Year: 2005

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Donation from PROjEN

As winners of the 2005 Bentley BE Award for Excellence for the ‘Adoption of New Technology’, PROjEN Project Management specialists have been recently presented with $1000 from Bentley Systems to donate to a charity of their choice.

It was during the Bentley BE Award ceremony, held in Baltimore, USA earlier this year that PROjEN’s Mechanical Engineering Manager, David Berry discovered that Gerry Wikeley’s teenage son Jonathan is a sufferer of Muscular Dystrophy- a progressive muscle wasting disease.

As the supplier of the technology that helped PROjEN to win the award, Mr Wikeley and his family were first in PROjEN’s thoughts when they discovered they would be receiving the $1000 to donate to a charity of their choice.

At present, Jonathan is in Year 11 and will be taking his GCSE’s next year and has ambitions to further his education in IT- a subject that really interests him. Jonathan also recently worked at Bentleys Sale office for his work experience placement, where he was involved in creating photo-realistic images of 3-D models.

Described as a typical teenager, into music, games and videos, Jonathan has had to rely heavily on family and friends to support him, which is where the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has provided invaluable support. Offering both practical and emotional support, the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has helped Jonathan cope with the many problems he encounters every day. Most notably, Jonathan has benefited from an electric wheelchair, donated by the Peter Allis foundation on behalf of MDC. The wheelchair allows Jonathan far more independence than would otherwise be possible and makes getting about far easier for the family.

Gerry Wikeley remarks, “Jonathan is very pleased to receive the donation on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, and hopes that the money will enable others with his condition to benefit from the support that the campaign offers. The campaign has been invaluable to our family in many ways, most notably in supplying Family Care officers who are our first point of contact if we have any problems. The intention is that the money donated by PROjEN will go straight to the MDC as they fund the research into possible cures”.

John Taylor, Managing Director of PROjEN comments, “As proactive fundraisers for numerous local charities, we were extremely pleased for the Wirral branch of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign to receive the $1000 donation after hearing of the support it has given to the Wikeley family”.

Steve Burke PRIDE Award Winner

Intended to encourage team working and company involvement, the PROjEN PRIDE Award is open to all members of the PROjEN team and is presented quarterly at the core brief sessions with the ‘winner’ receiving £250 in M&S vouchers. The award has already proved instrumental in encouraging pride in work, attitude and commitment to both client and company, with many employees now aware of the positive impact a PRIDE attitude brings to PROjEN.

The winner of the first PROjEN PRIDE award is Steve Burke, Senior Planning Engineer based in Stevenage. Steve has demonstrated his commitment to the company in many ways over his two and a half years with PROjEN. This was reflected in the high number of votes from both co-workers and clients, who nominated Steve for the following reasons-

  • He consistently delivers high quality work on time.
  • He carries out his duties in a manner that typifies the approach that distinguishes PROjEN from the competition.
  • He displays a flexible, can-do and enthusiastic attitude, which has enabled him to build excellent relationships with many people.
  • He has been instrumental in the expansion of the planning services that are now offered.

By epitomizing all that the PROjEN PRIDE Award stands for – PROjEN Recognition for Industry Diligence and Enthusiasm – Steve’s attitude to work is an example to all to ensure PROjEN moves forward and continues to build on the success enjoyed by the company particularly during the last two years.

Steve decided to donate his win to a Cheshire based Alzheimer’s research campaign, who are active with helping members of the local community.

Massive Recruitment drive for PROjEN

Northwich based Project Management Company PROjEN are currently undergoing a large recruitment drive and have employed an astounding 12 brand new employees within the last 12 weeks.

The recruitment drive comes after several major achievements for PROjEN which have included winning a Bentley Award of Excellence, for ‘New Technology Adoption’ and a fourth Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Gold Award. PROjEN have been securing impressive new contracts and have needed to expand rapidly to accommodate their notable growth.

David Elliot, Business Development Manager comments, “PROjEN’s business successes and developing reputation has meant that a large recruitment drive was needed to ensure an influx of high quality, experienced and skilled employees. Our recently refreshed Online Recruitment Management System has proven to be a highly effective interactive service that has allowed us to keep a stock of eligible CVs at our fingertips and therefore ensured that the task of filling 12 vacancies was relatively easy.”

