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Capital Projects

Capital Projects

Effective Strategies for Successful Investments

For the most part capital processes are similar and follow fairly standard gate sequences yet we have found that few projects deliver anything like the results they should. Really good outcomes require clarity of purpose, alignment, a culture of timely decision-making and open communication. Interestingly, this uncovers the paradox which is that production sites and units are typically not individually motivated to be fully transparent and take higher risk whereas at corporate level above par returns demand risk. Project stage gate mechanisms  are ubiquitous, but good project managers and teams with the discipline to follow the process and demonstrate judgement in the face of adversity are not so easy to find.

Key Challenges


projects fail (min 25% budget overrun or missed production targets >2 yrs)​


of failed projects had major design changes during engineering​


Only 1 in 3 projects meets objectives set at project authorization


of lessons learned are implemented​

Our Strategy & Solutions

This is where our style of consulting really comes to the fore. Coaxing the best out of people is second nature to us and as the environment becomes ever-more complex, pressured and uncertain new, more flexible ways of working are called for. Our expectations remain high and our people-focused approach always takes precedence, but we adapt ourselves to the specific environment, the availability and skills of staff and contractors to eliminate unnecessary projects and divert scarce resources to those endeavours which must take precedence and those which should yield better returns. The real risk is not taking the time to understand how these aspects can be better managed.

Our Service Offering

Hidden first toggle

Many organizations have analyzed and made improvements to their maintenance program, but few have truly optimized the business of maintenance. Where does your organization stack up against world-class industry leaders and how can your maintenance department break out of the cost center mold and add real value? Our analysis pairs data-rich benchmarking via our Maindex database with the deep insights of true maintenance and reliability experts, guided by our MainMap assessment tool. Our cross-functional teams include maintenance, reliability, and operations technology experts. The result is a full picture of where you are today, an understanding of where you stand against industry competition, and a customized roadmap to unlock greater value.

Undertake a Short Impact Program, Specialist Project Topic Optimization

There are many reasons why a capital project may be off track – lack of experienced resource, changing project boundaries, insufficient transparency, an unrealistic project schedule, poor productivity during construction etc. Whatever the challenge, it is never too late to take corrective action and limit or avoid the risk of failure. Together with your team, our experts take a structured in-depth look at the challenges at hand, identify root causes, define approach and corrective actions and support your team to bring the project back in line.

End-to-End Capex Portfolio / Practice Review / Analysis (benchmark vs best practice)

Having run projects for many years it is understandable that processes, practices and behaviors may not reflect the latest thinking. If the mechanisms have not been regularly checked against best practice, then the propensity for people to continue with what they know and maybe to “game” the system is inevitable. Even in-house audits may have followed old expectations – a thorough independent review will identify those areas which are not in accordance with good practice and also quantify opportunities. Specific recommendations will include identification of the necessary organization, effort and timing to realize improvements.

Interim Resourcing of Skilled Technical Leads and Project Managers

The outcome of a capital project is dependent on many factors. And it is an open secret that the greatest force for project success is the people who drive it and deliver. Finding the greatest project talent in such a competitive market, is like the proverbial search for the needle in the hay stack. No matter if you are looking for a Program Manager, Construction Manager, Lead Scheduler, Lead Planner or the like – our experts bring a wealth of capital project experience, skill, dedication and the ability to lead and integrate into your team to make your capital project a success.

Develop and Implement Bespoke Best Practices

Capital Projects that do not run well have a significant impact on a businesses performance by diverting effort and resources. Our experts assist you to take a fresh look at the four cornerstones of Capital Project Excellence: Project Selection, Standardization, Organization and Governance. The Capital Projects Excellence Program helps you to define a bespoke best practice framework for project success. Our experts then assist you to actively implement the changes with your team in order to sustainably deliver world class projects in the future.

Capital Project Stage Gate Review

How healthy is your capital project? Capital projects have a life of their own and sometimes it is difficult to tell whether they are in good health or if undetected ˈailmentsˈ are threatening the projects success. Getting an independent view of the projects status provides the necessary transparency and assurance that everything is on track, or if necessary, to initiate focused corrective action where required. Our experts use our structured and proven review approach to ˈtake the temperatureˈ of your project, identify potential risks, opportunities, provide a benchmark vs best practice and deliver hands-on recommendations.​

Capitalize on our Training Program

Running a capital project typically involves a significant number of inhouse and external people. But you will only be successful if these people have the required knowledge, skill and motivation that allows them to work effectively. Our expert trainers provide an interactive training program to build on existing understanding and align your team in a way that allows them to work even better together and deliver successful projects​.

Schedule Review and Optimization

The preparation and delivery of a capital project typically consists of thousands of interconnected activities. No matter how experienced your project team may be, it is unlikely they will be able to manage such a complex situation effectively without a high quality schedule. But many projects struggle to build and maintain a schedule that reflects the situation in the field, and is sufficiently reliable to base decisions on. Our experts will support you to determine the most suitable approach and structure to develop a workable schedule for your capital project. They will actively guide you on how to best set up and optimize the schedule, and deal with schedule risk so you can deliver a successful project.​

Project Selection Methodology

Only one in three projects meet the objectives set at project authorization. Or to put it in other words – every third project should probably never have been done in the first place, and the money should have been invested in another project. It is a tricky situation out of the many project ideas to pick the ones that make the greatest contribution to your organization’s success. Our experts will work with you to ensure that in the future your organization only conducts the projects that deliver the best return. By establishing a gatekeeping process that is based on objective selection criteria, involving the right stakeholders and tracking targeted benefits throughout the various project stages, you will be equiped to make the right capital project choices.

Success Stories

"We were very impressed that such a big step change was possible in such a short period of time."

Armin Buschmann, CEO Smurfit Kappa

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Please talk to our expert to find out how we can support you

Joao Reis

Joao Reis

Principal Director & Capital Project Expertise Lead