Project Oversight Guide

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The Project Oversight Guide (POG) is intended to bridge the gap between knowing how to run a project and knowing how to oversee one. Students of project management, project management professionals, and owners will gain insight into all facets of project oversight, including tools and techniques, organizational design, best practices, behaviors, and processes. The POG presents guidance and information through examples based on real situations and real lessons learned from the field.

The POG is also written as a foundational guide to be tailored and put into service by its readers. Intending to take readers on a journey, we explore the concept of oversight and the key considerations for success. We examine both the structural and cultural elements for that success and lay out the comprehensive framework for an oversight organization. Throughout the POG, we’ve embedded scenario-driven, practical examples to highlight for readers the underlined reasoning for oversight best practices. The later chapters serve as a practical guide to the key processes oversight professionals are likely to encounter.

Herb Marshall

The president of Oversight Advantage and author of the POG, Herbert Marshall, came to the insight that project oversight is a unique discipline while overseeing projects for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Naval Reactors (NR), for over a decade. During his tenure, he developed a passion for understanding what cultural, organizational, and procedural practices led to the most effective oversight. There was truly no better place to learn about this than NR.

For more than half a century, NR has chartered and overseen the successful execution of hundreds of complex, high-value projects contracted to selected bidders. The NR oversight model is guided by a reverence for safety, regulatory compliance, stewardship of the public trust, and the protection of its reputation through prudent decision-making. Herb learned valuable lessons while overseeing power plant overhauls, nuclear reactor servicing, plant operations, maintenance, testing, demolition, and construction contracts. The NR field oversight program and culture represents unparalleled experience in project oversight, qualifies as the baseline for best practice, and forms the foundation for this book, The Project Oversight Guide.

After retiring from naval service and NR, Herb was hired by the owners of a commercial U.S. nuclear power plant to be the chief architect of their oversight organization. In that role, he set out to create a project oversight organization from the ground up. The lessons learned from this experience were the genesis for the POG.

Firstly, Herb realized there is no textbook out there on the best practices for project oversight from the perspective of the owner or client. There is no shortage of literature or expertise on the art of project management and its principles, practices, processes, and techniques. However, there is almost nothing on the standards for owner oversight. Owners are disadvantaged by this asymmetric information deficit, as it gives the contractor project team a built-in and inherent advantage over their clients.

Secondly, policies, procedures, and protocols are not a substitute for oversight culture. NR fine-tuned its oversight culture for success over its 75-year history. Therefore, working with a network of project oversight subject matter experts, herb drafted The Project Oversight Guide over three years to include cultural, theoretical, and practical considerations for owners to successfully oversee capital projects. 



Robert Brese
Former CIO, Department of Energy
The Project Oversight Guide is a much needed and significant addition to project management literature. I highly recommend it. Well done! 

Kelly Powers
President, Williams Industrial Services
The framework in the Project Oversight Guide drives project performance to a "win-win" outcomes for both owners and contractors!

Cliff Eubanks
36-year Oversight Senior Executive
If you read this book, it will surely improve the prospects for your capital projects ending in a more predictable and successful outcome.