The majority of PROjEN’s new employees have come from the surrounding county of Cheshire, although a significant number of employees have relocated or have committed to commuting long distances to take up offers of employment at the growing company. John Taylor, Managing Director of PROjEN suggests; “It is well known that the better a reputation a company enjoys, the higher quality employees it attracts. PROjEN’s core values of excellence in service, training and product are certainly preceding the business. However, the most important element of our service is the attitude of our personnel and we take great pains to recruit only those who share our ideals”

Although PROjEN have filled a variety of brand new positions from Project and Construction Engineers to Business Administration Apprentices, they are still interested in recruiting Project Mangers, Process Engineers, Cost and EC & I Engineers. PROjEN also impress that they are always interested in hearing from those with skills, experience and enthusiasm for all phpects of their business.

Anyone interested in submitting their curriculum vitae to PROjEN’s online recruitment management system for potential employment, should visit

PROjEN Know How Wins GSKs Preferred Supplier Contract

PROjEN, a multi-disciplined Project Management Company from Northwich in Cheshire has won GlaxoSmithKline’s Preferred Supplier Contract for all process projects for Chemical Development at their Stevenage and Tonbridge sites.

PROjEN were benchmarked against a number of other project management specialists and were chosen by GSK due to their record in providing an efficient and effective service throughout previous projects undertaken during their 2 ½ year relationship. In particular, the way in which PROjEN consistently kept within both time and budget limits was expressed as a reason of choice by the pharmaceutical specialist, as these elements are essential to the success and progression of GSK. Previous projects managed by PROjEN include a complex £4.3 million Glass Condenser Replacement at the GSK Stevenage site, for which a Bentley Award of Excellence for ‘New Technology Adoption’ has recently been won. PROjEN were also awarded the ACTIVE award for Project of the Year in 2004 for their work on a £5 million R22 Replacement Project.

GSK’s decision to utilise PROjEN will ensure a consistent approach to project delivery and stability of supply. To achieve excellence consistently across the board, PROjEN will oversee all projects dealing with process projects up to the value of £5million in the Chemical Development sector of GSK’s Tonbridge and Stevenage sites.

PROjEN’s Managing Director, John Taylor comments “PROjEN are extremely pleased to be developing our relationship with GSK further and we look forward to growing alongside GSK and building on our recent project successes for mutual benefit. Being management owned, our business culture is very much about working in partnership. It is clear that GSK not only share this culture but also put it into practice.

PROjEN Wins New Bentley Excellence Technology Award

PROjEN, a multi-disciplined Project Management Company has won a prestigious honour from Bentley Systems Inc at the ‘Awards of Excellence’ ceremony in Baltimore, USA with the ‘New Technology Adoption Award’, for the work on their Glass Condenser Replacement project with GlaxoSmithKline.

Over 2000 representatives from all over the world attended the conference at which the $300 million Bentley Systems Inc honoured the extraordinary work of Bentley technology software users in improving the world’s infrastructure most efficiently and effectively.

The competition for PROjEN was tough, with an independent panel of BE Award jurors selecting the winning projects from more than 200 nominations from a wide range of international engineering companies such as Foster Wheeler, Kellog Brown and Root, Bechtel and Wood Group. Despite the fierce competition, PROjEN’s professionalism ensured they were chosen to receive their award.

Commenting on the awards Greg Bentley, CEO said “The 2005 BE Awards competition attracted a record number of nominations – all world class, all reflecting the incredible technical skill, imagination, and leadership of our users.”

According to the official Bentley judges, “PROjEN won because the jury felt this submission actually advanced technology, and was not just the adoption of existing technology in a new area”. This was further confirmed when David Berry, Mechanical Engineering Manager at PROjEN was invited by Bentley to present two papers on the project as well as accepting the award.

The GlaxoSmithKline Condenser Project involved the replacement of forty 12-year-old glass condensers tightly housed in nine chemistry pilot plant (CPP) modules at their R&D centre in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. The replacements are made of a safer, more robust metal design to ensure the continued production of new chemicals. The CPP modules represent more than half of the worldwide pilot plant capacity used to supply drugs for clinical trials.

The existing piping and layout arrangement in the modules was complex, space at a premium, and a great amount of equipment and piping needed to be temporarily moved. Critical success factors included the minimal interruption of operations and for the project to be completed within the timescale and budget given.

A photogrammetric approach was employed by PROjEN to develop 3D models of the modules using dedicated software and AutoPLANT. This aided visualisation of the phased demolition and construction, and assisted stakeholder communication. The software has also been used to generate detailed isometric drawings of the pipe routes. The model has been shown to be accurate to within a few millimetres, minimising rework of pipe spools and components. Suppliers and construction management were also involved in the front-end development and model reviews, which shortened the design phase, minimised risk, and maximised opportunities.

