Caribbean countries can fill their infrastructure gap by developing a culture that recognizes the value of project management, says Fabian Taylor, PMP, registered professional engineer with the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) in Kingston, Jamaica. He says his biggest obstacle on local infrastructure projects has been obtaining consistent stakeholder support.
“There are always opportunities to pursue a more structured approach to project planning, for projects to become more successful,” he says.
JCAA is rolling out modernization projects that will update radar and data management infrastructures to align with global and regional aviation system guidelines. The team is installing new surveillance systems, upgrading the air traffic control automation system, implementing an updated aeronautical information management system and diversifying the communication infrastructure of the JCAA. The US$20 million program launched in January 2016 and is scheduled for completion in October 2017.
“There are always opportunities to pursue a more structured approach to project planning, for projects to become more successful.”
—Fabian Taylor, PMP, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, Kingston, Jamaica
To keep this program moving forward without the help of a project management office (PMO), Mr. Taylor and Arvette Henry, PMP, operations officer and systems administrator, use the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) infrastructure project roadmap. They follow formal project planning and implementation strategies that include in-depth risk management assessments. This process has revealed the importance of ensuring adequate user involvement in the design process, specifically in regards to the automation software system.
“Continuous efforts are being taken to incorporate user feedback in the design review process in order to improve project outcome and success,” Mr. Taylor says. The feedback process also relies on managers to think through the user experience and provide as much insight as possible into the effectiveness of the designs.
The team identifies and mitigates project unknowns by meeting with project teams at other regional airports that have upgraded their technology, reviewing their project plans and collecting lessons learned. The team has also engaged external experts as appropriate, including an aviation expert who is consulting on the planning and implementation process.
“The expert is representing ICAO and will assist the JCAA in the implementation of the project in the capacity of project manager,” Ms. Henry says.
She's confident this outside expert, combined with JCAA's project management methodologies, will enable the team to deliver its projects successfully. At the same time, Ms. Henry is hopeful that each successful project management effort will inspire even greater achievements in project management locally.
“A lot of managers are beginning to see the value of project management, but until we can transition to having a PMO it will be difficult to get everyone on board.” PM
“A lot of managers are beginning to see the value of project management, but until we can transition to having a PMO it will be difficult to get everyone on board.”
—Arvette Henry, PMP, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, Kingston, Jamaica