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31 Project Planning To provide a controlled environment for a new or improved ACC, it is wise to create a for- mal project team who will be responsible for all aspects of the ACC design, CONOPS creation, construction (where necessary), installation and/or integration of new systems and applications, and especially for completing the project on time and within the allocated budget. This Guidebook provides an overview of the project approach and topics specific to an ACC that will affect the project management plan. The project management approach will also vary depending on the size of the new or expanded ACC. For smaller airports, the defined process will be less formal and of a smaller scope. Every airport operator will need to determine how much emphasis to place in proceeding with a formal project management approach. However, it is safe to assume that more emphasis on a structured, logical method for managing the ACC development or expansion will correspond with reduced project risk. Project planning is bridging the gap between the high-level vision and goals presented in the CONOPS (discussed in Section 4) and the details developed during design. There are five traditional process groups in project management. Regardless of the size of the ACC or the project which is being used to create or expand the airportâs center, each of these five groups should be used, at least to a minimal level. The first group is Initiation. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), initiation helps to set the vision of what is going to be accomplished. Key activities include â¢ Establishing project goals that align with the airportâs strategic direction â¢ Selecting the project manager â¢ Identifying stakeholders The second group is Planning. In the planning phase, staff develop the initial scope of the project. In this phase, critical project documents are developed. For an ACC, the most critical document is the initial draft of the CONOPS. Other documents and activities typically included in this phase are as follows: â¢ Scope document â¢ Work Breakdown Schedule â¢ Schedule development â¢ Procurement plan, where applicable â¢ Estimation of activity and associated resources â¢ Estimation of cost and determination of budget â¢ Initiation of the risk assessment â¢ Development of a quality assurance plan S E C T I O N 3
32 Guidance for Planning, Design, and Operations of Airport Communications Centers The third group is Executingâthis is actually accomplishing the work. In this phase, the project team accomplishes the deliverables as outlined in the project scope. Included in this phase are â¢ Budget monitoring â¢ Management of stakeholder input and requests â¢ Change management â¢ Management of communications â¢ Management of the project team â¢ Conduct of procurements â¢ Construction/renovation The fourth group is Monitoring and Controlling. In this process group, the project team, according to the Project Management Instituteâs Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), tracks, reviews, and regulates the progress and performance of the project. Typically, this is the continuous review of cost, scope, and schedule. As much as airport management would like the project to remain true to the initial scope, budget, and planned schedule, there are always some deviations. In this phase, the project teamâs primary role is to mitigate the effect of changes on any of these three factors. The final group is Closing. In this phase, the project is properly closed out. Activities include â¢ Formal acceptance â¢ Finalization and storage of documents â¢ Review of project performance â¢ Initiation of the CONOPS and ACC functionality The remainder of this Section highlights specific practices in these process groups which are of most importance to an ACC project, irrespective of the project size. 3.1 ACC Project Management Practices Creation of a project charter is a best practice in project management. In project manage- ment, a project charter (also called a project definition or project statement) is a statement of the scope, objectives, and participants in a project. The project charter provides a preliminary outline of roles and responsibilities, outlines the project objectives, identifies the main stake- holders, defines the authority of the project manager, and serves as a reference of authority for the future of the project. A project charter should â¢ Contain the essence of the project â¢ Provide a shared understanding of the project â¢ Act as a contract between the project sponsor, key stakeholders, and the project team Once the project charter is formalized, planning is initiated and includes the following: â¢ Selecting a project manager to lead the effort for the airport. This executive is charged with managing the process, assigning resources, and reporting to senior management. Project management is a key factor in a successful effort. The project manager needs to have the appropriate level of experience in terms of development and design, preferably working on communications or operations control facilities. Barring the availability of this individual within the organization, the airport operator may want to engage a PM from outside with knowledge and expertise in ACC-type projects. Key qualifications for the PM include a good understanding of airport operations and technology solutions, and good organizational and
