necessary, to shut down that portion of the work until the contractors developed and implemented complete QA/QC procedures and plans to correct any deficient work already performed. The final product quality is impressive because of these efforts.
Risk Management included a project labor agreement with the construction labor unions and contractors. It also included 3-dimensional computer modeling of the design prior to construction.
Contract Management featured mostly fixed-price awards of work packages, after rigid bid evaluation processes. Cost-plus work was minimal, even for design and field revisions after award. The project audit performed by independent auditors resulted in a complimentary report.
CG&E is building upon the Woodsdale project management experiences and is implementing anew Project Control Information System (PCIS) to continue the goal of ever-improving management of projects.
From: Robert P. Carey PMP The Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company
PMI research shows project teams that draw from an array of perspectives and skillsets deliver powerful outcomes.