Project Management

HGS’ Project management infrastructure is entirely electronic (network and cloud-based) organized to manage the life cycle of a project from its inception to completion in full accord with safety, quality, specification compliance, environmental protection, and schedule imperatives of DOE Order 413.3B and its associated guidance documents. The digital management system is specifically focused on a soundly configured Earned Value Management System to deliver projects on schedule, within budget, and fully meeting mission performance baseline and environmental, safety, and health standards. Environmental Safety, Health and Quality (ESH&Q) and an Integrated Safety Management System are other organic parts of the project management infrastructure. The summary below provides a brief exposition.

Project Execution Plan

The central vehicle for orchestrating a safety significant[1] project within HGS’ QA system is the “Project Execution Plan.”  The Project Execution Plan serves as both the activities guidebook for the project team, and the interface document between the client and the project team.  Apart from the client’s specification and contract documents, the Project Execution Plan is the most vital document in the execution of a HGS safety significant project. The Project Execution Plan invokes the HQPs, HSPs and HPPs (see the segment on Quality assurance for definition) that must be complied within the project’s execution. As an internal execution document, the Project Execution Plan provides specific guidance to the team on all technical and QA aspects of HGS’ contractual undertakings on the project.  For example, the list of project contractual and system, structure, and/or component performance requirements valid input data (both from the client), required engineering analysis items, the hazards category, site implementation procedures, hardware deliverables, composition of the integrated project team, and applicable procedures, and specifications are all addressed in the Project Execution Plan.

In its role as a client interface document, the Project Execution Plan provides the client with a clear view of the inner workings of the Project team including the first element of client requirements flow-down. It also contains all interface information for HGS-client interactions such as communication and audit protocols, submittal requirements, change control, and a detailed project schedule. The Project Execution Plan is typically a project deliverable that is reviewed and approved by the client.   The Project Execution Plan is updated by HGS and maintained on the Company’s computer network for ready access to all project team members.

HGS Quality Procedures (HQPs) require that every project be performed by a project team and led by a Project Manager. The Project Manager is the designated point of contact between the client and HGS.  The Project Manager and all project team members must be qualified under the Company’s personnel qualification program to serve in their designated roles within the project team.  For projects involving multiple technical disciplines, an Adjunct Project Manager (APM) is also appointed to assist the PM in his/her project management function. For “large” projects, the Project Manager may hold the rank of a Director within the Company.

The Project Manager, with direction from the upper management, assembles an Integrated Project Team, which typically consists of discipline experts, manufacturing specialists, designers, field engineers, and licensing personnel, as required by the project’s work scope. The Project Team’s first act is to produce a Project Execution Plan that, as the name implies, is the supreme document for the planning and execution of the project. The Project Execution Plan, upon its technical QA and management review, is placed on the Company’s network for ready access to all Company personnel at all times. The Project Manager updates the Project Execution Plan if a change during the execution of the project warrants a revision to the Project Execution Plan. Holtec’s project management process is generally aligned with Project Management Institute’s (PMI) PMBOK guidebook utilizing five phases of the project namely;

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring & Controlling
  • Closeout

A typical HGS Project Execution Plan for a complex and critical project contains the following elements.

  • Detailed scope statement and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • Requirements Implementation and Documentation
  • Project stakeholders
  • Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS)
  • Reporting and communication plan
  • Quality Plan
  • Preliminary Hazards Analysis Plan
  • Procurement Plan
  • Subcontracting Plan
  • Level 3 or 4 project Schedule (Primavera P6)
  • Project hardware deliverables (PHD)
  • Project software deliverables (PSD)
  • Project services deliverables
  • Project billing milestones
  • Scope Change Control Management Plan
  • Project Risk Register (PRG) within the Risk Management Plan

HGS project managers and project teams utilize the Integrated Information Management System described below to manage and monitor the progress and health of their projects.

