Ncsx project overview and management
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NCSX PROJECT OVERVIEW AND MANAGEMENT. James L Anderson NCSX Project Manager August 15, 2007. Topics. J L Anderson Background and Experience Current Status of NCSX Project Need to establish a new Cost, Schedule and Technical Baseline for NCSX Review Charge Questions Cost and Schedule

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James L Anderson

NCSX Project Manager

August 15, 2007


  • J L Anderson

    • Background and Experience

  • Current Status of NCSX Project

    • Need to establish a new Cost, Schedule and Technical Baseline for NCSX

  • Review Charge Questions

    • Cost and Schedule

    • Contingency

    • Use of Past Success to Generate Cost and Schedule

    • Project Management and Organization

    • Research Activities

  • Summary

  • Conclusion

James L AndersonRetired Laboratory Fellow, LANL

  • PhD in Nuclear Chemistry, Florida State University, 1966

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory, Technical Staff Member, 1966-2000

    • Tritium Science and Engineering Group Leader, 1982-1992

    • PPPL TFTR Tritium and Vacuum Division Head, 1993-1994

    • Accelerator Production of Tritium (APT) Deputy Project Manager and Project Leader for R&D activities, 1995-1999

      • APT was a large, multi-organization Project (6 Labs, 2 Industrial Partners)

  • US DOE/NNSA, Senior Executive Service 2000-2002

    • Head, Accelerator Production of Tritium Project Office 1/00 – 3/00

    • Head, National Ignition Facility (NIF) Project Office, 4/00-1/03

  • Retired, Jan. 2003 – June 2007, Part-time consulting, (Technical and Management):

    • Los Alamos National Laboratory

    • Livermore National Laboratory

    • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    • University of Texas

    • TechSource, Inc., Santa Fe, NM

    • Washington Group Savannah River Site

    • Legin Group, Inc

  • PPPL, June 2007 – Jan. 2008, NCSX Project Manager

  • James L AndersonProject Experience

    • Los Alamos National Laboratory

      • Design, construction, commissioning and operation of two major tritium facilities

        • Tritium Fabrication Facility, Defense Programs

        • Tritium Systems Test Assembly, OFES

          • Both completed on cost and within schedule

      • Head of TFTR Tritium and Vacuum Division at PPPL

        • Initiation of DT plasma experiments at TFTR

          • From TFTR work I know many of and have high regard for the key engineers working on NCSX at PPPL

    James L AndersonProject Experience

    • Accelerator Production of Tritium Deputy Project Director and Project Leader for R&D

      • Low Energy Demonstration Accelerator, LEDA, a 7MeV, 100 ma proton cw RFQ accelerator section. Completed on schedule @ ~5% cost overrun

      • Coupled-Cavity Drift Tube linac for 100 ma proton cw from 7 – 12MeV

      • Development and testing of superconducting accelerator cavities for the APT beam (200 – 1700 MeV)

      • Design, fabrication, installation and operation of irradiation facility for materials studies at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center, LANSCE

    James L AndersonProject Experience, cont.

    • Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration Headquarters, Washington, DC

      • Established and managed a National Ignition Facility (NIF) Project Office at NNSA to manage the LLNL NIF Project following a period of major cost and schedule overruns leading to Project rebaselining

        • Project TEC change from $1.1B to $3.5B

        • CD4 from 09/03 to end of 03/09

      • I reported to the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs.

