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Special report: ASTAD Knowledge partner

Identifying and effectively managing key risks and opportunities in the construction industry enables the achievement of program and project objectives, says CEO of ASTAD Project Management, Ali Al-Khalifa

ANALYSIS, Projects

Identifying and effectively managing key risks and opportunities in the construction industry enables the achievement of program and project objectives, says CEO of ASTAD Project Management, Ali Al-Khalifa

The construction industry within the Gulf has grown rapidly with billions of dollars in investments developing new cities, mega railway projects and supporting infrastructure.

In Qatar, the lead up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup as well as the Qatar National Vision 2030 are behind the driving force of its vast property and infrastructure developments, including Lusail City, the Doha Metro and stadiums to host the World Cup.

All of this will boost the economy and comfortably house the growing population; however, the potential challenges and uncertainties, risks and opportunities associated with such large endeavours need to be proactively managed to ensure successful completion.

Talent acquisition

The sheer size and complexity of the developments require specialised and highly skilled professionals to support the delivery of related programs and projects.

There is a limited pool of talent within the industry, and even more so when required to move from their home country to the Gulf region.

Talent acquisition is very competitive and there is an increased need for more innovative approaches to attract high-calibre employees.

At ASTAD, we believe our strength lies within our people, the compelling work environment we have created and the vision we have developed, clearly depicting our strategy going forward to facilitate our talent acquisition.

These processes led to us being awarded with ‘Best Talent Acquisition Team in Qatar’ by LinkedIn and we are extremely proud to have some of the construction industry’s most coveted professionals working with us.

Contract language

Contracts are one of the key risks faced within the industry as, in this region, they are more often than not unclear, creating a lack of understanding, an unfair balance of risk between parties and inefficient contract administration.

This inevitably causes a contractor to increase their tender price, which consequently inflates project costs.

To successfully complete a construction project, it is essential for contracts to be well drafted, comprehensive and clearly written, setting all of the guidelines and agreements necessary throughout the entire construction process, enabling all parties to fully understand the scope of work.

At ASTAD, we have developed our very own set of Integrated Suite of Contracts and we are encouraging our current clients to use them throughout Qatar and the region.

The suite includes templates, forms, general conditions and supporting appendices that have been developed to guide and support contractual procedures and encourage seamless processes. We aim for it to promote more fair and balanced terms within the industry, reducing program and project risks and more importantly aiming to support the cost and schedule objectives of a project.

Supply chain

The size and rapid pace of developments in the Gulf is reducing the availability of construction materials owing to growing demand and the impending project deadlines. Supplies need to be carefully managed to avoid any potential delays.

To build a strong supply chain, a procurement schedule along with a robust procurement strategy is crucial. This aims to ensure that resources are ordered, transported and received on time. At ASTAD, we proactively manage supply chains by involving all key stakeholders in a project to identify gaps in the planned procurement schedule until a mutual agreement is reached among all of the parties involved.

Scope changes

All major construction projects are at risk of having alterations to the scope of work during a project’s lifecycle. Additional work outside of a project’s original scope can lead to claims related to time and cost, resulting in potential project delays and budget overruns.

To satisfy new client requirements, it is necessary to accommodate changes at every stage of the construction process.

It is essential for change to be controlled in a balanced manner to successfully deliver a project in the best interest of the client.

At ASTAD, we strive to understand the project requirements of our clients from inception through to completion and we highlight through quantitative risk analysis, the potential impact of scope changes on agreed upon cost and time estimates.

External interfaces

This is the forgotten component in most of the planning processes. The lack of proactive and efficient coordination with key external stakeholders to manage interfaces related to multiple adjacent projects eventually leads to a disruption of the work in one, if not a few, of these projects. This in turn, affects a project’s progress and therefore should be carefully considered at the planning stage.

At ASTAD, we explore and identify critical interfaces in conjunction with the project environment, enabling the adoption of relevant strategies to mitigate possible threats and enhance potential opportunities.

Risk management is an essential component in program and project management to ensure successful project completion.

At ASTAD, we believe that risk management forms an integral part of a program or project and we ensure that risks are effectively identified, assessed, analysed and managed to support the achievement of program and project objectives.

We implement a proactive and effective management of risk, reducing potential threats, providing an early warning on performance so that preventive action can be taken while highlighting the possible opportunities that can be beneficial to the program or project.

We apply analytical risk tools and techniques to enable more accurate and reliable information when forecasting time and cost contingencies, by taking uncertainties into account at an early stage in a systematic and transparent manner. This allows our clients and other key stakeholders to be fully aware of the potential impacts and enables more informed decision-making related to their program or project.

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