Coordinating with Project Managers Coordination The organization of the different elements of a complex body or activity so as to enable them to work together effectively Different Elements Work Together Effectively Construction plans and design project have so many different elements to them grading, drainage, paving, subsurface elements, utilities, lighting signals, and much more. In order to have a successful project, every element must work together effectively. To have that, we need coordination Everyone knows where everything goes!! Objective 1. 2.
Understand soft skills needed for utility coordination Discuss the Utility Risk Report and Project Funding to give an understanding of how these tools are used by the Utility Coordinator (UC) and PM to ensure project success. 1) Soft skills for coordinating with PM: recognize there are more than several soft skills and ask the audience to name a few. Writing, effective communication, creative thinking, flexibility, collaboration, listening, leadership/taking initiative 2) Utility risk report and project funding is more technical; so if the soft skills are not your thing, just hang in there. This is not a utility status report; its a summary of current risk to the project arising with utility coordination Notice the objective of the PM is project success! Your success as a utility coordinator, contributes to the project success Soft Skills
Writing Effective Communication Creative Thinking Flexibility Collaboration Listening Leadership Taking Initiative Effective Communication Who is your customer? Is it the Project Manager within your company? Is it the project manager for the prime designer? Is it the INDOT project manager? What is important to them? How can you as a utility coordinator help them succeed? Where do they need to get the information to do their job? Effective Communication
Methods for staying in contact depend on the situation; e-mail is a good form of communication, but at times picking up the phone and talking can resolve an issue best. Can anyone give me an example/reason of when e-mail is better or when a phone call is best? E-mail when giving facts Phone when needing to explain a situation and have dialogue back / forth Stay in contact Many ways to do so email, meetings, and yes, even by phone! Meetings can be best way to communicate when needing to share a lot of information and/or with other people. (examples: 1) Kickoff meeting; 2) Coordination between multiple affected utilities professionalism in meetings determine who takes the leadership
role, build the relationship, find common goals You will need to actually call people, on the phone, and talk with them. Not texting, not just e-mail, but actual verbal conversation! Effective Communication Ask questionsthe more information you have, the better the project will be. You will be able to coordinate better if you understand what is happening with the project, with each utility, with ROW, etc. What is scenariosask about that too Ask questions make sure you understand the project specifics. If unsure, ask; chances are others are wondering the same thing. Effective Communication Clarify You need utilities moved by x date You will talk to the DM to
see if the drainage can be adjusted to avoid the water main You need to know where the gas company is relocating to before you can determine your relocation plan Effective Communication Be responsive aggravating if PM tries to contact you and you are not available and do not respond in a timely manner. Try to return calls same day. Reply to e-mails (do not ignore). Even state I received this, but I need some time to look into it and will get back with you soon
Remember the PM is your customer. You want the project to succeed.to do this you must be responsive! Organization A multi-tasking requirement Utility Coordinators are multi-taskersyou must juggle multiple utility companies for every project; communicating with Different utility companies Project schedule
Project design elements Files Documentation To-do Lists Status reports Utility schedules different representatives regarding various stages of coordination. Organize e-mails in Archive folders like you would hard copy files; a separate folder for each project and separate subfolders for each utility. So that it is easy to go back and find an e-mail. Keep hard copy documents organized and filed away in easy to access file cabinets located nearby. Create to-do lists or use the Task feature in Outlook so you keep track of the many activities and ensure nothing gets overlooked. Create status reports that help you track the process and report back to the PM. Can also be used to measure the process. Agreement tracking Work Plan process from time it is submitted by the utility to the time the work plan approval letter is sent to the utility company Attitude is everything
Customer Focused Positive Solutions Minded Responsiveness Follow Through Timely Ready to resolve office or field situations Be the go-to person, available, ready to respond, use your skills and abilities to respond to both office and field situations. Includes: Treat your PM as your customer Have a positive attitude Be willing to think there could be solutions to a given problem. Be openminded. No idea is wrongso think outside the box. Responsiveness, follow
through and timely are all connected; one implies the other. Be ready to respond. Coordinating with Others Not Just the Project Manager Utility company representatives INDOT Utility Oversight Agent Consultants Contractor Designers Everyone knows where everyone goes
Coordinating with Others Understanding Manhole vs. vault A checklist is just a checklist you need to know how to use it Do you need to get depths and when? A line on a drawing or ductbank What can we do to mitigate risk? Know what you can know when you need to know it Utility Risk Report UC is responsible to develop a Utility Risk Report on every project. Initially in the early stages; then updated as needed. Responsibility in the IDM Joe This is a reporting tool to enlist the support of the PM. Does not include