Integrated Information Management System

A network-based computerized system to provide all required information to the Project Management and company’s upper management on a 24-hour instant access basis lies at the core of HGS’ project management infrastructure. An array of over 40 interconnected databases with user-friendly interfaces provide the project team members with the ability to enter and retrieve information related to every aspect of the project throughout the project’s life cycle. Their essential features are:

  • Reliability: Information resides on the network server and is archived on a remote storage system. A lost file can be easily recovered from the backup server.
  • Access: 24-hour access by all project personnel simultaneously from anywhere in the Company and outside the Company via Internet. Internet access to the HGS network allows project personnel to work from a site on a 24-hour basis.
  • Safeguards and Security: Programs and data are encrypted and password protected and information security (InfoSec) principles are applied proportional to the sensitivity of the job.
  • Internal communications: The databases serve to promote internal communications keeping all project team members “in the loop” at all times
  • Transparency: The digital information management system makes the information on a project completely transparent to both Company’s project personnel and, as needed, to facilitate client audits.
  • Prevention of human performance errors: The databases allow document stakeholders (viz., preparer, reviewer, quality and project management) to perform electronic sign offs in the database using their password controlled signatures. Electronic sign off method provides natural barriers to prevent human errors such as personnel uncertified in a discipline performing the analysis or review, omitted or incorrect dates, incomplete checklists, failure by all relevant disciplines to participate, and the like. A good example of the use of electronic barrier is that Purchase Requisition database will not permit the procurement personnel to place a purchase order with a vendor who is not certified on the Company’s Approved Vendor’s List. A computerized record of the history of preparation and review of safety significant documents provides a readily auditable documentation at the company’s headquarters or from a remote location.  HGS personnel stationed at any remote location can participate in the review process and “sign” the document using their confidential password.

Highlights of the Project Life Cycle Management

Holtec utilizes an indigenously developed project schedule, budget and cost control system called HI-BUD. HI-BUD provides for establishing and monitoring project’s schedule, budget and costs in real time. The HI-BUD system also provides the interface (i.e. timesheet) for capturing labor hours spent by project personnel on a given activity (i.e. task) within the project schedule. HI-BUD system is unique in the sense that it fully integrates with Primavera (P6), a popular project scheduling software.

Integration with P6 allows for establishing project schedule, labor resources, activities, assigned labor hours as well as ability to capture labor hours spent against each activity in a unique and seamless fashion.

Concurrent with the issuance of the Project Execution Plan, the project team begins to breakdown the project scope, develop work breakdown structure (WBS) and enter activities (i.e. tasks) in the Primavera (P6) to capture all project software (i.e. engineering drawings, reports, specs, etc.) and hardware deliverables as well as other activities for the entire project to level 3 or 4 depending on the complexity and criticality of the project schedule and milestones.  Where needed for complex projects, a rigorous requirements’ compliance confirmation and demonstration process will be implemented.

Each task is assigned a unique number. The name of the task, the assigned personnel, and the Project Manager is entered, along with the task due date and estimated person hours.  This system extends the ability to the Project Manager and the upper management team to track the status of each and every activity, including a warning sign if a task deadline is imminent. During the project execution and monitoring phases, the project manager and the finance and accounting group personnel have the complete visibility to the progress of the project as well as the costs accrued to date against the project budget.

In a nutshell, HI-BUD enables the Company’s management to:

  • Inventory overall work backlog under each task category, including trending of the expected backlog with time in the future.
  • Track the status of tasks vis-à-vis their scheduled completion date.
  • Compare the human resource available to the projected need under each task category.
  • Status of project budget and costs
  • Status of project receivables and payables (i.e. revenue and expenses)

HI-BUD is the principal vehicle for project schedule and budget management by Holtec’s Project Managers. HI-BUD is equipped with various electronic alert features such as sending automatic e-mail notifications to both the task assignee and task assigner whenever a project task lingers unfinished beyond the due date. 

The databases described in the foregoing provide the Company’s personnel the ability to store information and sort information, and the ability to transmit information to other parties. The HI-BUD database is especially instrumental in enabling the Project Managers to monitor and control the technical and financial completion status of the project. Upon completion of the project, the databases become the archival source for future reference.

The information infrastructure described above dealt only with items germane to project management and financial control. A whole array of databases to automate quality assurance activities is also operational in the company. The QA databases are summarized elsewhere in this website.

[1] HGS uses the term “safety significant” to refer to both “safety-related” and “important-to-safety” goods and services.