Types of Complex Engineering Projects

Types of Complex Engineering Projects

Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5864-4.ch005


Works, constructions, and fabrications are examples of projects that in themselves are complex, especially for inexperienced project managers or other areas. The complexity classification of engineering projects is important to determine the necessary efforts for the management of this enterprise and also to analyze threats and opportunities. This chapter looks at how this categorization is done and the best practices in engineering and construction projects. At the end, it presents a proposal to classify the complexity of enterprises in energy, civil construction, mining, and other related business sectors. This is a conceptual and applied reading in engineering and construction projects.
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Great achievements in history such as the construction of the wall of China, the Egyptian pyramids, have similarities with great modern achievements such as the construction of the Panama Canal, the Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Plant and the Eurotunnel. This similarity also extends to the modern companies of computational systems developments that seek to implement software capable of solving complex problems of diverse areas in the daily life. Other current sectors that also have great achievements of projects, is the mining and civil construction with focus in ventures of Shopping Centers. Faced with this similarity of achievements that occurs in times, places and with such diverse goals, is a success for each of the achievements of unique character. These successes require, since ancient times, a disciplinary application of techniques, tools, organizational systems and especially of people gifted with skills and knowledge for conflict management, and propose problem solving.

After analyzing this relationship between projects from a more distant past and contemporary ventures we can think of three sectors of great importance in the world economic senate, even if there are indifferences between developed and underdeveloped countries, which are subject to develop projects of very high levels of investment values and complexity. It can be said that among them are the energy sectors, with their large projects of hydroelectric power plants providing autonomy and independence in the generation of electric energy, the mining sectors that can represent internal indicators in the growth of a country's GDP, and the commerce sector with large enterprises of the construction of Shopping Centers generating jobs and developments in the retail trade.

Thus, deepened in each of the sectors mentioned above, it is possible to analyze what makes these projects complex. How can you measure the complexity inherent in these large enterprises? What issues should be raised before these projects to define their complexities, making it possible to maintain control of the goals and scope of the objectives defined in the scope, preserving the economic, political, environmental, and project success interests? What are the challenges of constructability and execution of projects of this nature?

The challenge posed by megaprojects is directly linked to its complexity. A complex system is different from a complicated system, since it has a type of dynamism that actively responds to what is happening around it, becoming unpredictable (Agostinho, 2003 apud Oliveira, Winter, Alvim, & Corrêa, p.1, 2014).

As with cases of complexity in hydroelectric projects, the Portal do Estadão de São Paulo published on November 3, 2017 a report that shows the paralysis of a project to expand hydroelectric power plants in the Amazon region of Brazil, due to its complexity socio-environmental. “The pressure on hydroelectric reservoirs tends to increase in the coming years, given the absence of new projects based on the construction of large dams and hydropower generation. After a decade of investments in large enterprises, such as Jirau, Santo Antônio, Belo Monte, Teles Pires and São Manuel, all installed in the Amazon region, the government virtually paralyzed the construction of new projects, due to the environmental complexity of these projects ” (Portal do Estadão de São Paulo, 2017).

In mining projects, an example of the complexity involved is presented by Oliveira and Andery (2017), and “mining projects are usually complex, and often have performance problems associated with increasing the deadlines for entry into operation. In this sense, one of the major bottlenecks, considered as a critical path in the mining project schedules, is environmental licensing. Environmental licensing processes have become increasingly rigorous, with more demanding responsible bodies, which have required a significant period of time in the project schedules, often leading to considerable impacts on the implementation of the projects.”

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