Building Smarter in Iraq through Better Project Management Systems

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Baghdad’s Sayyidet Al Najjat, or Our Lady of Salvation Church, was decimated by a deadly terrorist attack in 2010. The church was being rebuilt by Iraq’s Ministry of Construction and Housing, but the project fell behind schedule. With support from the USAID-funded Tarabot project, the ministry offset the delay by using modern project scheduling systems.

At a recent conference, the ministry credited these systems as saving more than two weeks and significant money in rebuilding the church.

In Iraq, improvements to the capital investment cycle have been largely measured by budget execution rates. This approach neglected whether projects were completed on time or on budget. Through an integrated approach of training and systems reform, Tarabot has helped the government to improve the implementation and quality of its projects.

The conference was hosted by Iraq’s Council of Ministers Secretariat (COMSEC) together with Tarabot. It brought together high-level officials and engineers to shed light on improved infrastructure projects.

Iraqi partners led the way with detailed discussions of their specific pilot projects. Staff from the Governors’ Offices of Babil and Wasit presented on the value of establishing a Project Management Office to manage provincial projects. The Ministry of Industry and Minerals showed how Tarabot’s suggested Earned Value Management system has also saved resources on their ongoing projects.

The conference resulted in a total of 14 official recommendations that fall under three themes:
• Supporting nationwide adoption of the project management systems promulgated by Tarabot
• Encouraging government engineers to attain international project management certification
• Promoting the establishment of a community of practice for project managers.

Since 2011, Tarabot has worked in partnership with the Iraqi government to improve the planning and construction of vital infrastructure as part of a larger administrative reform initiative.
A total of 67 Iraqi government pilot projects are underway across the country. This list is poised to expand dramatically in the final months of Tarabot and beyond.

Read more about our Tarabot.

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