IID Project Managers’ Office Needs to Move Ahead, Not Look Backwards


letters to the editor

I noticed the intent to put Project Managers back in the departments and have them report to department managers. This was the failed system I inherited over 15 years ago as new AGM. Projects were overrunning as much as 200% on large projects, a significant loss.

One big reason for the failure was that PM’S wanted to please their bosses & tended to agree with them even if they were wrong. So, I instituted a proven system used at major design & construction companies like Bechtel & Parsons with PM’S reporting to a Central Project Management Office. In this way independent decisions best for the projects could be made based on analyzed information. And, uniform tools and standards could be applied.

With SAP successfully implemented in 18 months, half the projected time, I left a debt free IID for two years to follow a dream in India helping set up what has become the 3rd largest animation studio. On my return, I was asked to audit the $Million Stone & Webster Efficiency Study that was completed as I was leaving.

Though many claims were made about implementation I found few actual savings other than a small reduction in vehicles. But, I found one major success – Carl Stills, who managed the SAP Project to early completion, was completing projects ahead of schedule as project manager and saving over $23M a year.

In my recent study of IID I highlighted problems with the PMO, and agree that he could quickly save money and time for IID and the contractors. Considered fair minded and knowledgeable by those who work for him, I’ve found him to be exceptionally effective.


Arn Lahde


  1. The auditor states in her Board memo the management & staff reviewed policy 1080 changes. Who was on her team? At whose direction was this done? The Project Office recommended raising MWA from $250K to $500K. If a comprehensive assessment done, why is this change not included?

  2. Which planet was this? Everyone gets “lucky” once in a while. The Sci-fi management approach is a thing of the past.

    • Auditor Board memo states 1080 Policy ready for change. Who was on her team? who directed the change? Project Office recommended MWA change from $250K to $500K. Why is this not included?

  3. I seems like there has lately been an attempt to remove checks & balances, as well as public visibility.

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