Saybrook Associates, Inc. Program Management and Project Controls
Program Management
Project Management
Project Controls
Risk Management
Value Management
Dispute Resolution
Project Auditing and Performance Assurance
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Resource Management & Optimization
Estimate Review and Cost Validation
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Project Auditing

Projects are approved and funded on the basis of (1) Their anticipated Benefits and (2) Expectations regarding Cost and Time required in executing the projects and obtaining those benefits. Benefits might include faster time to market, more efficient and less costly processes, increased outputs, or an improved product.

Two significant questions confront Owners and Investors throughout the project process – first, will the Project be successful, i.e. a valid exercise and purposeful expenditure and second, is the Project being successfully executed, i.e. meeting success criteria for cost, schedule, quality, and safety? Affirmative responses to both are necessary.
Successful Project - Typically, there is a significant time lapse between a project’s Approval and its Commencement – and more time yet until its Completion.  In a fast changing financial or technological world there is need to and value in revalidating the purpose of the project and to confirm that it will deliver its promised Benefits.

Successfully Execution – A Project may not be being executed as planned, and its performance shortfall and trended outcomes not being recognized or not being reported to management.

The Project Auditing/Performance Assessment process provides answers to both questions. Saybrook Associates provides Project and corporate management with an unbiased review, assessment, and revalidation of (1) Business purpose, and (2) Performance consistent with defined success metrics. This revalidation of a Project’s purpose and a assessment of its Performance or ‘Health’ is performed with but independent from the project’s management team.

Re-validate the Project's Purpose and Business Drivers

> Validate ROI and compliance with Business Benefits Model.
> Ensure that decisions and strategies made to accommodate project success are not in conflict with Program or Corporate goals.
> Comparison of current market, technological, or economic conditions with those used in modeling the business need and as the basis of calculating project value.
> Affirm that the Project Value Tree is consistent with the Corporate Value Tree.

Assess the Project's Performance

> Validate the basic assumptions used to develop the Estimate and Schedule.
> Perform comparative reviews of estimates and execution plans to industry standards and to similar projects.
> Validate that Project performance information provided to management is accurate and timely.
> Confirm that the Cost to or at Completion is accurately forecast.
> Confirm that the Time to or upon Completion is accurately forecast.
> Identify 'root causes' for performance failures.
> Identify Risks to success that have not been identified and for which no Risk Management Strategy exists.

Evaluate the sequencing and durations of tasks for the work is reasonable and investigate opportunities for work operations to be performed more quickly or concurrently.

Project Assurance

Case Study

An owner of a large ($600M), complex (three-buildings, downtown site), fast-track research facility capital initiative engaged Saybrook Associates to (1) review and validate the Project Schedule and the forecast to Completion, (2) identify and quantify unrecorded Risks to the project’s success, (3) validate the Indirect Costs contained in the Project Estimate, and (4) review the accuracy and timeliness of Project Performance reporting.

We analyzed the Estimate, considering industry standards and benchmarks, as well as assumptions, quantity projections, and pricing for commodities and services. Using a proprietary database with costing factors for similar facilities in other global locations, we modeled site-specific productivity and cost adjustment factors.

We analyzed the construct of the Project Execution Plan and Schedule focusing upon its inclusion of all Project scope and Deliverables, Logical sequencing and prioritization of the Work, reasonableness of Task durations, and

We implemented a Risk Identification and Assessment process that leveraged the collective experiences and knowledge of Industry, the Project Team, and ourselves.

We reviewed Progress and Performance Measurement, Assessment, and Reporting processes and techniques for Trending Cost and Schedule performance to At-Completion results.

Our Findings? Our Validation process established that (1) the estimate was reasonable with respect to Industry benchmarks yet offered opportunities for reductions, (2) the Execution Plan and Schedule was realistic, (3) there were Risks to the Project that while previously identified had either intensified or diminished and had not been occurrence cost-quantified and compared against the costs of mitigation, (3) Measurement of Progress (accomplishment) was inconsistent across responsible groups, not in conformance with recommended industry Best Practice, (4) Performance (accomplishment vs. cost/effort) was not measured and thus performance-based Trending impossible.

The Result? We recommended specific cost reduction opportunities that were acted upon, we recommended and then implemented an industry standard protocol for measurement of Progress and an Earned Value based  Performance that together provided an ‘early warning/rapid response’ capability to issues and problems.

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