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Managing Technology-Based Projects: Tools, Techniques, People and Business Processes by Hans J. Thamhain

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Chapter 12

Monitoring and Controlling Technology-Intensive Projects

PRAIRIE WATERS PROJECT WINS PMI'S PROJECT OF THE YEAR AWARD

“When you manage a project, fully compliant and $100 million under budget, your stakeholders will be thrilled. Shave another $100 million from the budget and the entire project management profession will take notice,” said Cyndee Miller, senior editor of PMI's PM Network (2011). This is exactly what happened. On October 23, 2011, the lead team of the Prairie Waters Project of Aurora, Colorado, was named 2011 PMI® Project of the Year in recognition of their outstanding achievements. When asked to explain the superior performance that set this project aside from other well-executed contracts, Larry Catalano, manager of the capital projects division for the city of Aurora, said, “Excellent project management and a little bit of luck.” Management, yes. Luck (?) . . . well, it doesn't hurt. However, to execute an $850 million project, involving 5 engineering firms, 7 general contractors, 36 regulatory agencies, 410 permits, and 140 property easements, plus 11 city council members and 4 city project managers; plus meeting or exceeding all requirements ahead of schedule and $200 million under budget, takes more than a “bit of luck.” It requires an exceptionally well-planned and organized effort, sophisticated management, and collaboration among all stakeholders.

Six years ago, the city of Aurora, Colorado, located in an arid environment, had to find innovative ...

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