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Case Study

Oper­a­tional Excellence

Boost­ing Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty by 60%: Effec­tive Man­age­ment Tools in Con­struc­tion Projects



The Client is a major con­struc­tion com­pa­ny that was award­ed a major express­way project includ­ing five large inter­changes. The road is one of many major infra­struc­ture expan­sion efforts to devel­op the country’s trans­porta­tion links.


The com­pa­ny had made sig­nif­i­cant progress in suc­cess­ful Project deliv­ery in the pre­vi­ous year or so. How­ev­er, senior man­age­ment felt that there was still an uncom­fort­ably high risk of miss­ing bud­gets and dead­lines for a vari­ety of reasons.

Renoir’s main man­date was to sup­port the com­pa­ny in the design and roll-out of tools and tech­niques to con­trol man­pow­er lev­els to be with­in the bud­get­ed lim­its, whilst main­tain­ing the time­ly progress of the Project. This includ­ed rais­ing the pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of man­pow­er, and mobil­i­sa­tion and demo­bil­i­sa­tion of the labour resource to achieve the project objectives.


Although the com­pa­ny already had some man­age­ment tools in place, they need­ed refin­ing and sup­ple­ment­ing in the ear­ly stages of the assign­ment. Two of the major new addi­tions were the forward-look of required con­struc­tion quan­ti­ties for a 4‑week peri­od, to enable the labour resource to be cor­rect­ly allo­cat­ed against the work to be com­plet­ed; and a dai­ly time and quan­ti­ty report­ing mech­a­nism (TQR) to intro­duce a dai­ly plan and actu­al com­po­nent at Fore­man lev­el. Fol­low­ing the refine­ment, a speedy train­ing pro­gramme for Fore­men, Super­vi­sors and the Site Man­agers was conducted.

A staff Task Force was set up and trained by Renoir in per­for­mance man­age­ment tech­niques. This not only facil­i­tat­ed the trans­fer of best prac­tices to the com­pa­ny but also laid the foun­da­tion for sus­tain­ing the improve­ments once Renoir’s involve­ment was concluded.

Man­age­ment Action Teams (MAT) were set up for the key work­streams with­in the project, where senior Client per­son­nel took account­abil­i­ty for the suc­cess­ful deliv­ery of the ben­e­fits. These com­prised Site man­age­ment, Engi­neers, Task Force and Renoir consultants.

The MAT man­date was to ensure a) imple­men­ta­tion is car­ried out in their respec­tive areas with­out bar­ri­ers, b) effec­tive util­i­sa­tion of key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors gen­er­at­ed by sys­tem tools, and c) com­pli­ance with man­pow­er man­age­ment rec­om­men­da­tions as deter­mined by the imple­ment­ed plan­ning and con­trol process.

The project man­age­ment con­trol sys­tem includ­ed week­ly meet­ings with the Task Force and MATs such that progress was mon­i­tored on a reg­u­lar basis and any vari­ances to plan were addressed. A Steer­ing Com­mit­tee con­sist­ing of senior man­agers and Renoir met every two weeks to assess progress and remove bar­ri­ers to success.


Fol­low­ing the ini­tial train­ing ses­sions, on-the-job coach­ing con­tin­ued for the entire dura­tion of the pro­gramme. Close involve­ment of the Task Force ensured that the man­age­ment tools were ful­ly func­tion­al by the Project Week 7.

The stan­dards for our oper­a­tions were pri­mar­i­ly estab­lished based on bud­get­ed rates, which were metic­u­lous­ly adjust­ed to cre­ate ambi­tious stretch tar­gets, while also con­sid­er­ing the man­pow­er needs for indi­rect sup­port. Begin­ning from the fourth week, a com­par­i­son between actu­al and stan­dard results was pre­sent­ed to the senior man­age­ment through a thought­ful­ly designed dash­board. This tool was devel­oped with the aim of pro­vid­ing a clear view of progress and deliv­er insights to fur­ther improve.

This helped site man­age­ment to quick­ly under­stand the impact and impor­tance of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty includ­ing dai­ly employ­ee per­for­mance. The 4‑Week plan­ning sys­tem, which includ­ed iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of sched­uled activ­i­ties to be com­plet­ed, was instru­men­tal in keep­ing a tight con­trol over man­pow­er lev­els, as it pro­vid­ed an ear­ly warn­ing sign in case of poten­tial over­sup­ply of manpower.

The dai­ly dash­board data indi­cat­ed that one of the major fac­tors con­tribut­ing to delay was the lack of draw­ings, attrib­uted to slow release of draw­ings from the main con­trac­tor. Once draw­ing sta­tus report­ing was devel­oped, it appeared that a lack of plan­ning to iden­ti­fy major require­ments was the main imped­i­ment to time­ly issue of drawings.

The 4‑week look ahead pre­pared by the plan­ning team includ­ed draw­ing require­ments and this heav­i­ly focused atten­tion on the secur­ing of this doc­u­men­ta­tion so that planned work would not be held up.

A fore­man league table was imple­ment­ed as an addi­tion­al tool to dri­ve per­for­mance, mea­sur­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty by indi­vid­ual with their teams. Fore­men embraced the tool and took it upon them­selves to achieve high­er pro­duc­tiv­i­ty from their crews. A month­ly pub­lic award event and the cash prices reward­ed those fore­men and super­vi­sors at the very top of the league table; while week­ly results were also pub­li­cised through­out the site.



Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty improve­ment against the base­line period 


Week­ly sav­ings ver­sus bud­get over the final 4 weeks of the engagement 

Imple­men­ta­tion of a detailed end-to-end plan­ning process in com­bi­na­tion with skills train­ing for staff 


The strate­gic appli­ca­tion of plan­ning and con­trol tools, par­tic­u­lar­ly in large-scale projects, is crit­i­cal­ly impor­tant to the suc­cess of a project. The struc­tured approach that they bring to man­ag­ing resources, mon­i­tor­ing progress, and mit­i­gat­ing risks enhances pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, con­trol­ling costs, and ensur­ing the time­ly exe­cu­tion of projects.

Con­tin­u­ous improve­ment of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty through­out the engage­ment enabled the com­pa­ny to accom­plish more with less resources. The insights and con­trols were able to mon­i­tor the real­is­tic man­pow­er needs on each site. In addi­tion, the com­pa­ny was left with a com­pre­hen­sive set of installed tools to ensure per­for­mance improve­ments in future projects.

Com­pa­nies are well advised to pri­ori­tise the inte­gra­tion of these tools and method­olo­gies into their man­age­ment sys­tems, prefer­ably dur­ing the prepa­ra­tion phase of large projects.

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