Article #060 Analyzing and Documenting Available Delivery Methods for Capital Projects


Project owners involved in delivering capital projects need to select the project delivery method that is best suited to achieve their projects’ goals and gives them more advantages compared to other methods. In general, three common project delivery methods are used by public and private sector project owners in the Middle East. Those are Design-Bid-Build (DBB), Design-Build (DB), and Multiple Prime. In addition, other project delivery methods are specific to cases where project funding is not provided by the Project Owner. These include Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), Build–Own–Operate–Transfer (BOOT), and Build-Own-Operate (BOO) also known as Public Private Partnership (PPP). The project owner has the option to directly manage those project delivery methods or retain the services of a project management consultant (PMC) to do so.

To enable the project owner to select the most preferred project delivery method, the project owner needs to evaluate the different factors that could impact the selection decision. For example, one of those factors could be the overall project schedule from scoping through design, construction, and completion. Other factors could be the overall project needs for new designs to resolve technical issues and the amount of design development detail that will be complete at the time of procurement. In addition, there will be a factor for the project’s financial aspects as it relates to meeting budget restrictions, the accuracy of cost estimates, and the control of project costs. Further, there will be factors for the level of quantified and mitigated risk events that address project delivery uncertainties and Project Owner staff experience and availability to deliver the project. In addition, there could be factors that relate to the level at which the Project Owner exercises control over design and construction and the amount of experience local contractors possess in the selected project delivery method.

For example, for a project owner who has the requirement to have a five-star hotel, the decision on which project delivery method to select could vary depending on different factors. For example, if the hotel project was similar to other 5-star hotels that were either developed by the project owner, then the Design-Bid-Build (DBB) could be the most appropriate one. Nevertheless, if the hotel had special requirements and systems that are new and could result in high-risk exposure for the project owner, then a Design-Bid (DB) could be more appropriate as a project delivery method. But in the case that the project needs to be delivered in a short period regardless even if the project owner has delivered similar projects, then the Multiple-Prime delivery method could be the preferred option.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb will help project owners to document the details of the factors that could impact the project delivery method selection decision. This information will become available for the Project Owner to identify the advantages and disadvantages of each delivery method when reviewing those factors. PMWeb custom form builder can be used to create the tables needed to capture the response for the different queries that relate to each one of those factors. The list of those queries depends on the Project Owner and Subject Matter Experts (SME) experience in those project delivery methods.

The header of the custom form will include details of the project under review such as project name, type, category, estimated budget, and workflow approval status among others. In addition, it should include details of the project’s scope of work and any known constraints and assumptions that could impact the decision of which project delivery method to select.

The body of the custom form will have tables for each assessment factors group which will be Delivery Schedule, Project Complexity and Innovation, Level of Design, Cost, Risk Assessment, Staff Experience and Availability, Level of Oversight and Control, and Contractor Experience. For each assessment group, the table will include the assessment factor, response which could be Yes, No, or Not Applicable, and comments to detail clarifications on the given response. The list of assessment factors for each group will depend on the experience that the organization has in making such decisions.

Similar to all other PMWeb records, the form could be attached with all supportive documents that are usually uploaded to the PMWeb document management repository. In addition, a workflow can be assigned to the Project Delivery Selection Method form to formalize the steps for reviewing and approving the assessment factors.

About the Authorfounder

Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value of over US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, and Telecommunication and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.

Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), and Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and Green Project Management (GPM).

Bassam holds a Masters in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – Kuwait University, Kuwait and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA and London Business School, London, UK.


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