WIT Press

Achieving A Win-win Result In Mega Project Delivery With Suppliers Through A Different \“partnering” Approach


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WIT Press


C. S. Chang & H. N. S. Cheung


Project managers and project engineers are facing the biggest ever difficulty in specifying suitable software based electronic control and communication systems for major railway projects which normally takes up to five years to build from the day appropriate approval is given by the relevant authority. The changes in the technologies, from the hardware components such as CPU and memory chips to the operating systems like Windows all the way down to the communication protocols and mechanisms including both wired and wireless applications, are taking place in such a high speed that five years can easily span two generations of these technological products, if not three. While most of the specifications these days tend to be functional and performance oriented with a hope that the responsibility of delivering the most up-to-date and proven technologies would be vested with the lucky (or \“poor”) selected supplier, the outcome usually back fires on the client who has to either suffer from using obsolete technologies lacking the required support from the original system manufacturers or be the first real user of a technology which normally comes with loads of \“unwanted features” and \“unpredictable” system performance. What is even worse is that it would end up with contractual disputes, which could possibly benefit neither party but the lawyers. This paper attempts to describe an innovative \“partnering” approach in working with the suppliers right from the Tendering Stage through to the Contract Delivery and Site Testing to ensure advanced state-of-the-art yet functional and \“proven” control and communications systems be practically specified and hence delivered by the suppliers over a relatively long project duration. With this approach, which has been tried in one of the past projects that the author has participated in, it is believed that a win-win situation between the client and the supplier could be achieved meeting the fundamental project mission of on time and within budget delivery. Keywords: project management, project lifecycle, contracting strategy, signalling, control and communication system.


project management, project lifecycle, contracting strategy, signalling, control and communication system.