S.A.G. Burgers MSc


(Deze pagina is alleen beschikbaar in het Engels) 

Using planning to improve controllability during the asset development phase of power plants.

January 2013

Scientific Supervisor : Prof. dr. W.J.H. van ‘t Spijker

Expert Supervisor     : Drs. E. Kemperman MBA

Since the beginning of this century, energy companies have started upgrading their existing plants and investing in new, clean and efficient production facilities at a vast pace. Public information about large scale power projects however show that in many cases power projects face disturbances, which often leads to scope creep, budget overruns and late delivery. And a lack of control during the development phase of a power plant could well mean a decrease in project performance with a negative influence on future cost, risk and revenues.

This research aims to make a contribution to the ability to improve the control of power projects.
Whether a project is in control or out of control is determined by many factors. In order to limit the scope of the research, one specific factor is selected which is likely to have a significant impact on the project controllability. That factor is “Planning”, as it is considered the basis for all other activities in the control of power projects. 

After presenting relevant and recent reflections about planning from project management methodologies and asset management theory, the following hypothesis is formulated:
“control of power projects should benefit from a proper planning process, techniques and models”.
This hypothesis has been tested by means of an online questionnaire, that was answered by 28 project professionals working for 14 different power plant development projects.

The findings of the research confirm what has already been stated in other research about planning and control, namely that there is a positive correlation between the level of planning and the control(-ability) in terms of scope, budget and time. Also many other findings were qualified as positive, such as the fact that a great majority of the surveyed consider estimating, scheduling and risk management a team effort, just as working together is encouraged in project management methodologies and in line with the promoted life cycle team-idea in asset management theory.

There is however more than sufficient “room for improvement” on planning for power projects, considering the fact that 74% of the projects that participated in the survey overrun there due date. This is acknowledged by the surveyed and a majority of them stated they would consider using a checklist in order to measure the quality of planning in their current or future power project. While comparing theory with practice an important finding is that there are plenty planning related tools and techniques in the field of asset management and project management readily available. By using these, power professionals can improve their planning efforts, assure proper project performance and contribute positively to future revenues, cost and risk, during the operational phase of power plants.

De Thesis kunt u hier bekijken (EN).

De Thesis presentatie kan hier bekeken worden (EN).

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