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Analyzing enablers and barriers to successfully project control system implementation in petroleum and chemical projects

Sahar Jawad (Enterprise Research Centre, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland)
Ann Ledwith (Enterprise Research Centre, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Article publication date: 29 February 2020

Issue publication date: 26 July 2021

385

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the interaction between the enablers and barriers to successful project control system (PCS) implementation in petroleum and chemical projects and to provide a knowledge-based foundation for the evaluation of the dominant factors of PCS success.

Design/methodology/approach

An integrated approach of interpretive structural modeling (ISM) and cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to classification (Matrice d’Impacts Croisés Multiplication Appliquée à un Classement) were used. An expert group of industry professionals and academics was consulted at the initial stage as an input for the ISM methodology to explore the contextual relationships among the critical factors to PCS implementation in petroleum and chemical projects.

Findings

This study identifies three dominants enablers of PCS success: the technical skills of the project controller; explicitly defined roles of project team members; and an accurate work breakdown structure. Additionally, six dominant barriers to successful PCS implementation have been identified: lack of standard processes, vague contract deliverables, unclear project goals, unclear project milestones, disparate control system between owner and contractor and lack of information communication. Organizations in the petroleum and chemical sectors should put more effort into the development of these factors to optimize the implementation of PCS.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this current study is its focus on the petroleum and chemical sectors in Saudi Arabia. It is expected that the findings will have wider applicability, but further studies in different sectors and geographic regions should be undertaken to validate this assumption. In this study, a second validation expert group was used to ensure the reliability of the results as much as was possible. However, further studies could be completed to evaluate alternate classification schemes and to test the robustness of the expert consensus and techniques reported, in this study, including an increased number of experts.

Practical implications

The present study makes some practical contributions to the project delivery process. It provides different project stakeholders with a better understanding of the factors that improve PCS outcomes and helps project owners and contractors to evaluate the PCS used by both parties to understand how they might be aligned for successful project execution.

Originality/value

The successful implementation of PCS is a key contributor to the total project delivery process. Although there is growing attention on PCS as a critical project management tool in petroleum and chemical projects, the literature in project management shows that PCS implementation has not been taken up as much as originally anticipated. This paper will address this gap by focusing on improving the take-up of strategical PCS implementation through the identification of six dominant enablers and nine dominant barriers as driver factors of success.

Keywords

Citation

Jawad, S. and Ledwith, A. (2021), "Analyzing enablers and barriers to successfully project control system implementation in petroleum and chemical projects", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 789-819. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJESM-08-2019-0004

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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