PROjEN Managing Director John Taylor added “We are extremely pleased to have won this Award, which is a result of much hard work by the team at PROjEN and the confidence shown in us by GlaxoSmithKline to deliver the most appropriate technology for the task. It is further proof of our desire to add value through a practical approach in the application of new systems and processes.”

The Bentley award is yet another recognition for PROjEN as it follows recent European Construction Institute Awards and a fourth RoSPA Gold Award for Health and Safety.

Fourth Consecutive RoSPA Gold for PROjEN

PROjEN, the leading project management and professional engineering services company has secured its fourth Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Gold award in a row. The Gold award is only presented to those companies who have achieved a very high standard of health and safety at work measured over a four year period.

RoSPA believes that the most effective way to promote safety and encourage best management practice is to recognise and reward those who head the field and “practice what they preach”. Winning the Gold Award is independent recognition that PROjEN are a company to be looked on as an example of excellent attainment and ‘best practice’ within the field of Health and Safety.

Lyndon Workman, H&S Advisor, of PROjEN received the award on behalf of the company. Lyndon commented, “PROjEN are extremely proud to have received this Award yet again. RoSPA has a long-established reputation for its work in the prevention of accidents and is a nationally recognised source of expert advice. We are pleased that our dedication to Health and Safety in the workplace has been recognised for the fourth consecutive year”.

As well as helping to reduce the number of accidents and cases of ill-health at work, RoSPA awards also encourage organisations to have a first-rate health and safety management system in place. RoSPA also aim to reinforce the message that good health and safety equals good business practice. This is an attitude that PROjEN shares, and its commitment to health and safety is an integral part of everything that it does.

PROjEN Penguins Prevail in the Pool

There is great news for several local charities in the Northwich area as the PROjEN Penguins have grouped together and raised a splashing £1,325.20 for three different charities in the surrounding area.

The PROjEN Penguins Swimming Group all work for local company PROjEN- a Project Management Company based in Winnington Avenue and were asked to take part in a sponsored Swimathon by the Rotary Club of Northwich.

After a strenuous training and diet regime Ian Kirkham, Dave Berry, Steve Humphrey, Chris Pemberton, Claire Heaney, and Team Captain Lyndon Workman plunged into the waters of Moss Farm Leisure Centre to start the challenge of attempting to swim 55 lengths in a time of 55 minutes in aid of local charities.

With amazing effort the Penguins achieved and then surpassed this target and completed the challenge with a total of 138 lengths in the 55 allotted minutes-at an average lap time of just 23 seconds per length of the 25 metre pool!

The PROjEN Penguins hope that the success of the swimathon will go a long way with several charities from the Northwich area set to benefit from the effort. The healthy contribution of £1,325.20 will be shared between the Vale Royal Branch of the Alzheimer’s Society, Independent Advocacy for those with Learning Difficulties in central Cheshire and the Neumuscular Centre for those with muscular dystrophy in Winsford.

David Elliott becomes a permanent BDM

David Elliott has joined PROjEN on a full time basis as of 11th April 2005.

David’s title will be Business Development Manager – a role he has been filling on a contract basis for over 12 months. The growth in the number of our Business Improvement Products (such as Capex Planning Support, etc) and the increasing amount of interest shown by our clients has lead to this move.

David brings a wealth of Project and Operations experience from his time at Albright & Wilson and Rhodia. With a degree in Chemical Engineering, David’s responsibilities have included plant/operations management, business change management, introduction of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma principles, ERP systems implementation and the role of Site Director for a £40 million/150 staff facility. In addition to his Business Development duties, David will also be assisting in improving our general business systems and processes.

David is married with 2 children and lives in Dutton and is looking forward to becoming a fulltime employee, commenting:

“I am pleased to accept the role of Business Development Manger on a permanent basis. I join PROjEN at a very exciting time in its development and I am looking forward to working alongside my new PROjEN colleagues as we strive to move the company forward to new levels of success”

PROjEN buy back shares | PM PROjEN News

PROjEN, the UK’s leading project management and professional engineering design company, based in Northwich, Cheshire has today completed the buy back of the shares held by 3i, Europe’s leading private equity and Venture Capital Company for an undisclosed sum.

3i completed a £200k growth capital investment in PROjEN in September 1995, taking a 25% stake. 3i continued to support the business through the trough of the service sector cycles, backing a team which included current non-executive chairman John Poole and finance director David Moss.

