Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Project Controls

Jan left me a comment querying what it exactly is I am doing, here is a synopsis.

Project controls is the execution of best practices to provide project
management with the information to control, and best use, the resources of time, money,
labor, construction equipment,and material.
The basic functions involved in controlling these resources are:

- Estimating
- Cost
- Scheduling

The responsibilities of the controls team include:

A. Establish target (baseline).
A target incorporates scope (what), schedule (when), and budget (cost).

B. Measure performance relative to target.
Measure performance relative to target scope, schedule, and budget.
Scope is the work agreed to by the company and the client. Comparisons
to the target schedule evaluate intermediate progress and overall
completion. Contrasting actual expenditures and commitments to the
target cost provides budget forecasts.

C. Provide information and reporting to facilitate corrective action to maintain target.
Recommend the most efficient, corrective action: revise work sequence,
increase workhours or days, augment resources, or change source for

D. Manage change.
Manage change by identifying the source of change, documenting the
impact, and support project management in obtaining approval.

So there you go that's the official definition

Monday, June 28, 2004


I am just back from the Travel Doctor having been pushed, prodded,
punctured and irradiated. All that's left now is the blood sucking for
which you have to fast so that will be on tomorrow mornings list of
things to do. By the end of the week I should know if I am healthy
enough to go to work. Never mind at least all my inoculations are up to
date again.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Cultural awareness.

I spend most of the morning listening to Professor Laurence Goldman who
assists the project with cultural interpretation. Dr. Goldman has been
travelling the highlands of PNG since 1977 and is quite an authority on
the Huli, the major tribe in the area of our project. We got a lecture
on social structure of the Huli as well as the do's and don'ts in
negotiations with them as well as our day to day dealings with members
of the tribe a number of which we expect to take up employment with us.
I have attended a number of these lectures over the years but this was
definitely one of the more interesting.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Papua New Guinea

Having spend a day reading up and asking questions I am now a bit clearer on what the project entails and where it is, so here is a brief description for those interested.
The first part is basically the construction of two pipelines with the associated tie-ins. The lines run from a well head to a separator about twenty five kilometer North West of Moro and consist of a bush run for some seven kilometer which has no access at all and is completely helicopter supported then follows a road for another twenty five kilometer to the separation facility.
The second part of the project is both longer, almost seventy kilometers, and more challenging, requiring the bridging of a five hundred meter wide gorge but as that phase is not due to start until the end of the year I am focusing at the moment on the first part only.

Visa and flights.

An intro is required. All negotiations and interviews were settled to everyone's satisfaction on Friday the eleventh and all that had to be done was for the company to get me on a flight. That proved to be quite a mission including a lot of calls with the companies visa consultants in Perth and the travel coordinator in Adelaide managing to mangle up the bookings three times in a row. Eventually all got settled though.

Can't say I like getting up early but you don't always have a choice. So at half past five I climbed out of bed had a shower and breakfast and went to the airport. I am feeling a bit sorry for Dad who had to get up just as early to drive me down there.
trying to check in proved a bit of trial as the girl behind the counter was obviously new to it and had to keep on asking instructions from her boss. To make matters worse a message kept flashing up that my visa for Australia wasn't valid. After about ten minutes she gave up and her boss took over, she reentered my details and 'voila' no problems. So if it was my visa or her data entry I don't know.
time for the next hiccup. Ding dong.... " Flight NZ2801 has been delayed for technical reasons". Lovely it's taken me five days just to get this far and now even the flying itself looks dicey.
As it was the flight actually took off about half an hour late and I made it to Auckland in time for my connection to Brisbane.
The rest of the trip was a bit of an anti climax the flight went smoothly and there wasn't even the minutest scrutiny of either my visa or my luggage when I entered OZ and half an hour after landing I was in the office in Toowong.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Photo Update.

All the Malaysia photos are now on line and shortly the Singapore page will be fixed up too.
With my impending move to Brisbane you can expect pictures from Australia and Papua New Guinea in the near future as well.


After a fortnight of phone calls and Emails it now looks all settled and God and Air New Zealand willing I will fly to Brisbane tomorrow to take up a job as Project Controls Engineer with KBR.
The project concerned is a pipeline in Papua New Guinea and I am looking forward to the challenge of working with a new group of people in an exciting country.
So stay tuned the pace of my blog is likely to pick up again.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


A huge dinosaur is keeping it's eyes on me while I am writing this. In the belly of the beast Daniel and Caleb are literaly bouncing of the walls and terrorising all the other children into leaving. Their modus operandi is to take a big run up and jump into the wall and see how far it bounces them back, colateral damage who cares. We are at Chipmunks an indoor playground for children from three to twelve that apart from the Dinosaur shaped bouncy castle has a numberof slides climbing racks and cargo nets, areas with paddle cars, swings and even computer games. Two figures hurtle past and storm the slide. Caleb is staying overnight with Daniel so if they burn up their energy here they might actually be asleep before midnight. Unlike the last time.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Home on the ranch.

It's about time that I update my blog.
This last week and a half has gone by pretty rapidly. The first few days I was a bit out of my sleep/wake rhythm but these things tend to sort themselves out soon enough.
The last week has been spend doing the domestics, taking Daniel to kindy, town, Botannix and in general spending a fair bit of time with him. His language has improved considerably over the last two months so that gives us all some hope for the future, not in the least his mum, who is also very busy with Laura who is turning into a handsome baby. She smiles and gurgles away and basically does all the things babies do. I will try to post some pictures of them in the next few days.
On the work front things have swung from a rather discouraging conversation early in the week to a can you please start next Monday request. I still haven't seen anything on paper though so we sit back and wait. All this is pretty normal at the start of a new project so I am not that worried.