PMI New Jersey Chapter    Calendar Pulse Email CafePress Meetup
PM Image Facebook LinkedIn Twitter YouTube
PMINJ Pulse September2018


Considerations in developing phasing plan in subway rehabilitation projects
DR. Maryam Mirhadi, PMP, PSP
Dr. Amin Terouhid, PMP, PE

Subway station rehabilitation / renovation projects, also known as subway rehabilitation projects, are among the projects with special needs. These projects have special characteristics that differentiate them from other types of construction projects. The most important characteristics of subway rehabilitation projects from a project planning perspective are the need to account for the schedule of diversions, utility / infrastructure relocations, piggybacking opportunities, special permits, flagger availability, and work train availability.

Because of the special characteristics of subway rehabilitation projects, some considerations for scheduling these projects shall be applied with special attention and emphasis. The following provides key considerations for planning and scheduling of these projects. This list is not meant to be comprehensive. Instead, it identifies some of the key considerations that need to be given to the planning and scheduling of subway rehabilitation projects.

  1. Identify the activities that cannot be implemented during normal service hours (e.g., the activities that need diversion of train services). Examples include activities on the platform edge and activities on, under, or near tracks. If a project involves working on several stations on the same line, the stations that are between two immediate switches can utilize the same diversion (by piggy-backing on each other). Under these circumstances, diversion-related tasks should be scheduled properly to maximize efficiency.
    Having multiple diversions on one line and between different switches is called double-heating.  If the stations are not between two immediate switches, diversions are not usually scheduled at the same time to avoid double-heating and ensure train service interruptions are minimized. 
  2. Determine the preliminary number and type of the required diversions, work-trains, and other special services for the project. This determination will help the construction team consider diversions, work-trains, and other special services as project resources. This approach helps the construction team to identify the resources that are constrained. By using proper resource management strategies such as resource planning and optimization, the construction team can ensure it obtains access to these special services when the project needs these services.
  3. Review the special services identified with operations departments to ensure availability. If the requested diversions cannot be accommodated during required time frames, the scope of work, design requirements, alternative construction methods, job phasing, or the project timeline should be reviewed and revised based on the available diversion plans. In addition to time, budget, and resource constraints, the availability of diversions is one of the major constraints that impacts subway rehabilitation projects.


  4. Identify the areas and equipment that cannot concurrently be closed or taken out-of-service in each subway station to ensure of continuous and safe operation of the station. Examples include entrance stairs, platform stairs, mezzanine areas, elevators, and tracks. For instance, if two elevators in one station exist and upgrading both elevators are in the project scope of work, working on the two elevators at the same time may not be permitted.
  5. Identify hazardous materials such as lead, asbestos, and mercury. Performing abatement operations might be necessary before the commencement of work in areas in which a hazard may be present. In these cases, direct communication and coordination between the client, contractor, and environmental agencies is crucial to identify the proper course of action. In addition, removal of these materials during the construction phase may require special permits and equipment for which contractors should plan in advance.
  6. Identify the long-lead and client-furnished items. With respect to long-lead items, an opportunity may exist to fast-track some activities by creating an overlap between the design and procurement activities for the long-lead items. Moreover, early order placement for long-lead items plays an important role in making sure that long-lead items will be delivered to the project in a timely manner. In addition, the construction management needs to properly identify the client-furnished items and account for the possibility of receiving these items later than expected.
  7. Identify the activities that are supposed to be executed in areas that are not under the authority of the construction team. Examples include utility relocations or working in a public street. In addition, it should be determined if these activities require additional permits (e.g., DOT permits). The project team should be aware that these tasks have the potential to delay the project to a great extent because the project team usually has little control on expediting the permit application, inspection, or review processes.
In summary, from a project planning perspective, some of the key characteristics of subway rehabilitation projects that differentiate these projects from many other construction projects include the need to account for the schedule of diversions, utility / infrastructure relocations, piggybacking opportunities, special permits, flagger availability, and work-train availability. As such, some considerations for planning and scheduling of these projects shall be applied with special attention and emphasis.

Dr. Mirhadi and Dr. Terouhid are principal consultants at Adroit Consultants, LLC.


Common Mistakes To Avoid – Project Initiation
Igor Zdorovyak, PMP, PMINJ Marketing Director

You are given a project. The project charter was signed. Now you are told to complete the project. You are under pressure to deliver the results quickly. You are overwhelmed and are thinking that the project is late before it even began. As a result you might be tempted to skip some of the earlier steps in the project management process and turn your attention to the planning phase.

DO NOT SKIP the initiation phase.  Skipping it can have a significant impact later in the project.
It can be true that conceptual work begins before the project manager is officially selected. You as a project manager need to speak with the stakeholders: project sponsor, boss, and team leaders to ensure that proper project selection has been conducted. You need to ensure that key questions have been answered and recorded. Otherwise, you will spend significant time during the project execution phase suffering the consequences of having the vision being misaligned with the purpose which should have been documented in the project charter during the project initiation phase.

You need a clear understanding during the initiation phase: WHY does this project need to be performed?  Terry Schmidt's book - Strategic Project Management - details why start with WHY.

The project manager should ask:
  • What problems does this project need to address?
  • What issues does this project need to fix?
  • Are there other projects that are addressing similar issues?
  • What risks are associated with this project?
  • What is success for this project?  (I usually ask the project sponsor: if all things cannot be accomplished, what percentage of the project completion would be a success.)
  • Has the scope, budget, schedule, quality been defined?
It is imperative to ask these key questions in the early stage of the project. Some questions need to be revisited periodically. But then these issues become more costly and difficult to resolve.  One question that needs to be asked periodically throughout the duration of the project: Is this project still relevant?

By ensuring to ask the key questions at the beginning of the project will ensure that the project is beneficial to the organization and that it gets the right support.

Do you have a common mistakes that a Project Managers Makes? If so, contact Igor and it might appear in the next article.

  • For previous articles see PMINJ Past Newsletters. and PM Material.
  • If you have a suggestion for a future topic or want to share your own success stories,  contact Igor at .
  • To learn more about Igor check his LinkedIn Profile.
  • For next steps on Project Manager ladder visit: WITS show where leaders and experts provide expertise in what it takes to succeed in career, in job and in personal life. 


Common Language

Kimi Ziemski discusses Common Language in one of her micro-lessons. 
  • Have you communicated? 
  • Has the listener heard the same message you delivered. 
Hear Kimi provide three tips for a clear understanding. Listen to learn more.  

Submission & Publication Information

  • What to Send:  PM related information that would assist PMs with Leadership, Strategy and Technology. The information can be a short description with the details at the included link. Do not provide advertising related materials.
  • Where to Send: Submit Pulse items of interest to with a short description.
  • Review:  The information will be reviewed for relavent PM content for the PM community prior to posting.

PMINJ is not responsible for the content or quality of any posted materials.

Powered by © Copyright 2019 PMINJ