Project Planning 33 communication skills. This latter item is key in that the PM will serve not only as the source of information for the airport operator, but will also be charged with ongoing communication to and engagement with the stakeholders. â¢ Where construction is being considered, identifying how to obtain architectural and engineering expertise, as well as a construction method. Expertise and method may be inter- nal or external or a combination thereof. Enlisting design experience is necessary to develop- ing the ACC and should be considered early in the process. Many technical and design issues will be affected by the planning process, and it is most effective to have this expertise available during planning. This may be accomplished by â¢ Bringing in internal architectural, engineering, and technology experts to work through the ACC planning effort in advance of hiring a design team. â¢ Engaging external architectural and engineering expertise to assist in the formal planning effort. This group may or may not transition to the formal design process, depending on their expertise and availability and airport procurement policies for professional services. These resources should be qualified to address the issues specific to an ACC-type facility and be provided access to expertise, as needed, to support the planning effort. â¢ Establishing schedules and a roadmap for the development, with milestones and inter- dependencies identified. As planning progresses, this preliminary schedule can be refined and formalized with a fuller identification of the tasks for planning as well as design and construc- tion requirements, along with milestones and interdependencies. â¢ Establishing a design document that describes, in detail, the technical aspects of the space and facility to guide the construction and implementation of the Center. â¢ Developing a communication plan outlining the types of communication, publication schedule, and distribution list that will be used to ensure that airport management and all stakeholders are kept abreast of project progress. 3.2 Establishing and Choosing the Project Team Selection of a project manager to lead the ACC effort is one of the most important decisions that will be made during the initiative. The PM needs to have the appropriate level of experience in terms of development and design, preferably working on communications or operations control facilities. Barring the availability of this individual within the organization, the airport operator may want to engage a PM from outside with knowledge and expertise in ACC-type projects. The following traits should be considered when selecting the PM: â¢ Possesses expertise in project management as well as airport management. Selecting a PM solely for their airport management acumen is not the way to complete a successful ACC proj- ect. The PM must have both project management skills and airport management experience in at least one of the functional areas being incorporated in the ACC. â¢ Commands authority naturally. If the ACC will be consolidating different organizations and the project team will consist of personnel who do not report together in the normal airport organizational structure, it is important to find an individual who can exercise authority with- out relying on the organization. (In project management terms, this is considered a matrixed organization and is discussed in more detail below.) â¢ Asks good questions and listen to stakeholders. A successful ACC PM will be interested in the opinions of the parties involved and will know how to channel communications to the stakeholders through the Project Communication Plan.
34 Guidance for Planning, Design, and Operations of Airport Communications Centers â¢ Uses consensus-building skills if conflict arises. If the ACC will be bringing together airport organizations not previously co-located, there will likely be numerous opinions on how the project should be run, the expected outcomes, the use of personnel, etc. Irrespective of the PMâs permanent position, the PM must be viewed as having the best interests of the entire airport as the manager the project. â¢ Manages on a risk mitigation basis. A good PM recognizes the potential for project risk before such risk occurs and responds accordingly and quickly. Managing with risk mitigation in mind is far more successful than trying to overcome growing obstacles through force of personality or throwing more resources at a problem. â¢ Understands what incoming information is important and what can be ignored. Knowing what can be ignored is especially important, given that thereâs usually an avalanche of data, opinions, suggestions, and recommendations in any large-scale project. An ACC project is likely to draw project team members from throughout the airport so as to take advantage of the combined skill and expertise of the airport staff. In project manage- ment, this is referred to as a âmatrix organization,â and it has specific issues that need to be considered. Matrix management involves coordinating, organizing, and executing a potentially com- plex web of relationships that come about when staff from various groups join a project team and are subject to the resulting multiple authority/responsibility/accountability relation- ships in the organization. A matrix project management teamâs goal is to take advantage of the benefits of a project organization while maintaining the advantages of the functional organization. In a matrix project management organization, a clear project team is established that crosses organizational boundaries and team members will come from various airport groups. As discussed in Section 3.4, a project manager is selected who will manage the ACC project. The challenge for the PM is that the project team members will be directed by the PM in project-related duties; however, they will also still report to their functional departments and maintain responsibilities for routine departmental work in their functional areas. The existence of a matrix organization affects almost every aspect of the project management plan, from selection of the PM to scheduling to human resource management and must be considered by management when conceptualizing the ACC development. 