The Technology & Engineering Management Society (TEMS) Chapter co-hosted the Ninth Public Seminar on “Project Management Practices in the Caribbean” (PM9 Seminar), in collaboration with the Education Society (EdS) Chapter of the IEEE Trinidad & Tobago Section (IEEEtt) and the Industrial Engineering Office of the Faculty of Engineering, The University of the West Indies (UWI), Trinidad and Tobago. The Seminar was also supported by 2 sponsors, The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Local Network, and The American Society for Quality (ASQ), Trinidad and Tobago. The seminar was held at Room 1, 1/F., Block 1, Kenneth S. Julien Building, from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon on Saturday December 3rd 2016.
The seminar was facilitated by Dr. Ruel Ellis, the Chairman of EdS Chapter, IEEEtt. Professor Kit Fai Pun, of the Industrial Engineering Office gave a welcoming address to participants, and Mr. Colin Gopaul, The Vice-Chair of IEEEtt Section delivered a Keynote speech. Eng. David Drakes, Chair of the IET-Local Network and Eng. Kester Gabriel, Counselor of the ASQ, Trinidad and Tobago, also shared some introductory remarks to participants. This Seminar has its theme of “Project Management in Practices”, and sought to facilitate the nation-wide awareness and the use of best project management practices and related concepts, models and tools in both public- and private- sector organizations in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T).
The Seminar program was quite packed, but rather diverse. There were four presentations in two sessions, followed by an open discussion forum. In the first session presentations, the first speaker talked about using earned value as a means to improve project delivery in the early phases of project, whereas the second presenter shared her experience in the development of a Project Management Best Practice Framework in the tourism sector. In the Second Session, another two invited speakers focused on exploring the core of public health transformation in project management best practice, and also the development of an approach for assessing the impacts of smart building strategies in T&T.
All invited speakers were asked to sharpen/streamline their respective presentations in 20-25 minutes. Individual presentations are highlighted as follows:
- “Improving Project Performance by Leveraging Progress Payments in the Early Phases: An EVPM Application” – Keone Jackman, Project Engineer, Design – Instrumentation, EI&CSE, Engineering Services at The Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin), T&T. Mr. Jackman shared the current practices with the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract approach in the petrochemical industry. The presentation addressed the use of an Earned Value method to improve project delivery based on a case study of an EPC-type contracts program in the industry. The enhancement of the progress measurement processes was explored to leverage the resultant contractor progress payments on performance in the early phases of the project, with particular reference to engineering. He also provided the suggestions for implementing a client-driven Earned Value Management System for EPC projects.
- “Development and Evaluation of a Project Management Best Practice Framework for Use at The Ministry of Tourism and The Tourism Development Company Limited” – Simone Medina, Director, Research and Planning (Ag.), The Ministry of Tourism, T&T. Mrs. Medina’s presentation shed insights on 1) the status and challenges of current PM practice, and 2) the identification of factors affecting PM practice and performance, at The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and The Tourism Development Company (TDC). It explored 3) whether adoption of a proposed Project Management Best Practice (PMBP) Framework would strengthen the ability of the MOT/TDC in the management of tourism projects. It is anticipated that proper adoption of the PMBP framework would foster knowledge transfer, awareness of team and stakeholders, and motivation of project stakeholders, leading and transforming the MOT/TDC towards high performing PM organizations.
- “Delay Mitigation in the Trinidad and Tobago Construction Industry: A Public Sector Perspective” – Kevin I. Thomas, Project Manager of the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development (CNIRD). Mr. Thomas discussed the problems and the efforts in mitigating project delays in public sector construction projects in T&T. A conceptual integrated framework was developed to overcome the challenges. The nucleus of the framework was derived from the ISO 31000: 2009 Risk Management Standard and synthesized with key themes from lean construction philosophy. The framework would offer a systematic process in demystifying the primary factors responsible for delaying projects and to aid in developing approaches to mitigate them. He contended that there has been a need to generate adequate resources to enhance knowledge, buy-in and commitment within construction organizations in T&T.
- “Development of a HSE Management Approach in accordance with STOW-TT and OSHA Requirements” – Lollita Kissoondath Singh, Project Engineer, of KAIZEN Environmental Services (Trinidad) Limited (KESTL). Ms. Singh’s presentation addressed the issues of health, safety and the environment (HSE) and difficulties in striking a balance between compliance and economic feasibility using the HSE operations and experience at KESTL as a case study. Findings showed that KESTL has been encountering poor management of risk, poor training, and lack of safety culture. In order to address these problems, KESTL had incorporated the requirements of STOW-TT and OSHA into a structured approach of HSE Management to improve its HSE performance. She shed lights on the development of the approach and the lessons learnt in revitalizing HSE Management and performance at KESTL.
Over 80 participants including invited guest speakers, Project Management professionals, academics, students, and delegates from industry who are interested in the theme “Project Management in Practice” attended the Seminar. 54 completed evaluation forms were received. Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly good. About 79.6% of returned evaluations rated the Seminar either ‘Very Good’ (18 responses; 33.3%) or ‘Good’ (25 responses; 46.3%), and 16.7% of participants (9 responses) rated ‘satisfactory’. Besides, two (2) returned questionnaires had no indication of overall comment. Many participants commented that the presenters were very knowledgeable about their areas of expertise and the presentations were interactive and informative.
Professor Kit Fai Pun
for the Organising Committee
of The PM9 Seminar 2016