Winners of PMI India Awards

Manage India talks to two of the winners of PMI India Project of the Year 2017 awards to find out how project management led them to success in spite of major challenges

Tasmin Kurien

Project of the Year - Medium
Additional development of Vasai East oil field by ONGC

Project planned cost: Rs. 899.78 crore

Project actual cost: Rs. 899.78 crore

Project planned and actual start date: 15 November 2014

Project management effort: 5,347 human months

Project planned end date: 15 April 2016

Project actual end date: 29 May 2016

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited constructed two additional oil well platforms in the Vasai East oil field in the Heera¬Panna-Bassein block in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai with a minimal time overrun in spite of several challenges. The new oil wells are now contributing an additional 15,000 barrels of crude oil and 2.2 million metric standard cubic meter per day (MMSCMD) of gas to ONGC. The company expects the production to go up to 18,000 barrels of crude oil per day once the drilling is complete. It has achieved the peak expected production of gas even before completion of drilling.

ONGC planned to drill wells close to each other in the field's northern and southern flanks from two existing wellhead platforms, Vasai South East B (VSEB) and Vasai South East C (VSEC). Minor modifications also needed to be made to the existing Bassein Process Alfa (BPA) process platform.

ONGC carried out a feasibility study and completed the project charter before commencing the project, where the project requirements, objectives, and expected production were chalked out clearly.

Early challenges
The project involved fabrication of structures like decks, piles, and conductors, and the erection of structures with an installation barge that had a capacity to lift a load of 3,000 metric tons for offshore installation.

Another major challenge the team faced was hook-up of facilities at the BPA platform in a shutdown planned for another contractor's project. The installation for this project had not been completed by that time and another round of shutdown could have impacted the production severely. ONGC dealt with this situation by providing additional valves at designated hook-up points to make sure that no separate shutdown was required. So the existing facilities kept producing while hook-up of the new facilities with the existing ones was undertaken.

Although the project was completed a month-and-a-half later than planned, the installation, hook-up, and pre-commissioning activities of the VSEB and VSEC wellheads were completed ahead of schedule. This helped early deployment of drilling rigs on the well platforms, leading to early production of crude oil and gas.

A. Ravi, executive director, ONGC engineering services and chief of offshore engineering services, said, "Effective stakeholder management that used well laid out communication protocol was instrumental in the success of the project."

Technology innovations
In a pioneering move to meet the power requirements of the control system of well platforms, ONGC equipped the well platforms with Closed Cycle Vapor Turbines (CCVT). Particularly handy for remote locations, CCVTs are integrated power systems that generate power 24/7 and are designed to last for over 20 years with close to no maintenance. It was the first time that CCVTs were used in unmanned platforms in Mumbai offshore fields.

Another new technology introduced was a documentation management system from AVEVA Solutions, a design engineering software provider, to efficiently retrieve and manage thousands of drawings and documents. This gave people from both the offshore platforms and the base office in Mumbai digital access to all the documents, and enabled them to review and troubleshoot issues quickly. It also helped in procurement management and allowed for future extensions and modification, if any.

The project management processes were set up in such a way that active collaboration was possible between multiple organizations. ONGC used an online project monitoring and control system, and a financial management system to facilitate smooth coordination between the different organizations.




Since the BPA platform was undergoing replacement and modifications under a separate contract, there were several interface issues with three projects happening simultaneously.

The interfaces were managed in such a way that the three contractors who worked on the BPA platform were not affected by one another’s work.

A separator module had to be installed in a space which was surrounded by process equipment and pipelines from  all the four sides; the only way it could be installed was from the top.

Meticulous planning and coordination ensured that  the swing of the separator module was precisely controlled so it wouldn't damage the adjoining facilities.

Demolition was to be carried out separately to create space for the installation of the separator module prior to the project installation. However, this could not be done, and demolition had to be carried out with no prior planning by the personnel as additional work.

Stakeholder interface meetings were regularly  held so that every stakeholder was  kept abreast of the proceedings at every stage.

Successful outcomes
An environment, health and safety standards group monitored worker health and safety throughout the project phases. The result was project completion without any time lost to injury.

