By Garrett Bryan, Strategic Project Solutions Inc.; Chet Carlson, Strategic Project Solutions Inc.; Stanislav Gaponenko, McKinsey & Company; and Shubhraneel Mitra, McKinsey & Company


Civil infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, ports, tunnels, and airports are critical endeavors for the growth and modernization of societies. Their public nature creates a unique level of exposure and scrutiny where project performance is in the eye of society. But unfortunately, the delivery of civil infrastructure projects suffers from less-than-optimal performance with abundant and striking evidence of schedule and cost overruns, while health, safety, environmental, and quality standards are being compromised.

Many are attempting to address the criticality and complexity of civil infrastructure projects through the same conventional means that create the current situation, so performance issues not only remain active but are amplified. To achieve radically better project performance, including the reduction of the carbon footprint associated with project delivery, this article describes the application of Project Production Management (PPM) to identify and mitigate production-based risks and opportunities that are typically hidden through the lens of conventional project management practices.

More specifically, this paper describes how project teams have unlocked value in the way of 20% schedule acceleration up to 300% improvement in cycle times, which represents 100% improvement from classic lean applications. This is achieved by adopting a project production perspective, including the use of digital technologies to map, model, simulate, analyze, and optimize project production systems, application of the Five Levers of Production System Optimization, and Operations Science.

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About PPI

PPI works to increase the value Engineering and Construction provides to the economy and society. PPI researches and disseminates knowledge related to the application of Project Production Management (PPM) and technology for the optimization of complex and critical energy, industrial and civil infrastructure projects.