Oops!…I did it again. Nobody ever made money exclaiming that phrase. Unless you are a famous pop idol. If only you could be that wise and make mistakes only once. Even better: don’t make the mistake in the first place. But who would be so wise to never make a mistake? Well I am not one of those people. But I do try to prevent other people from making the same mistake again. So, that is why I participated in the CEDA Dredging Management Commission.
In the commission we are discussing how we can help people in the dredging industry to efficiently and safely manage dredging projects. One of the items that came up was a list with all the failures and problems in managing a dredging project. This could at least categorise the problems. It also provided a framework to advise people. i.e. It became the CEDA’s Checklist for Successful Dredging Management1. Today, this checklist was presented by Kathleen de Wit at the CEDA Dredging Days2.
The checklist tries to capture various problems, that mostly have multiple aspects. This is immediately the problem of making a comprehensive list. It was decided, to discern problems to topics involved and stages in the project, with an addition of affected parties. It is a long list and let this not intimidate you. Mostly, you will just check out the section you are working on. Just be sure, there is somebody in the project, that checks, that everybody checked their part.
The checklist is not intended to be another contract template. There are enough examples of those. e.g. FIDIC, NEC. It might be more of a starting point for a risk assessment. Or an initial resource planning estimate. Eventually you will have to do the work yourself, this list will only make you start thinking about everything that could go wrong in your project. You will have to provide the solution for it. And that is where your expertise and creativity comes in.
When I was a young innocent and inexperienced graduate student, I had an assignment on an auger dredge. The dredge was not performing well and the operator, contractor and the project owner were battling each other over the contract. It turned out, they had chosen a contract, that had no incentive for the operator to have a high production and the project owner had no way to put a penalty on the delay. No wonder the management of the project was underperforming with the dredge. If only they could have consulted such a checklist, cost and time overruns would have been minimised. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have had such a great graduation project.
Note: The Checklist will be available to CEDA members from this page.
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