      • Monthly briefings with the Project Team, the Administrator of NNSA and every two months briefed the Secretary and/or Deputy Secretary of Energy

      • Initiated new/different management requirements of Project by NNSA:

        • New Monthly Report format

        • Use of EVMS for tracking status and progress

        • Tracked key Level 2 and 3 Milestones

    • I have served on a number of Project Review Panels, including some for Projects with technical, cost, or schedule problems

      • Lehman Reviews

      • External Independent Reviews

      • Technical Reviews


    • A new cost and schedule for the proposed Baseline was generated

      • Improved Cost Estimating Process was used

        • EAC increased from $92M to $132M

      • More detailed Resource Loaded Schedule generated

        • Schedule to CD4 increased by 29 months

    • We will present details of the proposed Baseline at this Review

      • Cost, Schedule and Contingency Development Process

      • Basis and Assumptions

      • Contingency Analysis

      • Funding Profile

      • Risk Assessment

    • Project Control and Management Processes Implemented to better track and monitor the Project

      • Improved Reporting system initiated

      • Improved Coordination and Execution

      • Increased communications within the Project

    Review Charge Questions

    • Is the Project’s bottoms-up estimate credible? Based on the funding guidance provided by the FES Program, is the cost and schedule estimate realistic for the remaining work? Is there an adequately mature design available on complex activities, such as machine assembly, to support the estimate?

    • Is the contingency supported by and consistent with an appropriate project-wide risk analysis? Is there adequate cost and schedule contingency in the proposed baseline?

    • Has the Project adequately incorporated developmental and fabrication trials in the bottoms-up estimate as to increase the success of machine assembly and improve reliability during research operations?

    Review Charge Questions

    4.Is the project being properly managed and organized at this point and are future staffing plans at both PPPL and ORNL adequate? What is the level of confidence that the NCSX project team can complete the project within the proposed baseline? Is there adequate support from PPPL and ORNL management?

    5.What is the planning level cost and schedule estimate required for NCSX to perform Phase III (which includes implementation of all scope that was removed after CD 2) research activities?

    Is the Project’s bottoms-up estimate credible? Is the Design Adequately Mature?

    • Yes!

    • Developed Guidelines for Job Managers (realistic, not best case)

    • Estimates Prepared by Job Managers

    • Reviewed internally by Peers working on NCSX and/or NSTX

    • Independent Management Review (PPPL Engineering Head led)

    • Princeton University sponsored an Estimating Workshop (May 1-4) with external experts and an External Review of NCSX on June 4-6

      • Recommendations and Findings have been incorporated for this Review

    • All Estimating Packages used same format

      • All estimates reviewed for completeness and realism

      • Estimate uncertainty and Risk

        • Established Risk Register

      • Basis for Estimate Formally Documented

    Is the Project’s bottoms-up estimate credible? Is the Design Adequately Mature?

    • The impact of design complexity and tight tolerances and the resulting metrology are better understood and applied to this estimate

    • The issue of Design Maturity has been addressed in this estimate

      • Some to-go designs have not been completed

        • Much of the to-go work is more conventional (outside of Stellarator core) and therefore are more predictable

        • Detailed Plans, based on earlier experience with NCSX and other fusion devices at PPPL such as TFTR and NSTX form the basis for the cost estimate where designs are not yet available.

        • The estimate includes engineering design for this to go work

      • Detailed assembly plans have been established based on Project experience and history of work completed

    NCSX Proposed Baseline

    2. Is the contingency supported by and consistent with an appropriate project-wide risk analysis?

    • Yes!

    • An updated Risk Register has been established and is now discussed at monthly project status meeting. Changes/additions to the Risk Registry are included on Monthly Report format

    • Instituted a structured, consistent process for considering contingency based on level of maturity and complexity

    • Solicited input from Job Manager and the Project Team with the objective to assess and analyze all areas of uncertainty and risk that might impact cost and schedule

    • Plan now includes mock-ups and developmental Trials and Tests to reduce risk exposure

    • Worked with a consultant who is a professional in this field

      • Used Probabilistic Risk Analysis Techniques (Monte Carlo Analysis)

      • Recommended Contingency Allowance that provides 90% confidence level in proposed baseline

    • This analysis yielded need for 23.6% contingency on ETC


    • Project Manager applied his experience and background to the contingency analysis:

      • Project history

      • Complexity of work to be completed

      • Unidentified risks (unknown unknowns)

      • Knowledge of similar cost and schedule issues with the Stellarator under construction in Germany

      • Felt the 23.6% contingency was marginally adequate

    • Requested that contingency allowance be increased to 28.3% on the to-go costs

    3. Has the Project adequately incorporated trials and tests in the bottoms-up estimate

    • Yes!