This support was based on a belief in the underlying quality of the PROjEN business model and the opportunity for strong recovery as the cycle turned. Over the last two years the business has seen a strong upward trend in its performance and is a key provider to a number of large blue-chip organisations. Preferred supplier agreements with core clients have doubled over this period and both permanent and temporary business has thrived.

Karl Cockwill, 3i portfolio executive, commented: “PROjEN is a high quality business and our support for the business has been vindicated by the performance of the team. Particularly over the last 2 years, PROjEN has firmly established itself as a market-leading supplier at the top of its niche.”

John Taylor, managing director PROjEN, commented: “3i has been a valued partner over the last nine years and they have been very a supportive investor helping us to focus on growth industries and to develop our product offering. The feedback from our clients has been excellent and our performance over the last two years, combined with the general business outlook, enables us to make this investment on solid ground and promises a secure future for the company and its employees.”

The 3i deal team was led by Karl Cockwill, portfolio executive. PROjEN received corporate finance advice from John Daly at Tenon and legal advice was provided by Stuart Scott-Goldstone of Laytons.

About 3i
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. It focuses on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invests across Europe, in the United States and in Asia Pacific. Its competitive advantage comes from its international network and the strength and breadth of its relationships in business. These underpin the value that it delivers to its portfolio and to our shareholders.

In the 6 months to 30 September 2004, 3i invested £521 million, including co-investment funds. 3i’s buyout business concentrates on the mid and smaller buyout markets in Europe and Asia Pacific and invested £305m in the 6 months to 30 September 2004. Its growth capital business invested £142 million in the 6 months to 30 September 2004 in high growth companies expanding organically or through acquisition. 3i’s venture capital business invested £74m in the 6 months to 30 September 2004 in early stage technology companies.

ACTIVE principles of lean thinking and how they are applied

A case study at GSK’s Stevenage R&D site shows how ACTIVE principles of lean thinking can be used to improve the performance and competitiveness of capital projects.

David Elliott and David Mairs, PROjEN

ACTIVE (Achieving Competitiveness Through Innovation and Value Enhancement) is an initiative aimed at improving the performance and competitiveness of capital projects in the onshore process, pharmaceutical, energy and utility industries by changing adversarial behaviours and applying best practice in project delivery. The ACTIVE Initiative ran in the UK from 1996 to 2001 when it was merged with the European Construction Institute (ECI). PROjEN is a participating member of the ECI and is heavily involved in the ACTIVE Initiative.

ACTIVE is industry-led, being owned by fifty or so stakeholder companies representing a cross section of operators, contractors and supplier organisations. It has a simple vision for the industry as follows: “A world-class UK process engineering and construction industry, with satisfied clients and thriving contractors and suppliers”. This is to be achieved through the ACTIVE mission which is: “To improve the competitiveness of the UK process and construction industries by transforming the way in which they execute projects for the process and energy sectors worldwide.”

In 1996, ACTIVE identified key issues in its original Action Plan. The first recognised that inefficient business processes have produced a culture of confrontation, rather than cooperation, and therefore must be eliminated. The answer to this problem was to accept that cultural change was necessary at all levels, both throughout the entire supply chain and vertically throughout each of the organisations involved in the industry. It was also noted that within the project environment, the greatest opportunities for effecting value improvements were to be found in the earliest stages of projects.

Workgroups were established and 23 Value Enhancing Practices (VEPs) were identified; these were grouped under eight ACTIVE Principles (APs) of effectiveness, as listed below:

AP1 Effective project concept and definition: setting clear, aligned objectives and scope with defined, well understood implementation strategies;

AP2 Effective project team management: establishing and maintaining a single integrated team with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, and shared common objectives;

AP3 Effective supply chain relationships: ensuring that supply chain relationships work to maximise value and share equitably both the risks and the benefits;

AP4 Effective management and communication: timely management of relevant information using appropriate technology and clear documentation to aid communication throughout the team;

AP5 Effective project risk management: using a structured process for managing risk and assigning responsibility to those in the supply chain best able to manage it;

AP6 Effective innovation and continuous improvement: encouraging a challenge culture with processes for capturing, learning and rewarding innovative ideas throughout the supply chain;

AP7 Effective project execution: managing the implementation process to integrate activities efficiently to successfully achieve project objectives; and

AP8 Effective performance measurement: defining key performance indicators which demonstrate the achievement of project goals and benchmarking performance to drive improvement.

