Project management in the public sector

a case study: the Tennessee prison construction program

When the State of Tennessee needed to upgrade its statewide prison system, it established a capital projects management team to lead the $210 million project, a team led by Fluor Daniel (Irvine, CA, USA) and comprised of project management professionals who used the latest project management tools and processes to save the state \$53 million and deliver the project two years sooner than the state’s normal construction time frame. This article examines this project. In doing so, it details the project team’s implementation of the four key project management techniques used: executive sponsorship, team approach, cost control and value engineering, and scheduling. It also outlines the project problem and the evolution of the decision to implement this project; it identifies the project team’s structure. It concludes by explaining the impact that the project observer’s role played in helping the team successfully complete this project; it describes the types of logs and records the team kept during construction. Accompanying this article is a question-and-answer conversation with the program director, Jerry Wayne Preston, about the team’s decision-making process, his role on--and goals for--the project team, and his philosophical approach to achieving these goals.
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