30 Years in 30 Weeks: 2014 - The New Royal Adelaide Hospital

As I walked to work this morning I noticed my iPhone had gone crazy with LinkedIn notifications. Apparently it was my 13th anniversary, that is 13 years at GBA Projects. And then, just this afternoon following a meeting regarding the New Royal Adelaide Hospital my phone buzzed at me to write this weeks 30 years in 30 weeks article.

So coincidently this week we are covering the iconic New Royal Adelaide Hospital development, perhaps with a little personal reflection given the major milestone.

It's been a while...

For the last 4.5 years, GBA Projects has provided scheduling services to several clients on the project including VisionStream, HYLC, Stepping Stone and SAHP. For the last 4 years Spotless has been our main client as they prepare to deliver services for the operating term.

Aerial of new Royal Adelaide Hospital

You need only go online and read the varying facts and statistics that put the building at the forefront of numerous potential awards for design and construction. But more often you find news articles covering the numerous delays to the buildings official opening date.

Bad News is Good News...

With the building not yet open for public use, only a select few get the opportunity to take a sneak peak behind the scenes and understand the underlying issues behind the delays. Without doubt the majority of the public forms an inaccurate perspective of the project when bad news hits the media and unfortunately a lot of information supplied through the media is not correct.

This is obviously part-in-parcel of working on such a large scale, politically driven infrastructure project. We obviously cannot go into the reasons or divulge information around the project's delays, however the media frenzy certianly acts as a timely reminder of how misguided the public can be through the media.

This for me is probably the most complex project i've ever worked on given the size, scale and complexity of the job but moreso the interface points between numerous stakeholders. But the project also reminds me of just how insanely busy the past years have been and to deliver "under the pump" gives one a sense of acheivement.

The downturn was starting...

2014 was an interesting year because we as a business witnessed (along with the world) the start of the economic downturn. GBA Projects continued to provide project controls services to Santos throughout the year, however towards the end of the year the oil price began to drop as production/supply began to overtake demand.

Also invesment was hampered in Australia as the world awaited the outcome of yet another federal election. The US and China were struggling to push through tough economic conditions. Many ecnomists were thinking we were on the verge of recession. We soon began to see the list of projects in Adelaide sharply decline as investment began to freeze.

But with the uncertainty of the next 12 months lingering, it was a year to look back on fondly. GBA Projects had successfully completed the roll out of Primavera P6 and Team Member to over 100 users in Santos in early January and had established a portfolio control process for hundreds of projects which was producing results.

Busy as usual..

Now I've been writing one of these things each week and pretty much the theme is "we were super busy" every single week. But as I look back on reflection, that is indeed the life of a consultant.

Whilst we were wrapping up work in Singapore and provided some project review services to mining developments, the Gawler Rail Electrification project and a few projects for SA Water, we also found time to put a tender program together for the UniSA facility in Mount Gambier. Even further, we still planned and scheduled hundreds of Santos projects whilst finding the time to provide support to large scale developments.

Through Worley Parsons, we were engaged to provide a full risk assessment of the work being undertaken on Nyrstar's Port Pirie Transformation project. This role later evolved to provide scheduling services for the early works taking place such as accommodation and early civil/structural works.

On reflection..

The end of 2014 was the first time in my own career where there was a slow finish and a 'predicted slow start' to the next year. Typically in the project world we're busy right up to the Christmas break, however with a project list starting to decrease in size, it was time to take a well earned break.

Only 2 weeks to go in our 30 years in 30 weeks.

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