Strong project management finish to the year

Mike Lindgren

Last week proved to be intense (and successful!) for project support teams across the lab. Three reviews resulted in completing a cutting-edge technology neutrino project on time and under budget (MicroBooNE), baselining of a new project that will support Fermilab’s science mission for decades to come (Utilities Upgrade Project) and validation of a critical system needed to successfully support projects (Earned Value Management System).

The closeout, or CD-4, review of MicroBooNE marked the end of the project and allows the lab and collaboration to begin commissioning the experiment. MicroBooNE is the first in the lab’s new generation of short-baseline neutrino experiments, so this is a big advance for the project as well as for the lab’s liquid-argon technology development. Neutrino Division Head Gina Rameika, Cat James and Bruce Baller presented the project completion documentation and the commissioning plans. The MicroBooNE project finished nine months ahead of schedule and well under budget. The final DOE approval for project completion is expected in January.

A CD-2/3a review of the Utilities Upgrade Project, Fermilab’s first Science Laboratory Infrastructure Project, concluded that it is ready to proceed. Led by Russ Alber of FESS, the project involves the replacement of the master electrical substation and water pipe network, which will help position the lab’s infrastructure to support science for decades to come. Final DOE approval of this stage is anticipated in January.

Finally, the lab had a surveillance review of its Earned Value Management System, which assures DOE that we are measuring project performance on cost and schedule as we should be and is a critical tool for DOE labs that complete large-scale projects. Marc Kaducak, the new head of Fermilab’s Office of Project Support Services, presented on the lab’s project support initiatives, and CMS Phase I Upgrade Project Manager Steve Nahn and Mu2e Project Manager Ron Ray presented on CMS and Mu2e. Bob Wunderlich, project management guru, chaired the excellent review team, which found that the lab was doing a good job of maintaining and improving its EVM System and that the projects were using earned value to effectively manage their work.

Thanks to the reviewers, DOE and the project and support teams whose hard work resulted in three excellent outcomes — a great way to head into the holidays and new year! Fermilab is committed to achieving excellence in project management.