GBA Projects continued to provide services to the construction of the Darwin Central Hotel during the start to the 1997 year. We were able to assess the actual progress of the project and provide advice to the Owner’s team of Architects and Engineers of the requirements to complete the project, demonstrating that it (the project) would be completed late. This was despite the construction contractor advising that they were on time and would complete by their due date.

Unfortunately for the project, the planned completion date which we advised turned out to be the actual completion date and thus this project descended into a dispute over Extensions of Time based on Scope, Variations and Darwin conditions.

GBA prepared a detailed “Expert Witness Report” on the Entitlements to Extensions of Time that were due to the Contractor. As with most disputes, the Impacted as Planned methodology was used due to the lack of recorded progress (actual start and finish dates) on the Baseline Programme activities. This failure to record accurate progress for planned activities is an all too common occurrence leading to false expectations by those companies using these programmes.

This typically leads to a false sense of what is critical relying on “gut” instinct which has often proved to be wrong in projects that finish late and over budget.

This dispute continued into 1998.

Graham Farmer Freeway

Based on our work on the Tung Chung bridges in Hong Kong, GBA was approached by the Project Manager for the Thiess / John Holland JV’s construction of Stage 2 of the Graham Farmer Freeway. This project involved the construction of one incremental launch bridge over the Swan River, the "Widan Bridge". There were several other minor bridges, bikeways, footpaths and ramps to various major roads.

The Department of Main Roads WA had a very specific WBS that the Contractor was required to implement along with budget costs for each element of the WBS. In consultation with the JV we were able to break down the costs and allocate them to every activity contained within the Baseline Programme. This, coupled with a detailed schedule and strictly enforced update process, enabled the project team to implement Earned Value Management (for contractor progress claims) and subequently led to the project finishing three months early and within budget, costing $313 million.

Fun Fact: Graham Farmer Freeway was constructed between 1996 and 2000, and used over 180,000 cubic metres of concrete. It has been designed to have a 150-year lifespan, following the Main Roads Western Australia specification. It won an AustRoads award. This project was controlled so well that it did not need to be re-programmed. That is, it adhered to it's plan from day 1!

In late 1997, GBA was invited by Southcorp Wines to review past performances on winery upgrade projects.  In our scope of work was the requirement to identify appropriate Project Management methodologies by which these projects can be delivered over a 5 year program. 

But more importantly, for South Australians in general, the Adelaide Football Club won the 1997 AFL premiership.

We just had to throw that in there!

Adelaide Crows, 1997 Premiers

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