INFRASTRUCTURE MAGAZINE - The CH2M Story: Embracing Enterprise Project Controls

THIS STORY APPEARED IN INFRASTRUCTURE MAGAZINE JULY 9, 2019

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CH2M (now a part of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.) is a global engineering company that provides consulting, design, construction, and operations services. As a project-focused organization, CH2M understands the importance of developing strong processes and accurate, timely information to drive smarter decision making for its projects. 

We (Infrastructure Magazine) sat down with Fred Long, the Enterprise Director of Global Program & Project Controls, as well as Michelle Stewart, the Enterprise Director of Project Controls Systems at CH2M to discuss their adoption of enterprise project controls within the organisation.

The motivation to adopt an enterprise project controls solution came from the difficulty in achieving clear visibility into project performance across the organization as different business groups leveraged disparate project delivery systems. 

Money was wasted on point solutions that couldn’t be replicated. The lack of standardization – coupled with the manual effort needed to compile reports – was simply too inefficient. 

Stewart explained, “When I came in here, we were business group oriented. We’re constantly recreating the wheel and single-point solutions rather than a standardized enterprise solution where you can go from one sector to another and have the same expectations and same processes from a project controls perspective. CH2M knew that this was a gap we wanted a standardized approach.”

After an extensive industry search, CH2M adopted EcoSys Enterprise Projects Performance software to standardize and automate organizational best practices across business groups and to build the information needed to drive better forecasting and smarter decision making. 

“EcoSys speaks the project controls language. We were very quickly able to deploy a solution. We came up with seven integration points, all actuals coming in, all commitments, project attributes, and exchange rates. 

“EcoSys is very easy to use, very easy to implement so you can get it up and running quickly. Within four months, we were rolling this out.

“At any given time, we have ten thousand projects worldwide and a lot of iconic projects including the London Olympics, the FIFA World Cup 2022, the Expo 2020 in Dubai, MetroLinx in Toronto, and the Thames Tideway in London.”

The Thames Water Tideway Tunnel program is one of the world’s largest and most complex wastewater programs, that will transform the ecology of London’s river and provide the city with a sewerage system fit for at least the next hundred years. 

“[The tunnel’s] existing infrastructure is quite old. As the city has grown and whenever there is a major rainfall and water, it runs over its capacity. It causes issues with the Thames River itself,” Long said.

“The tunnel goes under the entire city of London and allows for the overflow to roll into this new infrastructure tunnel. It really is a massive and critical infrastructure improvement for London.”

Drawing on its experience in tunnelling and wastewater management, CH2M is managing the engineering, design, and delivery of the project. They rely on EcoSys for key project controls disciplines including budgeting, forecasting, change management, progress measurement, performance management such as earned value, and most importantly, timely reporting with current data. 

In addition to driving success on the Tideway Tunnel project, enterprise project controls can impact the different projects CH2M works on across industries from government and cities, to transportation, water, environment, nuclear, and energy. 

“I’m really excited for what it will do for CH2M,” Stewart said. “The performance metrics that are coming out of this, they’re going to be standardized. Everyone will be measured the same way. 

“We can start to create corrected actions and identify problems early enough that we can solve them. I think from a project controls capability, it’s very robust and is going to propel us to the next level.”

“We’re able to now integrate multiple systems and work streams to bring together analytics that allow us to measure things in a different way and to expose information in a timely, transparent methodology which frees up our people to do more analysis and spend more time with our customers and solutions that we deliver,” Long said.

CH2M plans to roll out EcoSys across all of its projects enterprise-wide. The solution will be a competitive differentiator for CH2M as the company looks to raise the bar in project controls across the EPC market.

Watch the full interview with CH2M and download the full case study here

 


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