3.3 Project Management Plan Irrespective of the size of the airport or the projected size of the ACC, a project management plan, including a project schedule and budget, is important to maintaining a disciplined project approach. A detailed project management plan significantly increases the likelihood of completing a successful project. A project management plan, according to the PMI PMBOK, is â. . . a formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control.â The primary uses of the project management plan are to document planning assumptions and decisions, facilitate communica- tion among project stakeholders, and document approved scope, cost, and schedule baselines. A project management plan may be summarized or detailed. An airport operator must decide which elements of a traditional project management plan should be included, usually depending on the size and complexity of the final center design. A comprehensive project management plan that follows industry standards (e.g., the PMI PMBOK) must describe the execution, management, and control of the project. Additional documents to
Project Planning 35 consider may be a procurement plan or construction plan, or they may be detailed in the project management plan. The project management plan typically covers topics used in the project execution system and includes the following: â¢ Scope and requirements management. For an ACC, the scope is primarily identified in the CONOPS and the design document. Once the CONOPS has been reviewed and approved by management, the scope must remain stable, unless a glaring omission is uncovered and management amends its original approval. Similarly, the design document needs review and approval by management, along with amended approval for any major changes. Adding to scope after the schedule and budget have been determined will lead to schedule delay and cost overruns and can threaten the success of the project. â¢ Schedule management. This includes developing a project scheduleâthis may range from a detailed project timeline, using a product such as MS Project, to a simple listing of critical project milestones. The granularity of the project schedule should reflect the size, complexity, and length of the project. â¢ Financial management. A detailed cost budget, reflecting managementâs financial commit- ment to the project and corresponding to the goals and objectives of the project, must be established at the onset of the project. Detailed accounting for expenditures is necessary to ensure that the project stays within its projected cost. â¢ Resource management. One of the most critical aspects of developing an ACC is proper resource management, particularly human resources. Typically, the project team will consist mainly of employees from airport operations, IT, and law enforcement. These employees already have full-time positions and may frequently find themselves pulled between ongoing duties and the ACC project. Consideration must be given to this dual responsibility to ensure that neither objective is significantly affected. â¢ Communications management. Developing a communication plan outlining how users, stakeholders, and management will be kept informed of project progress is essential. The following should be considered: â The responsibility for transmitting the information â Critical information on product progress â The intended audience â The timing of communication efforts â The communication format â¢ Project change management. This element helps ensure that the schedule does not change without notification to management and that every possible effort is made to keep the schedule on time and the budget projections intact. â¢ Risk management. No matter how small or large the ACC project, risk management should be undertaken. A simple risk management table identifying all possible obstacles to success- ful completion of the project, the likelihood of their occurrence, the potential effect of the risk should it occur, and possible mitigation efforts should be developed. Looking at potential obstacles early in the project helps to ensure that the schedule and projected cost are reasonable. 3.4 Project Scheduling Answering âwhen?â is critical in planning a successful ACC. The timing of the development of a communications center may be contingent on other airport projects or it may be a standalone project. Having a clear desired projection for completion that is flexible enough to (1) allow full testing and training and (2) ensure that any support applications are fully ready to be integrated
36 Guidance for Planning, Design, and Operations of Airport Communications Centers into the ACC based on the desired opening is essential. The most likely factor in an unsuccessful project is an over-optimistic view that everything will go perfectly with the schedule developed on the basis of that unlikely occurrence. The following factors may be involved in even the smallest communications center project and must be considered when developing the project schedule. â¢ Availability of Critical Staff. The availability of airport experienced subject matter experts is critical to the successful development of the ACC. However, these are the personnel who are the most likely to be involved with other ongoing initiatives and are critical to daily operations. Scheduling concessions must be built in to realistically reflect the amount of time such staff can offer during the project. â¢ Effect of Other Major Activities. If construction or the acquisition of new technology is needed for the ACC, a full separate planning process for each of those two activities will be likely. If both activities are necessary, then there will need to be an integrated plan between construction and technology. These two activities are often difficult to plan in tandem. Each has its own set of risks, unique to the respective environment. Integrating these two schedules into the overall project schedule is a challenge. A clear, unbiased approach, without the pressure of arbitrarily set completion dates, is essential in ensuring a successful project. â¢ Procurement Activities. Another activity that