Walter A. Wawruck
Project Management and Engagement
Consulting and Seminars
Consulting Services in Project Management
My range of practice encompasses all types of projects. A project is any organized endeavour to achieve defined goals under conditions of limited resources and target completion dates. There are proven management principles and good practices common to all projects. I have had the opportunity to work with a large number of organizations on a vast variety of project types, which include the design, development, and implementation of:
For my clients, I have provided specialised advice and
recommendations on polices, management processes, and
planning and control systems. I have directed projects,
and I have served as a senior member of project teams. I
have assisted project teams as an advisor and facilitator
to deal with specific matters: preparing a plan, solving
a problem, establishing working relationships, making a
decision, or resolving a dispute, for example.
I provide training services in project management.
Please see the descriptions of the in-house and public
that I offer.
A participatory planning session, or interactive workshop, is a powerful technique for making decisions in which many players have a legitimate interest or a contribution of knowledge to make. This form of group engagement can be used to make good decisions rapidly and, at the same time, to gain the commitment of those who have a role to play in the successful implementation of those decisions. The same fundamental set of knowledge-sharing and consensus-building techniques is utilised in a wide range of project management situations, even though the sessions may go by a variety of different names. These names include:
I have organized and facilitated numerous management
planning sessions to assist client organizations in
making complex decisions and in resolving contentious
issues. These interactive decision-making and problem-solving
sessions are typically conducted in a workshop setting.
They have proven remarkably effective in creating a
shared understanding, and a consensus on decisions, for
issues ranging from strategic plans to the selection of
engineering designs and hardware. A structured approach
is utilized to establish an environment of shared
perceptions and open communications. Client organizations
have succeeded in resolving even long-standing inter-group
conflicts and operational bottlenecks through these
There is a growing body of knowledge about the critical factors that make an organization effective in sponsoring a multitude of projects. Some of these elements can be implemented only at the organizational level, not by the sponsors and managers of individual projects. Such elements include:
I have designed comprehensive frameworks and authored manuals for the management of entire programs, including the specification of interfaces with corporate information systems. These frameworks have incorporated:
The organizations for which I have developed these
comprehensive management frameworks have included
telephone and electrical utilities, government ministries,
and pipeline transportation companies. I have developed
frameworks for capital facilities programs, and for
My experience on information and control systems development projects has focused on the crucial initial stages - need identification, feasibility evaluation, requirements documentation, and system design.
I have developed organizational designs for systems project teams, incorporating roles for users and the sponsoring executives as well as for data processing and management systems specialists. These project team organizations have facilitated the process of gaining broad organizational support for systems projects in client organizations by providing for participation, by the stakeholders, in the development process.
I have contributed to the definition of requirements for project information and control systems from the viewpoint of incorporating good management practices in critical areas such as:
Scope and Quality Management
Sound scope and quality management is the starting point I adopt for project control system designs. The emphases are on thoroughly specified requirements, a deliverables-oriented work breakdown structure, and clear acceptance criteria. I have developed work breakdown structures (WBS), as comprehensive information frameworks for managing projects, and have prepared manuals to guide their application. Some examples:
Estimating and cost control go hand in hand on projects; cost control starts with the preparation of estimates, and estimates must be structured to reflect cost information in categories suited to cost management. The traditional accounting approach to cost management has relied on reporting costs after the fact - once they are commitments or expenditures. In my work, I have developed management systems which anticipate and influence the magnitude of project costs well before commitments are made. These estimating and contingency management techniques place the burden for preparing cost forecasts with those members of the project team who can influence the outcome - the designers and contract managers who assemble procurement packages
As the manager of development projects, I have put
these methods into practice to deliver complex funding/design
packages on time and on budget.
In my work I have designed hierarchical schemes for developing project schedules that establish the clear linkage between client objectives for completion dates and the detailed schedules which are adopted to guide the day-to-day performance of project tasks. The use of the critical path method, or the use of other techniques such as crew based methods, are recommended where they are appropriate. I have developed, and used, automated planning and scheduling systems on large-scale design and construction undertakings.
My experience with project scheduling techniques includes the introduction of critical path methods on the Arctic Gas pipeline project in 1971-72. I have prepared working schedules for a wide variety of construction, systems, and administrative projects.[Contents]
I provide independent professional opinions on matters falling within my areas of specialisation and knowledge. In addition to my work in providing recommendations and designs for organizational policies, processes, and management systems, I carry out assignments such as these:
I work as a member of project teams. My roles on projects have included Project Manager, Director, Administrator, Controls Manager, and Scheduler. My assignments typically are in the early stages of the project. I might, for example, assist in developing the project plan, in setting up the control and reporting mechanisms, in setting up the project office, and in recruiting a person to fill the role of Controls Manager for the duration of the project.
Here are some representative assignments:
For a major international engineering and environmental consulting firm, I conducted a study of training needs for project managers. It included a survey of current qualifications and career ambitions. It recommended a classification system for levels of competence required for projects of varying degrees of managerial challenge, and a strategy for developing individual capabilities to meet those requirements.
A large part of my professional practice is devoted to preparing and presenting management training sessions . These sessions range from classroom lectures to participative workshops. During 1980 and 1981 I lectured on project management in the Executive Programs Seminars at the University of British Columbia and have since presented guest lectures to graduate students. I have presented courses at the University of Piura in Peru, at the B.C. Institute of Technology, and through Simon Fraser University's Continuing Studies Division. I provide training in all aspects of project and program management, including seminars specifically designed to assist those preparing to write the examination for certification as Project Management Professionals.
I have acted as the leader for numerous in-house seminars on project management for clients in the petroleum, electronics, telecommunications, construction, aerospace, utilities, financial services, and other industries, as well as for institutions and government organizations. The participants have come from supervisory, managerial, and executive ranks and from disciplines as diverse as social service, marketing, personnel, accounting, biological sciences, and health care - in addition to such traditional project practitioners as analysts, programmers, engineers, and builders.
The training sessions on project management are based on a universal model of a management process for any unique undertaking aimed at producing a defined result. The model features a life-cycle framework, baseline standards for control, the assignment of roles and responsibilities in a project organization, and the influences on human behavior in the project setting.
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This page was last updated on December 12, 2016