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Interface Management Improves On-Time,On-Budget Delivery of Megaprojects

The advent of huge, multinational offshore projects in the past decade and recent challenges in the timely, within-budget delivery of these projects finds the oil and gas industry grappling with how to bring balance to the planning and execution of these developments in terms of effective contracting, coordination, risk allocation, and conflict resolution. Many in the industry have determined that more effective interface management (IM)—meaning the proactive avoidance or mitigation of any project issues, including design conflicts, installation clashes, new technology application, regulatory challenges, and contract claims—would enhance the successful delivery of megaprojects. But this “discovery” of IM as a possible solution has been born from the disappointment of projects “gone wrong.” That is, IM is not necessarily a new invention, but rather a critical project component that to date has not been fully appreciated or appropriately addressed. ...Read More...

Research Spotlight: “Stuck In the Middle”

Most IPA clients have a stage-gated Front-End Loading (FEL) process, but over 80 percent of IBC companies1 have unpredictable and/or poor performing projects. Not surprisingly, the best performers deliver their portfolio with a reasonable degree of predictability and strong project performance by consistently using Best Practices; underperforming companies are characterized by their weak use of Best Practices. The companies that are neither top nor bottom performers—that is, those that are usually “stuck in the middle”—display highly variability in their use of project management practices caused by variability in the use of their FEL process. This article discusses, in the context of organization effectiveness and project system dynamics, fundamental aspects that drive discipline in the use of the FEL process, including:

  • Structure of the project organization and project teams
  • Management and integration of owner core competencies and support staff
  • Roles of key project system stakeholders such as the business sponsor, gatekeeper, portfolio manager, and project management organization
  • Management of interfaces at the portfolio and project level
  • Accountability to authorize only the “right and ready” projects

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Additional Reading