    • Schedule and Cost Estimate now include funding and time for mock-ups and developmental Trials and Tests to reduce risk exposure. The success of this approach was clearly demonstrated in the recently completed weld tests.

    • While the complexity of this first-of-a-kind Stellarator was recognized the cost implications were not understood sufficiently early

    • Project Baseline was established early in the development of the Project, with too little contingency based on the machine complexity and the maturity of the design

    • With the NCSX Project now 50-60% complete we have a better understanding of NCSX complexity and how significantly this can impact cost and schedule. The Project used this knowledge in establishing to go costs, schedules and contingency

    • Project staff have shared lessons learned with staff of the WX-7 Stellarator under construction in Germany. WX-7 is suffering serious cost and schedule growth. Many of the problems facing WX-7 are similar to NCSX issues

    4.Is the Project being properly managed and organized & are future staffing plans adequate?

    • In the PPPL Organization Chart the NCSX Project reports directly to the Laboratory Director

    • New Project Manager on board

    • The NCSX Organization Chart has been revamped to better reflect the current status of the Project

    • New Monthly Report format has been implemented

    • Weekly work schedule meetings have been implemented including attendance by PSO

    • Key level 2 and 3 Milestones have been identified, with Responsible Line Managers and Job Managers input, and are being tracked on monthly basis. These help provide early indication of problems/issues

    4.Is the Project being properly managed and organized & are future staffing plans adequate?

    • The staffing requirements were carefully analyzed when generating the resource loaded schedule. Both Laboratories are committed to meeting the staffing requirements

      • PPPL has evaluated availability of required engineers, designers and technicians to meet the resource loaded schedule and can meet these needs.

      • Engineering staff is being augmented by new hires and term employees

    • Strengthen communications between PPPL and ORNL, including engineers from each Lab spending more time at the other




    • Each report is one page!

    • Monthly Report from each Responsible Line Manager

      • The RLM will cover the jobs of Job Managers reporting to the RLM

      • RLMs must keep it brief, with each section, as described below, limited to a few sentences

    • Report Sections:

      • Highlights and Progress

      • Issues (Items which could be leading to problems and being tracked carefully by RLM)

      • Problems and Work Around Plans

      • Milestones (level 2 and 3 being tracked by Project management) 6 month look ahead with schedule date and current forecast

      • Cost and Schedule variance analysis (>5% and >$50k)

      • Changes/Additions to Risk Registry

      • EVMS data supplied by Project Controls

    5. NCSX Upgrade Plans and Cost Estimate

    • The estimates and scheduling have been done at a Planning Level, pre-CDR.

    • The plan requires a total of $34.4M (including 30% contingency) for diagnostic and facility upgrades for Phase 3, over the years FY10 - FY13.

    • Research Phase 3 is scheduled for FY13

    • Details will be provided in a presentation by Mike Zarnstorff in a Breakout Session tomorrow.


    • New Project Manager on board

    • NCSX Project has generated new Cost Estimate and Resource Loaded Schedule proposed for Project Rebaseline

    • Instituted a structured, consistent process for considering contingency

    • Risk has been identified and quantified, documented in Risk Register and tracked monthly

    • Enhanced communications within Project Team

    • PPPL and ORNL have evaluated out-year staffing requirements and are committed to meeting these

    • New systems in place for tracking and reporting status of NCSX Project

    • Project Manager, Responsible Line Managers and Job Managers will be held accountable for managing within approved cost, schedule and technical baseline!


    NCSX, with current technical scope, can be completed within cost and on schedule to proposed Cost Estimate and Resource Loaded Schedule

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