At the end of 2009, I went on mission to Qatar, in Doha. I had 40 days to plan the construction of the light subway of Lusail, a town of dream which does not exist yet, for VINCI grands projets (QDVC).
The scope of the project of Lusail LRT is composed of 4 lines of 30 km which cross each other, of 8 underground stations, 25 air stations, a workshop and a viaduct. The project was planned in several phases of design and construction.
The complexity of this kind of project is to avoid the obstacles, this is paradoxical since the obstacles are invisible. Lusail, located a little north of Doha, is indeed in full desert! The obstacles are not seen, since they do not exist yet.
I structured the project in 3D, by breaking up well the Geographical Zones, the Products and the Activities then by joining them together to form the WBS. As this manner of planning is not conventional and new, and that I innovated by applying it at the time, I had to explain it to the members of the team who besides understood it perfectly.
But while exchanging with these persons, I must say it, were brilliant people, I understood new things concerning the 3D model. I discovered in particular that there exist vertical and horizontal Products. For example, a heating in the apartment of a building is a horizontal Product, whereas the elevator, which crosses all the floors of the building, is a vertical Product. That applied in fact to the track, which crosses all the Geographical zones. The track is a vertical Product.
It is during this mission which I understood that there was a cube under the construction phase. We build Products somewhere, in other words, the WBS is the crossing between the Zones, the Products and the Activities.
Because I had already developed at the time a first version of the prototype software “WBS Matrix” which merges the elementary breakdown structures of the projects, I carried out some additional developments, then I recovered information from the experts of the team, that took time to me, and I finally carried out a Gantt diagram of 3,000 tasks on MS PROJECT coupled automatically with a time-location diagram, made with TILOS software, in 30 days only! Then, I passed the relay to a local planner and my mission was finished, with 10 days in advance on what was envisaged initially.
What is disconcerting, with the 3D WBS method, it is that I build the schedule without touching the software of planning. I build the WBS within the prototype software “WBS matrix”. I first structure the project, and when WBS matrix is sufficiently ended, I automatically generate schedule within the planning software. The schedule then builds itself “all alone” in a few seconds, this is almost magic! There is thus no seizure in the tools for planning. I do not touch the tools for planning, I parameters them only. This induces an important time-saver for realization of schedule. It is also why this approach 3D WBS is new and so effective, in addition to the fact that the schedules structured in 3D are done better than with a traditional method. The schedules structured in 3D are “symmetrical”, as told to me the client.