must be considered, where appropriate, is procurement. As with construction and IT, procurement requires a specialized process and specific steps that must be accomplished. A procurement specialist should participate in devel- oping the project schedule to ensure that the total plan is reasonable and can be accomplished and meet all procurement requirements. â¢ Training Activities. Stakeholder and user training is often overlooked and typically given too little time when scheduling a project. Depending on how much the new ACC will change the operating environment of the airport, training is essential to a smooth, successful launch. Training will likely consist of (1) operational training related to the new functionality of the ACC, (2) application training on any new technology being implemented, and (3) training on any new processes and procedures that may be implemented. It is also wise to have internal meetings with all future ACC personnel, especially where organizations not previously co-located in a common space are coming together. Ensuring that everyone understands their specific role is important in establishing a new airport operational approach. 3.5 Project Work Breakdown Schedule A basic project management document that an airport team may develop when implement- ing an ACC is a work breakdown structure (WBS). Used in project management, a WBS is a project deliverable that organizes the project teamâs work into manageable sections. The PMIâs PMBOK defines the WBS as âA hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.â A WBS illustrates the project broken into phases, deliverables, and work packages. It is an inverted tree structure, which shows the subdivision of effort required to achieve an objective. For an ACC, the WBS is developed by starting with the ACC and successively subdividing it into manageable components (e.g., each function that will be contained within the ACC) that are then further broken down by responsibility, systems, and tasks. Once completed, the ACC WBS is important for describing to management, stakeholders, and external parties, the approach being used to implement the ACC, the resources needed, and the functionality of the center once it is completed.
Project Planning 37 3.6 ACC Funding Committing the necessary resources for the entire ACC project is important. An ACC can be an expensive undertaking and providing a rough order of magnitude of the necessary resources up front helps to frame the final requirements for the ACC. Committing necessary resources includes funding for project management, personnel, integration of existing and planned infra- structure, architectural components, coordination of planning and design, and other locally unique activities and assets to be accommodated for the project to move forward. Costs will generally include â¢ A rough order of magnitude (ROM) of âsoftâ costs (e.g., planning, design, and consulting fees) required to develop the project. â¢ A similar ROM of âhardâ costs (e.g., capital expenses for construction of facilities, IT and communications infrastructure expansion, equipment, labor, and related costs). â¢ Internal and external professional resources necessary to complete and support the project, such as maintenance and training. â¢ A proposed schedule of steps to be undertaken throughout the process, along with milestones to be accomplished. 3.6.1 External Funding for an ACC Every state has one or more agencies planning for public safety, homeland security, and emergency communications. Federal, state, and local grant programs tend to fund at the county levels where decision-making is frequently determined by function and coordinated through a single office or planning boards. Funds, as well as authority, are therefore disbursed according to the administrative structure of the county, city, town, parish, or independent city with numer- ous variations. The Bureau of the Census identifies 3,143 U.S. counties and county-equivalents that could obtain federal, state, and local grants for public safety, homeland security, and emer- gency communications; however, U.S. airport operators generally operating within municipal and county jurisdictions have infrequently applied for these program funds. Appropriations from state and local budgets, government bond financing, private foundation grants, lease-purchase agreements with equipment suppliers, recurring revenues (e.g., fines, user fees, and surcharges), and state/local sales and property taxes are among the most common sources of funding for communications projects nationwide. Communications center capital expenditures for facilities, equipment, and systems (including network fiber-optic or microwave backhaul), lifecycle costs for operations, maintenance, training, upgrades, and other recurring expenses, are the most frequently funded efforts. Public-private partnerships could better capture innovations and cost-saving economies of scale more regularly than one-time transactions. Other sources of funding for building and operating communications systems are available to states and communities. DHS, FEMA, and the Office of Emergency Communications manage statewide planning and coordination for interoperable communications in compliance with the National Emergency Communications Plan. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) provides public safety communications expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy, and outreach and has established the Public Safety Foundation of America (PSFA), a 501(c)3 non-profit sub- sidiary that funds ânew or ongoing projects for the betterment of public safety communications, including initiatives to improve the overall qualityâ and to educate public safety agencies and other stakeholders. PSFA, following its establishment in 2002, provided five rounds of grants delivering more than $13 million to over 200 agencies in 40 states and continues to provide funding to eligible applicants.