Comparison of “construction” and “production”

With its stated aim of improving competitiveness through the adoption of value-adding practice, there is a high degree of overlap between the ACTIVE Principles and Lean Thinking. There are also clear similarities between production and construction; for this reason, it is worth exploring the lean approach to project management.

The concept, development, definition, design and procurement of Lean Thinking together form a supply chain that precedes construction, just as it precedes production. Constructability processes are intended to ensure that the construction process is designed at the same time as the asset, which is fundamental to lean production, but is rarely used to its full intent.

Construction often does not flow smoothly and at maximum efficiency because of shortages of information, materials, equipment, and resources – just as in a production environment. When delays do occur to critical path work, resources get diverted to lower priority work, or short-term fixes or “work-arounds” are carried out. This reduces efficiency and results in re-work, both of which are basic problems in the production process.

Many project plans build in a “float”, which often gets used (wasting time), just as exists in many production plans. This is also wasted when the poor workflow of equipment and materials required for construction results in inefficient use of the site area. This is equivalent to factory floor space being wasted with excessive buffer stocks required in the production process.

Many individual companies involved in projects tend to seek to optimise the duration and cost of their own service, which then results in sub-optimisation of the project as a whole – because fundamental interdependencies are not taken into account. Lean thinking revealed these interdependencies in the production process.

Lean Project Delivery employing ACTIVE Principles

Adopting the ACTIVE Principles and Value Enhancing Practices has enabled PROjEN to improve significantly the speed and effectiveness of project delivery. Characteristics of the approach include an effective project selection and prioritisation process to ensure strategic alignment and maximisation of business benefits from the project portfolio. From the outset of a project it is vital that plans are well-defined and value streams are identified: “do the right project, before you do the project right”. We are actively engaged in assisting a number of clients to improve their project portfolio management processes through the application of ACTIVE Principles. These are described below.

“Stage and gate” framework

Utilisation of the principles ensures a flexible “stage and gate” framework set in place for all projects, no matter what their size or complexity. Gates are seen as entry points to the next stage, rather than exit points from the preceding stage. In this way, the next stage can be started (provided the relevant criteria and checks have been performed) as soon as the organisation is ready, regardless of whether or not the full work-scope of the previous stage has been completed. Consequently, stages can overlap – thereby reducing timescales without increasing the risks associated with the project.

This principle also ensures that the work packages overlap to shorten the schedule, and that objectives are shared throughout the supply chain by the creation of integrated teams. This is most easily achieved where there are partnerships, alliances, term contracts or supply agreements in place.

Control during execution

All Lean Thinking projects are highly controlled during execution rather than retrospectively monitored; this involves driving project delivery according to the plan and implementing corrective actions to get the project back on track whenever deviations occur. Core project management techniques and controls (planning, risk management, issue management, scope changes, scheduling, cost control and review) are also combined to create maximum effectiveness.

Effective risk-management techniques are employed from the earliest stages onwards and form an essential element of the principles with the identified risk being managed by those best able to deal with them. In addition, Post-Implementation Reviews are held to assess the effectiveness of the project with regard to meeting the business objectives, and Value Analysis also occurs throughout a project to identify ways to shorten the schedule, as well as improve quality and costs.

Project teamwork

In conjunction with the planning of the project according to the principles, effective and flexible project teamwork with dedicated full-time resources are used wherever possible. This results in an open “no blame” culture where team members are empowered and decision-making is delegated to the lowest competent level.

Any required operator training is commenced in advance of start-up whereupon job boundaries are purposely ignored and individual project team members are encouraged to have a high level of technical competence coupled with an enthusiastic, flexible, “can-do” attitude.

Each project is relayed with a strong sense of ownership through the appointment of a single Project Sponsor who is sufficiently senior to enable rapid decision-making and ensure that the focus remains on achieving the business benefits throughout the life-cycle of the project. Commitment to project objectives is ensured by the identification and involvement of key stakeholders at the earliest possible time to enable the opportunity to “buy-in” as necessary.

Elimination of waste

A peripheral but equally vital element of the principles is the elimination of waste wherever possible. This encompasses, for example, elimination of unnecessary processing steps, unnecessary inventory and unnecessary movement of people (for example, siting amenities close to people and stores close to the building site). Avoidance of double-handling of materials on site is always encouraged. The effective selection of suppliers – that is, on the basis of being capable of manufacturing to meet the assembly schedule – is also an essential requirement.

GSK case study

PROjEN was awarded the ECI ACTIVE Project of the Year for 2004 for a project carried out on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline at their Stevenage R&D site (Hertfordshire, UK). The project involved a new services building and major modifications to the refrigeration and Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF) distribution system.

