Publications / 2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada

How to Identify the Critical Stakeholders in an Interface Management System?

S. Shokri, C.T. Haas, R C.G. Haas, K. Maloney, S. MacGillivray
Pages 945-954 (2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada, ISBN 978-1-62993-294-1, ISSN 2413-5844)

The increasing size and complexity of mega construction projects result in having several geographically distributed stakeholders, collaborating with each other to successfully deliver the project. Electronic Product and Process Management Systems (EPPMS) are recently emerging to facilitate the collaboration between stakeholders, reduce the surprises and issues, and improve the project productivity. These are commercially successful but evolving systems. An important component of EPPMS is the Interface Management System, which aims at formalizing and automating the communication channels between stakeholders. An interface is generally considered the link between construction elements, phases, or stakeholders.

An interface Management System (IMS) involves five iterative steps: (1) Interface Identification, (2) Interface Documentation, (3) Interface Transferring, (4) Interface Communication, and (5) Interface Closing. A fundamental part of step 2 is recognizing different roles in dealing with interfaces. Each stakeholder is assigned a different role, such as responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. In a mega project, several thousands of interfaces exist with complex relationships between stakeholders. Therefore, identifying stakeholders with higher responsible roles has been requested as useful information to the project owner in dealing with some of the project risks.

After the interfaces are determined, and the responsibilities are allocated, the critical stakeholders are identified using the centrality concept in Social Network Analysis. The critical stakeholders can be determined at the highest level, considering all types of interfaces, as well as for each specific type or discipline-related interfaces. The proposed methodology is applied on a hypothetical offshore project with over 500 interfaces. In fact, this project is a simplified representation of a real scale Liquid Natural Gas project. In order to reduce the complexity of calculations and clarity of explanations, the simplified case study is used.

By implementing IMS in mega projects, different parties not only formalize the communication between each other, but also gain better visibility concerning their roles and responsibilities. In addition, the owner benefits from analysing the complex relationships between stakeholders to further identify critical ones, along with other criteria like package cost, stakeholders’ experiences, etc.

Keywords: Interface Management, Critical Stakeholders, Centrality Concept