Towards Qatar’s 2030 Vision: The pillars of successful large-scale programme delivery

17th February 2022
Akram Ashour
Director of Infrastructure Supervision – Qatar, Kuwait & Oman

Delivering large-scale programmes is no easy feat. It requires careful planning, a well-coordinated team, and an understanding of the various factors that can influence success. In this episode of the Anticipate Podcast, Akram Ashour, Head of Supervision at WSP in the Middle East, is joined by Eng. Mooza Al-Sowaidi, Head of Doha City Section at Qatar’s Public Works Authority, to examine some of the driving factors for success in large-scale programme delivery.

WSP Middle East · Towards Qatar’s 2030 Vision: The pillars of successful large-scale programme delivery

Akram: Eng. Mooza, thank you for joining the Anticipate Podcast. In 2011, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) launched several large-scale infrastructure programmes. Since then, it did manage to deliver most of the planned works under these programmes with spectacular success. One of these outstanding programmes is the Local Roads and Drainage Programme (LRDP), which you have been part of. In your opinion, what are the main driving factors of successful large-scale programme delivery?

Mooza: The main success driving factors are clear strategic vision, total alignment to this vision and adaptability. The LRDP vision has been to deliver projects to customer satisfaction, on time, to budget limits and as per the highest standards of quality, sustainability and safety. Alignment happened through a strong matrix of carefully selected talents, the gateway system, online systems and workflows for governance, etc. Adaptability to change was also key, especially in material supply.

Akram: Many large-scale infrastructure programmes exceed their estimated budgets. How do you ensure that a programme of the magnitude of the LRDP is delivered to budget?

Mooza: Establishing value management at the start of a large-scale programme is crucial. In the LRDP, we established a gateways system to make sure that we get the best value at the design phase. We also employed value engineering to achieve savings in the design and construction phases. This led us to save around QAR 2.9 billion in the past five years. We are also lean in our construction. For example, in one of our projects in Umm Slal, we used solar panels instead of diesel generators which led to significant savings and hit some of our sustainability targets. Sustainability is also a gateway to value management. On the LRDP, for example, we focused on using recycled and local materials which helped reduce our carbon emissions and enabled us to make the best value of available resources. In addition, quality management has a role in ensuring that we achieve the best value in a cost-efficient way.

Sustainability is a gateway to value management. By using recycled materials and finding smart ways to reduce emissions, programmes can achieve significant savings and deliver the highest possible value.

Akram: We operate in an ever-changing and volatile environment impacting the delivery of largescale programmes. How do you create a high-performance culture and ensure the team remain resilient, agile and motivated during these times?

Mooza: Efficient communication of priorities throughout the programme is vital. Support from the leadership and government is also very critical in periods of turbulence and changes, and it helps keep the team motivated. Leadership aligning back to the vision and reminding their teams why they are doing what they are doing is also a factor in maintaining teams’ adaptability, flexibility and motivation. The LRDP vision, for example, is formulated to support the vision of Ashghal, which seeks to achieve Qatar’s 2030 vision. Continuously reminding the team of the great mission that they have is fundamental to keep them motivated and to bridge any gaps. It is also important to celebrate with the team their achievements.

We operate in an ever-changing and volatile environment. Adaptability to change is thus essential to success, especially in large-scale programmes.

Akram: Many infrastructure programmes experience painful delays. How do we ensure that you deliver on time without compromising other performance indicators?

Mooza: One of the main success factors that helped the LRDP achieve on-time delivery was our emphasis on transferring our vision to the local market, the industry and supply chain. This level of communication is important to ensure that material and resource procurement for the projects align with the schedule and to get our supply chain to be aware of the standards that we are aiming to conform to. Aligning the stakeholders to the programme delivery strategy was also one of the key success factors in delivering the LRDP projects on time. Communication of priorities and workloads was crucial in avoiding delays. On project levels, proactive assessment of risks helps spot possible reasons for delay. Collaborative planning is one of the Lean construction techniques that can help a team address such risks early on a project to mitigate them and avoid delays. Change management also plays a critical role as change is an integral part of our daily lives. Efficient management and communication of changes can save time and money.

Akram: Thank you so much, Eng. Mooza, for sharing a lot of your expertise with our audience today. And to our listeners, thanks for listening all the way through. Please leave us a comment if today’s discussion has sparked your interest, and don’t forget to join us in two weeks for a new talk.

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