ONGC had conceived this as an integrated project inclusive of well platforms, their associated pipelines, and necessary modifications at the processing platform. This approach helped in putting the wells into production immediately after drilling.



Project of the Year - Small
Myst biophilic luxury housing in Kasauli by Tata Housing

Project planned and actual cost: Rs. 98 crore

Project management effort: 638 human months

Project start date: 5 May 2012 (one month late)

Project end date: 28 February 2017 (one month early)

Myst Tata Housing project in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, is a residential development designed using biophilic architecture – architecture that brings nature into the built environment. The exclusive gated community was designed by a leading expert in sustainable architecture, Llewelyn Davies Yeang. The project has won several sustainability awards.

“Myst is the epitome of Tata Housing’s exemplary performance and project management practices, and we are extremely excited to have won this recognition from PMI India. It is the only project in Himachal Pradesh to be registered under the Real Estate Regulatory Authority. In our constant endeavor to deliver a world-class experience, we aim to add value across the real estate ecosystem, not only by providing best quality projects to our home buyers, but also by upskilling the onsite workforce by introducing best-in-class construction practices,” said Brotin Banerjee, managing director and CEO, Tata Housing.

Eco-friendly features
The eco-friendly features at Myst have resulted in big savings – 27 lakh litres of water and 1,931 tonnes of CO2 emission, from the start of the project till completion. The key features that have enabled these are the building of gabion walls (walls made of stacked stone-filled gabions tied together with wire) instead of roller-compacted concrete retaining walls and a bio-enzyme based sewage treatment plant – since the site is not connected to the municipal drain – that emits zero odor and discharge.

The project charter by Tata Housing promised that the number of native trees at the site would increase after project completion and it didn’t disappoint: over 1,000 trees of local species were planted during the project tenure.

Being a carbon-neutral and water-positive development, Myst was awarded the gold pre-certification by the Indian Green Building Council at the project development stage. And now that the project is up, it is awaiting platinum certification.

Internal processes
As it was the first project of its kind, the project execution team faced several issues such as changing customer requirements. The use of an agile planning structure enabled the team to deal with frequent changes in design. For this, the teams followed the Tata Housing project management and controls framework, hich is based on PMI’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), as well as an internal assessment system which is a barometer for operational effectiveness.

Tata Housing followed a streamlined system for the delivery of raw materials to the site. Materials for the luxury housing project were imported from across the world. For example, sanitary fixtures, fittings and bathtubs came from Germany, and lifts from Tokyo. The team created a comprehensive procurement plan and trackers to ensure smooth delivery and installation.

Raghvendra Singh Bisen, head, planning, project management and controls, Tata Housing, said “Myst is located at an altitude of 5,500 ft which posed several logistical constraints and construction risks. Deployment of resources and retention of manpower

was extremely challenging in such working conditions. Yet with our integrated planning, project management, and controls framework, each activity and resource was planned well in advance, risks were identified early, and a mitigation plan was prepared and implemented seamlessly.”

Winning hearts
In spite of clear land titles and no-objection certificates to proceed with the development, the project team faced resistance from local groups. To win their confidence, the project team organized outreach programs through its corporate social responsibility arm.




Landslides and subsequent rework threatened to increase cost and cause delays.

The risk identified and the project insured at the planning stage, so that repair costs did not impact the budget.

Because of the remote location, the teams faced connectivity and communication difficulties.

Fiber optic cable laid to enable video conferencing between the site team and the project team in Mumbai.

Workers kept leaving in the first 6-9 months, causing productivity to drop.

An Integrated Management of Productivity Activities Council (IMPACT Council) was formed. Productivity compliance shot up by 19 percent

Workers from the main contractors refused to work in harsh weather and rough terrain conditions. Local unemployed youth were trained and certified to work in the project.
High attrition rates of workers. Facilities such as a canteen, creche, heaters, and bunk beds were built, and cooks and house help were assigned to families, leading to a 25 percent drop in attrition.

The team conducted a number of initiatives such as improving facilities in the local government school, building rain shelters and an approach road in the neighboring village, installing street lights, and digging bore wells. Tata Housing also awarded small contracts for the project to villagers.

The Myst project has now become a benchmark for other Tata Housing developments because of the detailed planning and site development work that resulted in timely delivery in spite of several challenges.