Continuous Alignment in Engineering & Construction Programs


Utilizing a Program Management Approach



By Bob Prieto

Chairman & CEO
Strategic Program Management LLC

Jupiter, Florida, USA

Alignment of project participants, especially during the pre-project planning phase is a recognized key to project success.  Alignment activities within a project context are focused on defining, understanding and meeting project objectives by the various project participants.

Source: Fluor

Within a program context the same raison d’etre exists but with even greater influence on overall program success and with a broader scope of participants and alignment vectors. This expanded context for alignment in programs utilizing a program management approach is described.

At each stage, the basic alignment process is the same:

  • Pre-alignment preparation
  • Alignment meeting
  • Document alignment
  • Monitor alignment

This process is reflected in the following figure and one or more alignment processes may be undertaken at each stage in order to address specific items in more depth. Examples of alignment activities requiring separate sessions from the main alignment activity include alignment processes focused on automation alignment; invoice process, procedure and associated documentation; and industrial relations.

Major programs face challenges of scale and complexity but fundamentally are about the achievement of a set of well-defined strategic business objectives. These strategic business objectives or SBOs represent the most fundamental outcomes to be achieved through the implementation of a major program. This outcomes focus versus outputs focus represents a principle difference between programs and projects and by extension the nature, timing and parties involved in alignment activities changes to reflect this difference.


To read entire article, click here

Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally published in PM World Today in April 2011.  It is republished here with the author’s permission.

How to cite this paper: Prieto, R. (2011). Continuous Alignment in Engineering & Construction Programs Utilizing a Program Management Approach, Second Edition, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue VIII, August 2021.  Originally published in PM World Today, April 2011. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/pmwj108-Aug2021-Prieto-continuous-alignment-in-engineering-and-construction-programs-2nd-ed-2010.pdf

About the Author

Bob Prieto

Chairman & CEO
Strategic Program Management, LLC
Jupiter, Florida, USA


Bob Prieto is a senior executive effective in shaping and executing business strategy and a recognized leader within the infrastructure, engineering and construction industries. Currently Bob heads his own management consulting practice, Strategic Program Management LLC. He previously served as a senior vice president of Fluor, one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. He focuses on the development and delivery of large, complex projects worldwide and consults with owners across all market sectors in the development of programmatic delivery strategies. He is author of nine books including “Strategic Program Management”, “The Giga Factor: Program Management in the Engineering and Construction Industry”, “Application of Life Cycle Analysis in the Capital Assets Industry”, “Capital Efficiency: Pull All the Levers” and, most recently, “Theory of Management of Large Complex Projects” published by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) as well as over 800 other papers and presentations.

Bob is an Independent Member of the Shareholder Committee of Mott MacDonald and a member of the board of Dar al Riyadh. He is a member of the ASCE Industry Leaders Council, National Academy of Construction, a Fellow of the Construction Management Association of America and member of several university departmental and campus advisory boards. Bob served until 2006 as a U.S. presidential appointee to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), working with U.S. and Asia-Pacific business leaders to shape the framework for trade and economic growth. He is a member of the Millenium Challenge Corporation advisory board where he had previously served. He had previously served as both as Chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of the World Economic Forum and co-chair of the infrastructure task force formed after September 11th by the New York City Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he served as Chairman at Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) and a non-executive director of Cardno (ASX)

Bob serves as an honorary global advisor for the PM World Journal and Library and can be contacted at rpstrategic@comcast.net.

To view other works by Bob Prieto, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/bob-prieto/