Royal HaskoningDHV - Successful planning demands an integral project vision

Collaboration, communication, knowledge and insight are the key to successful project planning. Keeping these parts balanced, will result in the biggest chance for an optimal end result and keep the risk of exceeding time and budget at its smallest. As an independent international advice-, engineering- and project management office, Royal HaskoningDHV provides services to public and private clients worldwide. The organization is leading in multiple markets. RoyalHaskoningDHV has been working on complex project design with Primavera since 1995. An intensive collaboration has been originated  with Primaned to make sure this software is utilized to its fullest capacity; a great example how synergy between professionals leads to better project design.

Royal Haskoning was founded in 1881, making it the oldest consulting firm in the country. It has become a household name in engineering services. Consulting and engineering firm DHV also has a long history, as the company was founded in 1917 and its worldwide position has only been strengthened since the fusion in 2012. With roots in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and South-Africa, Royal HaskoningDHV is a leading player in Indonesia, Thailand and North- and South-America; as well as being active on the African and Middle-Eastern market. The head office is located in Amersfoort.

Durable and innovative

‘Enhancing Society Together’.  In other words, working together on a better society. With this motto as a guide, Royal HaskoningDHV delivers services in asset management, energy, construction, industry, infrastructure, aviation, maritime, mining, strategy, transport, urban and rural development, water management and water technology. Highly qualified professionals work in hundreds of offices in 35 countries; about 6500 employees are actively involved in durable development and innovation, where progress is made possible without exceeding the planet’s ecological limits. Finding an equal balance requires a clear, integral vision, as well as a shared aspiration for innovation and social progress. According to Royal HaskoningDHV, these durable solutions can only be created through close collaboration with partners, clients and stakeholders, in which every party knows their responsibilities and acts accordingly.

Primavera as an international starting point

As an advisor of contract and project management, Robbin Koldewee of Royal HaskoningDHV has been involved in numerous projects in the area of infrastructure. “We have been collaborating with Primaned since 1995. When it comes to planning, many (international) projects are managed in Primavera; choosing this software was a no-brainer.” According to Koldewee, it’s an advantage to have a single point of contact, so potential problems can be solved quickly and consultation about expansions goes smoothly. “It’s nice to see that Primaned, as Oracle Primavera software specialist, is a partner that goes beyond just the implementation trajectory by offering customized training and, where needed, contributes to the thinking process about new interfaces. This creates synergy, which really gives added value. Anticipating on all new developments in the area of computerization keeps you a recognized international player.”

Knowledge management

“Royal HaskoningDHV has a widely varied field of activity”, he states. “It varies from designing the installation technique for the renovated Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to developing new systems and infrastructures to cope with the rapidly increasing world population. We’re working on facilities in New Orleans to better anticipate on hurricanes, but we’re also doing soil research in Appelscha for the purpose of digging a recreational lake.” Laughing: “And everything in between.” The similarity between all these projects is durability as a new norm, says Koldewee. “New kinds of technology, building materials and working methods, in combination with advanced engineering concepts, offer the opportunity to realize broad social objectives. Primavera can play a part here as well. “We work with commissioners (like governments and Rijkswaterstaat) and contractors when it comes to projects in the area of infrastructure. We, as planners, have projects in progress with both parties. Centralized control may be a solution for an optimal planning, but that kind of process is complex for an organization as big as ours. A planning about energy provision might be planned in hours, while planning for projects in the infrastructure is mostly planned in weeks. Of course, to excel externally, it’s necessary to optimally set up all internal business operations and constantly keep adjusting. That’s why, at the moment, we are looking at possibilities on how we can ensure our planners’ knowledge, as well as knowledge about Primavera. We can then deploy a planner for each project.”

Primaned Academy derived from experience

Koldewee followed a management course at Primaned Academy, to get insight on how the business line infrastructure can get the highest possible functionality out of Primavera. “Knowledge of processes and tools is necessary to optimally manage and control projects”, knows Koldewee. He doesn’t just call Primaned’s training ‘tailor-made to work excellent in practice’; they also offer knowledge and immersion, so an organization can be optimally set up in the future. “Defining project and activity codes, creating an Enterprise Project Structure, as well as security profiles for users and projects are examples of study subjects which are immediately applicable in practice.

Besides software/tool training, also project management and execution of communication were discussed, offering a good blend of theory and practice.” 

Worldwide accessible internal database

Koldewee elaborates on some recent projects in the area of infrastructure, as an example of Primavera’s innovative solutions. “I worked on a big project in the Middle-East: there were over 120 people involved with design, contract, execution, planning and control. First of all, the presentation of a project in Primavera looks very attractive and easy to oversee; besides, during a running project, it’s possible to work in one project with multiple users. The database was accessible, both for me in my hotel room and for a colleague in the Netherlands.” Primavera is a solution for small-scale projects too. “Designing a bridge for a municipality in our country with a team of four men still requires a tight planning.”

Future link with Relatics

The relative co-operation between Royal HaskoningDHV and Primaned also results in a custom-made vision for the expansion of software possibilities. “At the moment, Primaned is working on an interface with Relatics, which means that project requirements can be related to physical objects, which can then be linked to verifications and project members. Current projects are often confronted with an ever-changing environment and new conditions. Relatics’ flexible architecture can tune changes in a transparent way and link them to a planning in Primavera. An optimal project result demands collaboration between a great number of disciplines and organizations. An interface with Relatics can definitely give an even greater insight in the progress of medium-large and large projects in the future. This will also expose eventual problems in an early stage.”

Project planning is a skill all of its own

As a planner, you can look at a project in many different ways, Koldewee states. “Project planning is a skill all of its own; every project has a new challenge and meaning. Project management and –planning is lifted to a whole new level, thanks to Primavera’s innovative build. That’s why we like to appeal to Primaned for expansions. That completes the circle: Enhancing Society Together.”