At the same site, PROjEN is presently managing a project to replace 40 glass condensers with an equal number made from exotic materials (tantalum or Hastelloy C22) to improve reliability. The existing piping and layout arrangement in the modules is extremely complex and space is at a premium (see Figure 1). There is a significant amount of equipment and piping that needs to be temporarily moved to enable removal of the existing condenser and allow the physical installation of the new metal condenser. Each installation is in a clean room environment, which is also classified as a hazardous area due to the flammable solvents used in the chemistry.

In order for the project to be completed successfully, three Critical Success Factors need to be achieved: minimal interruption of operations, implementation within the 2005 calendar year and delivery of the project within the sanctioned costs. (Previous similar projects executed without Lean Thinking strategies had struggled to meet cost and programme budgets due to their complex nature.)

The “Lean” principles, as outlined above, have been utilised to great advantage on this project in a number of areas. A “stage and gate” project framework has been employed (feasibility study followed by a scheme design and +/- 10% accuracy cost estimate); this has facilitated rapid decision-making based on accurate and timely information. By treating gates as entry points, parallel working and concurrent engineering have been possible.

GSK has developed a strong Project Sponsorship concept, with both its role and its responsibilities being well-defined. By working in conjunction with PROjEN, GSK has adopted a collaborative approach employing common systems and procedures, and shared project objectives. PROjEN ensured that the key stakeholders within GSK were contacted at the earliest possible opportunity to obtain buy-in and commitment to the project objectives. This included the early decision to make use of an innovative 3-D modelling technique to assist in the generation of detailed design deliverables.

An integrated and dedicated project team has been created with on-site presence. The team is highly motivated and empowered to identify concurrent engineering opportunities, thereby reducing the length of the schedule and minimising the shutdown period; it also helps to ensure that control of the project is defined as “making things happen” rather than “monitoring results”. The team has also played a key role in steering group meetings; these are held on a regular basis to review project progress and ensure that project objectives are being achieved. Early in the design phase, commissioning and validation were also matters for consideration.

The front-end design and long lead-time equipment costs were pre-sanctioned in order to avoid unnecessary delays and were assisted by the innovative approach of using photogrammetry to develop 3-D models of the modules using dedicated software and Autoplantä (see Figures 2 and 3). This aided visualisation of the phased demolition and construction, and assisted stakeholder communication. The package has also been used for the generation of detailed isometric drawings of the individual pipe routes. In practice, the model has been shown to be accurate to within a few millimetres, thus minimising re-working of pipe spools and components.

Analysis of the detailed project schedule and the 3-D models enabled accurate definition of installation material requirements (see Figure 4), and defined the periods required for construction, validation and commissioning/hand-over. The production schedule for pilot plant chemistry was also reviewed to assess the availability of modules for construction work. This resulted in significant cost savings and a programme reduction of 25%.

All suppliers and construction management were involved in the front-end development and model reviews; this helped to shorten the design phase, minimise risk and maximise opportunities. Constructability and Buildability were considered to be key factors; risk management and control techniques were also given a very high profile throughout. Wherever possible, suppliers were selected with whom there were existing partnership agreements.

Before work on the project commenced, the location and layout of the construction site were carefully considered to maximise the efficiency of the project team and minimise on-site inventory. The focus has remained on the business benefit to GSK, and not some intermediate stage such as mechanical completion.


Clearly, there are sufficient similarities between production and construction projects to adopt appropriate “Lean Thinking” concepts for Project Management in various industry sectors, including pharmaceuticals.

ECI ACTIVE Principles and Lean Thinking overlap in a number of areas. Both place a high emphasis on improving the overall efficiency of the supply chain and minimising non-value adding activities, and PROjEN and its clients have gained significant advantage in using ACTIVE Principles to reduce both project time-scales and costs.

David Elliott is a Project Consultant with PROjEN, a multi-disciplined Project Management Company geared to providing best value, low-cost solutions for industrial projects. An experienced Chemical Engineer, he has 20 years of operational management experience – primarily with Albright and Wilson / Rhodia – with profit and loss responsibility. In addition, he has been a deliverer of projects in Business Change Management and Software Systems, as well as traditional Capital Construction Projects.

David Mairs is the Process Engineering Section Head at PROjEN. He is a Chartered Chemical Engineer with more than 20 years’ experience working in the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and has held senior positions with manufacturing companies, equipment suppliers and engineering contractors.