a list of utility companies Project Information is self explanatory; everything from the DES No., dates, Project manager name, Utility Coordinator name and date project assigned to UC (good for tracking) Goals we will talk about this in more detail Risk Evaluation includes 1) identifying the risk and 2) developing a strategy to mitigate (eliminate or minimize) the risk. We will discuss this process and 3) how you can implement the strategy (action items / tasks) Critical R/W parcels YES! Finally, the engineers are giving consideration to r/w parcels needed for utility relocations. Kenny
discussed this in new paradigm. We need to do our part and help list the most critical parcels. Recent change to the parcel number column to include LA Code. Funding by FY we will talk more about this in an upcoming slide, but its important to see how the utility estimate effects overall project budget. Project Goals Information Risk Evaluation Critical Rightof-Way Parcels Funding by FY PM Goals for Utility Coordination Meet with PM
Design Manager Project Team Example Goals: Have all utilities relocated ahead of construction Transmission Poles ordered by x date Use SUE data to avoid relocation of fiber optics Other Every project is different. Once you have an understanding of the project scope and potential conflicts, you can identify one or two goals that, if met, will lead to a success for the project staying on schedule and within budget. Talk to PM and Design Manager / Project Team DM is critical to opportunities to design around utilities
UC has the responsibility but a good idea for the PM and UC brainstorm the goals and concur. Examples Have Type 1 utilities relocated by April 2013 Purchase easement for utilities where know in advance PM Goals for Utility Coordination What does the PM need from the UC? NOT surprised The risks identified so that project decisions can be made appropriately Utility needs for construction Utility needs for Right of Way Understand utility needs for working area, tolerances, and easements Be able to convey this information to the designers and other project team members Risk Evaluation
Step 1: Risk Identification List factors that could adversely impact the project schedule or budget Be Specific What could go wrong? Name the utility and the problem Examples: Duke Material Acquisition/Delay (i.e. steel poles) AT&T Work Plans not approved Time Warner representative unresponsive Communicate with the PM. Brainstorm what could happen to jeopardize the project schedule or budget. Be specific, this is the time to talk about what could go wrong. Risk Evaluation Step 2: Risk Mitigation Strategy For each risk identified, develop one or two strategies to eliminate or minimize the risk
Examples Let the project with a Utility Impact Note re: Duke Keep reminding AT&T that the Work Plan is due Send letter to Time Warner Accelerate a parcel for right-of-way acquisition Develop design exception Change MOT Ignoring the risk will not make it go away! You need to have a plan. If your plan is documented, thats half the work! Think creatively. What have you done in the past that worked well? Be Solutions-Minded
Risk Evaluation Step 3: Tactics For each strategy, list specific action items (tactics) that can implement the strategy Examples (i.e. who, what, when): UC will obtain schedule from Duke, Lee Nicholson by x date. UC will submit impact note to PM by x date UC will send a letter to ATT Craig Adams, and then follow up weekly by e-mail or phone call UC will draft letter to Forrest & Time Warner by x date INDOT Utility Oversight Agent to sign Escalate to Director if not resolved by x date Get specific. What will you do to make the strategy happen? Who, what, when? - Review slide: examples This may include bringing the Utility Oversight Agent or the State Director of Utilities and Rails in to help resolve. They own this project as much as the PM. Dont overlook the opportunity to gain their support. If you are having a problem with a company, then chances are other UCs across the state are too.
So, Joe, Gail or INDOT may have already been involved with finding solutions on other projects that could help you. Risk Evaluation Summary Step 1: Identify Risk Step 2: Develop 1 or 2 Strategies to eliminate or mitigate the risk Step 3: Assign Action Items to implement strategies Step 4: Communicate this to all parties To summarize the three steps Dont be overwhelmed; this is not as difficult; practice the principle and it will make sense. Everyone knows where everyone and everything goes! Risk Evaluation Summary As the Utility Coordinator: You cannot just document everything You must communicate the results The utility coordinator must dig deeper. What have you
told the designers? Do they understand what that means. For instance, did you say Vectren has a 16 main? Or did you say Vectren has a 16 main and they have clearance requirements of x in every direction? Sometimes you must be technical, and sometimes you may need to drill deeper into the details. A utility log sheet is only as good as the information it conveysso communicate that. I dont care that you have talked with AT&T 18 timesI want to know what it means if we have to move their pole. Funding by Fiscal Year INDOT Fiscal Year: July - June FHWA Fiscal Year: October - September Utility relocation work typically overlaps one or more calendar years
Coordinate with utility representatives Estimate reimbursements Calculate the funds needed by FY Communicate with PM Follow up as needed Need help? Contact the Utility Oversight Agent Finally, the money. Not sure why INDOT decided to put the money at the bottom of the Risk report; but.here it is. Basically, this requires the UC to break out the utility adjustment estimated expenses by fiscal year spending. Properly allocating the funds is another PM responsibility. Your job is to help the PM make the project a success. If you have problems with this, contact the INDOT Utility Oversight Agent
Conclusion Effective Communication Organization On-Point Attitude Utility Risk Evaluation Project Success Solves Problems Coordinating with PM Funding by FY Utility Adjustments On time and
Within Budget If you practice effective communication and organization, in your coordination with the PM, you will be a success. If you do all that, properly evaluate utility risk and align the utility funds by FY, you have gone a long way to help ensure utility adjustments are on-time and within budge; a success for the project.
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