My master thesis: The critical elements of a successful project

The experience as a master thesis worker in Baltic Connector was my first professional experience in Finland, and it was a great opportunity for me to get in contact with an important energy project in the country. The environment was welcoming, and the people were always willing to help, making the office the kind of place you are happy to go every day.

During the five months I spent at Baltic Connector, my study aimed to raise the main elements that contributed to the success of the project. The topic of engineering project management is very discussed in literature, but still most of the projects fail to achieve the basic targets of success: Schedule, cost and quality. That reinforces the relevance of this topic and shows that achieving success is an important challenge overcame by the project team.

The analysis of the Baltic Connector revealed that it is critical that emphasis is put on the initial phases of the project. The strategy of dedicating enough time and resources for planning of activities and initial phases, Engineering Design and Procurement phase, had important role in the success of the project. For that, the presence of an experienced technical team was also critical to have the appropriate technology selection and to avoid gaps in the contracts.

The selection of procurement strategy, between EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) and EPCM (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management), is another element that revealed to be of critical importance. Whether the company would take more control of the individual packages or delegate control to the contractor were defined taking into consideration aspects such as schedule and available expertise.

During the Construction phase, Baltic Connector maintained close relations with the contractors as one team aligned to the same goals. The presence in the site facilitated the flow of communication and made possible to have closer control of the activities performed and respond proactively to any possible deviations.

Another important strategy was dedicating enough resources for the maintenance of public relations starting at the early stages of the project. That is an aspect that is often overlooked by engineering projects and may lead to complaints and opposition from the public. The establishment of communication channels ensured that local people were aware of the activities, contributing to the smooth development of the works.

Considering the main challenges to be overcome by an energy project and how they were managed by the team, Baltic Connector represented for me a good opportunity to learn about critical elements of a successful engineering project.

Julie CV photo

Julie Frota Barcellos
Thesis worker
Metropolia University, Industrial Management Master programme