38 Guidance for Planning, Design, and Operations of Airport Communications Centers ACC considerations (including cost estimates, revenue sources, jurisdictional issues involving governance, decision-making, spectrum management, and technology) may still be inadequate to achieve âdesired levelsâ unless the airportâs CONOPS envisions interoperability. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) advocates deploying Internet Protocol (IP)-enabled tech- nologies for (national grid) NG9-1-1 and wireless broadband networks. This is in harmony with recent airport trends in seeking common IP-enabled platforms. IP-enabled platforms that can operate on any IT-enabled networks and/or IP-enabled wireless devices using technologies such as Long-Term Evolution are expected to deliver advanced services anywhere at any time and should be particularly appealing to airport operators hoping to maximize legacy system lifecycles. 3.6.2 Interoperability Opportunities Affecting Funding The Public Safety Interoperability Grant Program is available to any state with a DHS Office of Emergency Communications Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan (SCIP). FEMA is tasked to establish Regional Emergency Communications Coordination (RECC) Working Groups for fund eligibility. The RECC mission is to âestablish and use the RECCâs as a single federal emergency communications coordination point for federal interaction with the state, local and tribal governmentsâ and to coordinate with othersâsuch as airportsâas appropriate. 3.7 Project Risk Assessment Developing a project risk approach is essential to every ACC implementation. Even for the smallest project, a realistic look at obstacles to progress is essential. A typical project-oriented risk structure can be used to identify potential threats to proper project completion, effect level, likelihood of occurrence, and mitigation steps. The following steps should be included in every risk management effort: â¢ Identify Risks Early in Your Project. The first step in project risk management is to identify the risks in the project. This requires an open mind that focuses on future scenarios that may occur. Two main sources exist to identify risksâpeople and paper. People are primarily the ACC team members who each bring their personal experiences and expertise. The second is the project plan, including details on timeline and budgeting. An unreasonable project completion date or insufficient resources easily become a risk, given the resulting influence on project execution. â¢ Create a Register for Project Risks. Documenting the perceived project risk is an essential communication mechanism that informs airport management, the project team, and all stakeholders about issues that could affect the project. â¢ Analyze Risks. Understanding a risk is a precondition for a good response. Therefore, take time to examine individual risks and do not make conclusions without knowing what a risk is about. Performing a detailed risk assessment is critical to a healthy risk management program. â¢ Prioritize Risks. All risks are different in effect, likelihood, potential cost, and mitigation efforts. It is important to prioritize risk and pay close attention to those items that rank highest on the risk register. â¢ Communicate Risks. A good approach is to begin by sharing a risk register with airport management and then including risk communication in every team meeting with project risks as part of the default agenda. This shows risks are important to the project manager and gives team members a natural opportunity to discuss them and report new ones. â¢ Clarify Ownership Issues. Some project managers think they are done once they have created a list of risks, but this is only a starting point. The next step is to make clear who is responsible for each identified risk.
Project Planning 39 â¢ Plan and Implement Risk Responses. Implementing a risk response is the activity that adds value to a project. By responding, the organization prevents a threat from occurring or mini- mizes negative effects. Execution is essential here. While other rules have helped the organi- zation to map, prioritize, and understand risks, execution will help the organization make a sound risk response plan that focuses on the most important issues. Figure 3-1 presents a typical format for a risk assessment. Figure 3-1. A typical risk assessment format.