Project Management Institute

Storms in the cloud



There's an app for that. And that. And that. But the explosion of cloudbased offerings might be cutting down on employee productivity.

According to a June study by Osterman Research and Intermedia, small and mediumsized businesses use an average of 14.3 cloudbased apps. Employees use 5.5 apps during the course of their workdays.

With so many applications to maintain, the survey found, project teams spend an unexpected amount of time juggling passwords and troubleshooting accounts. IT departments also dedicate time and manpower to managing subscriptions, renewals, devices and product training.

That loss of productivity comes at a monetary cost to organizations—about $15 per employee per month, the study found.

“Forcing employees to use lots of different applications with inconsistent user experiences is a significant time sink,” Ben Kepes, director of Diversity Limited in Christchurch, New Zealand, wrote in Forbes.

While there's no easy solution at hand, Mr. Kepes says curating which apps teams use could help project managers keep them from sinking too much time into the cloud.
—Andrew McKernan

That's a problem, because static skills can put a project at risk in a rapidly changing environment. As portfolios broaden, failing to integrate standards and observe best practices can often lead to project delays and cost overruns, Shazlee says. “Rarely do we see the project management team plan as they should for a complex or large-scale project Often the project team will get stuck somewhere during the final sign-off trying to figure out how to deal with an incomplete deliverable without incurring any additional cost.”


“Already we are seeing large-scale projects divided into more digestible scopes, or two or more similar projects delivered in parallel.”

—William Yong, Black & Veatch, Singapore

Avoiding such problems while executing large-scale infrastructure projects is particularly important in ASEAN countries, since they lay the foundation for future growth. Indonesia, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the region's GDP, is focusing on transportation: The country plans to begin building eight seaports, two airports, five power plants and 11 water treatment facilities by 2017. But things aren't going entirely as planned. The 727-kilometer (452-mile) Trans-Java double-track railway project, for instance, faced multiple delays due to land acquisition and stakeholder management problems. The northern portion of the IDR10.5-trillion project aiming to decrease road congestion and travel times on the island of Java opened this year more than six months late.


Southeast Asia's increasingly integrated economies are surging. Here are five major construction projects moving ASEAN nations forward.

img SINGAPORE: Jurong Rock Caverns

The Jurong Rock Caverns project will free up roughly 150 acres (61 hectares) in the land-hungry city-state by building a liquid hydrocarbon storage facility 130 meters (427 feet) below ground. The first phase of the seven-year, SGD890 million project will create 1.5 million cubic meters (53 million cubic feet) of storage capacity when finished later this year.

img THAILAND: Central Embassy mall

Retail giant Central Group is trying to position Bangkok as a luxury shopping destination with this project, which was completed in May. The THB1.8 billion mall located in the heart of Bangkok's commercial district brings several upscale global brands to Thailand for the first time.


img MALAYSIA: RAPID refinery

The Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project will be located within a complex larger than 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) and will process 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Launched in May 2012, the US$16 billion project could help transform Malaysia's Johor state into a regional petrochemical hub when completed in early 2019.

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