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Network Meeting Göteborg

11 May 2015 12 May 2015

The 18th NETLIPSE Network Meeting took place in Göteborg, Sweden on the 11th and 12th of May 2015. First we would like to thank our partners, Trafikverket and Chalmers University, which have been so kind to cooperate with us in organising this Network Meeting for NETLIPSE.

Day 1

The Network Meeting was opened by Per-Olov Karlsson, NETLIPSE chairman. The programme of these two days was filled with interesting topics in the field of project management, with a special focus on Swedish projects.

In the first presentation, Per Rydberg, Project Director Large Projects Trafikverket, introduced the contractual challenges for the Marieholm submerged tunnels, one of the largest infrastructure projects in Sweden at the moment. He took us along during in procurement process and the success factors of the project. Trafikverket’s business models function as guide and consist of the (1) tender model, (2) contracting model, (3) remuneration model and (4) collaboration requirements. According to these models, one of the main questions was how to realise innovation possibilities for the contractors and how to organise systematic evaluation of the cooperation between the client and contractor organisations?

Marco Menna, responsible for the institutional relations at TELT, took us on a trip from Italy to France by discussing the TELT (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon Turin) tunnel project, part of a new €26bn railway linking Lyon and Turin. Main complexity within the project is the decision-making, where many meetings were organised to secure the cooperation between the local authorities and the project organisation. In addition to many stakeholders, the project organisation has to deal with mafia infiltration, requiring many investigations and checks on partners of the project. In the discussions, one of the earlier lessons from NETLIPSE research arises again: large project like this often last longer than political periods. Projects need to be underpinned by numbers and facts instead of political arguments. 

Ulf Angberg, Communications Manager at the Hallandsås Project, provided a lecture on communications management within projects in crisis. During this project, lots of effort was placed on the personal communication with the main stakeholders to get the project back on track. Measurement of the negative as well as positive reactions in the media seems to be very important in order to be proactive in the communication. Main conclusion from the discussions was that typically engineers do not learn how to deal with stakeholders and communication strategies at their universities. Because of this, more effort is needed to invest in communication management to help make large projects successful.

Johan Bill is the Head of Large Projects within Trafikverket and gave an overview of his current portfolio of large infrastructure projects in Sweden. His challenges and strategies are especially focussed on: (1) streamlined professional clients, (2) effective processes, (3) being an attractive workplace, (4) good relations with the surrounding community. During the discussions, the main differences between constructors, consultants and the clients were defined as:  (1) the client is far more diffused in the public sector and (2) the public sector connection with the community, where you (as client) have the responsibility to convince the people of the benefits of the projects.

Per Erik Eriksson from Luleå University presented his research on procurement strategies of large infrastructure projects, where the differences between cooperation and competition were elaborated. The strategy of coopetition combines both perspectives which must be balanced. These approaches are driven by the following topics: delivery system, reward system, bid invitation, bid criteria and collaborative tools and activities.

Uncertainties leading to cost increase could be applicable for every large infrastructure project. Peter Lundman, Head of the Technical Department at Trafikverket, told us about his research on this topic. He distinguishes 12 categories of possible causes for cost increase and concluded that there are some inflicted uncertainties in the project organisation that could be further minimized to decrease the project costs. There are already some important steps made, but for example BIM and more common definitions could improve the trend even more.

Day 2

Safety is an issue for both the public client as it is for the contractors. Per Rydberg (Trafikverket) and Christian Werner (Skanska) explained their experiences from their different perspectives. Both parties adopted a zero accident vision, where no single accident is acceptable. There is always a way to improve safety in order keep everybody safe: “We send our people to work, not to war”.  The client organisation is learning from the experiences of the contractor organisations, where a focus on safety is more developed. Learning point is that “what gets measured, gets managed”. Helping introduce measuring tools has improved the safety level in Swedish projects.

The road directors of Europe (CEDR) are aware of the importance of improving European cooperation. Erik Stig Jørgensen,  Chief Consultant Coordinator Tendering and Purchase, Danish Road Directorate, updated us on the proposed research topics from the contracting and procurement working group, concentrating on dimmable lighting and noise reducing coating. NETLIPSE Network Meeting participants provide input via a questionnaire that are collected for a possible contribution of NETLIPSE partners in these research initiatives.

Anna Kadefors, Chalmers University of Technology, introduced the topic of motivation and incentives, where it is not evident that you get more if you introduce an incentive: it is called ‘crowding out’. Main message was that incentives are probably over-used, where intrinsic motivation could work far more effectively. People tend to take more risks to avoid a loss than to achieve a gain. Within the ensuing discussion, results from research were reflected in the practical project environment. 

Pau Lian Staal, NETLIPSE Programme Director, gave an update on the NETLIPSE activities for the coming months. NETLIPSE was mentioned in several external publications and plans to create new publication itself for its 10-years anniversary next year.

This spring an IPAT assessment was conducted at the Rijkswaterstaat Schiphol-Amsterdam-Almere A6 project (The Netherlands). Project Director Ingeborg Ligtenberg explained her experiences with the IPAT assessment from a client perspective as well as the similarities and differences between the IPAT assessment and the standard Gate Review methodology. She emphasized that the IPAT is not an audit, but a complete assessment on all relevant aspects of the project.

Riggert Anderson, Project Director New Stockholm Metro extension project, gave an overview of his project organisation, planning and the complexities involved. Planning of the work and the agreements with the local municipalities is very important is this case, because of the relationship of the metro project and the realisation of about 80.000 new homes in the Stockholm area. Discussions were related towards the governance of the project and levels of decision-making.

Last, but not least, three perspectives on Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) and collaborative contracting were presented by three groups of students from Chalmers University of Technology: client, contractor and consultant. Combined, ‘inspirational leadership’, ‘total dedication’ and ‘pain/gain share’ are one of the main factors for the success of ECI.

Thank you all for joining our NETLIPSE Network Meeting in Göteborg! On behalf of the NETLIPSE Board, we are very pleased to invite you to the 19th Network Meeting that will take place in Kraków, Poland on October 12-13th 2015 and will be hosted by the Polish General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways. Official invitation will follow, but please save the date!




11 May 2015
12 May 2015